You gotta love the somewhat divey exterior of this old house out on Bash Road near the Castleton post office. Once you get inside, it’s actually a little nicer than a dive—they’ve updated their chairs with decent looking wooden ones in the last couple of years and have attempted to “remodel” the place to a certain extent. Hubby and I chuckled over the quality of some of the work though—for instance the women’s bathroom door doesn’t really shut and definitely doesn’t lock and all the trim in the place is crazily installed.
Regardless of all that, it’s a cool place. The servers are very friendly, if not a tad overworked on this particular day. Apparently people know about this place, and people like this place, because it was pretty well full. We got one of the last tables and after waiting a few minutes (I think a second server came in during this time) we placed our order and after that point, service was very efficient. We decided to venture out from our usual order of sushi and yaki ramen with pork and order some new things.
We started with an order of shrimp shumai. It was a fairly generous portion and tasted pretty good. Pretty straight forward—lots of minced shrimp in there. I really liked the dipping sauce—a soy/vinegar combo with scallions. My only gripe was that a couple of them were kind of cold in the middle still—I am still going to hope they are making them in house and then refrigerating them and steaming as needed. I just wished they had cooked them a bit longer.
We also tried the oyakodon donburi bowl, which is rice, a fried chicken cutlet, lots of veggies mixed in and, according to the menu, a poached egg. Actually the egg is basically cooked on top of the chicken cutlet, giving it sort of another layer of coating. (Apparently oyakodon means “parent and child” referring to the chicken and the egg together.) They cook the two together and then add a sauce—which is a light sauce. I’m guessing mirin and soy and maybe dashi. There were also some lightly pickled veg in there giving it a nice acidic touch. After adding a touch more soy, I really enjoyed the dish overall. It sort of ends up tasting like a really good fried rice once everything is mixed together. There were a couple of gristly bits of the chicken though. I would recommend the same dish with the pork cutlet, which is an option as well.
Speaking of pork cutlet, we did stick with one classic (you know, just to make sure we had something we knew we’d like) and got the yaki ramen with pork. This is a really yummy dish of ramen noodles, but stir-fried, rather then in a broth (they do those too). There are lots of slivered veggies mixed in—zucchini, onions, scallions, and carrots and the noodles are tossed in a light, tasty sauce. The pork cutlet is thin and fried, yet still tender and not tough, and gives the noodles a little something to stand up to. We both love this dish.
They have a pretty wide-ranging Japanese menu from sushi to various noodle dishes and Bento boxes. The prices are reasonable—I didn’t keep track specifically but an appetizer and both dishes plus tea and miso soup was just under $20. Check it out and let me know what you think. Or if you have other favorite items, let me know that too.
8355 Bash Street
(No website, boo!)