Revamping the Ramen Craze

By Rebecca Ratterman / Photography By Joe Laedtke | March 01, 2014
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ramen dish with egg and meat

Move over Maruchan Instant Lunch Ramen, there are new ramen makers in town and they’re doing it better—way better. Recently two restaurants, the new Tochi and the already-established Ardent, are among those that have begun to make delicious gourmet ramen in the city.

In January Milwaukee welcomed Tochi, a bright and serene restaurant located in the basement of Shorewood’s Garden Room, which had previously housed Anaba Tea Room. Tochi now serves sublime ramen to complement Anaba’s previous selection of tea (along with a staff trained to guide you through your tea and food choices). Currently, Chef Gregg Des Rosier’s menu ranges from enticingly unique ramen dishes (options include pork belly and smoked bone marrow butter) to congee (a type of rice porridge) and other rice dishes more than capable of pleasing anyone’s inner foodie. For diners unfamiliar with the fare an adventurous choice will undoubtedly pay off, but the traditional Tochi Ramen (also known as Miso ramen) is a good place to start: hot Singapore noodles bathed in a pork-based broth and paired with exquisite, melt-in-yourmouth pork belly and welsh onion—all topped with a spicy miso deviled egg delivering a complementary

Further south, Ardent on Farwell launched in November last year with a menu centered on contemporary American cuisine, but in late hours has more recently begun serving up steaming bowls of ramen. On Friday and Saturday nights starting at 11:30, Chef Justin Carlisle, the former head chef of Umami Moto, lends his expertise to a ramen menu with exactly one dish: Tonkotsu Ramen, another type of traditional ramen made with pork bone broth (tonkotsu). Ardent’s space features romantic lighting, and a rustic ambiance complete with silver antler wall hangings and burlap window shades. Chef Justin’s ramen comes with optional additions (but NO substitutions), cold PBR, and keeps serving until the food runs out.

2107 E. Capitol Drive, Shorewood, WI

1751 N. Farwell Avenue, Milwaukee, WI

For galleries chock full of ridiculous ramen photos, visit!

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