Restaurant spoons out ramen for the soul

Danny Ogranovich, Page editor

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It’s nothing short of a blessing that one of the Chicago suburbs’ better ramen restaurants opened right at our doorstep.

Ronin’s Spoon, just five minutes from Glenbrook North, has hearty bowls of ramen as well as a friendly staff and a comfortable, Japanese-style interior.

When I visited, my waiter made no recommendations, so I ordered a rice bowl, the restaurant’s most popular ramen dish (the Chasshu Ramen, which is a pork broth) and a vegetarian ramen.

The Chasshu Pork Rice, which contains fried rice, assorted vegetables, thin strips of pork and a fried egg, came first. The pork was tough, and the ingredients were fairly dry. The egg almost felt a little rubbery. Overall, the dish was bland.

Then came the ramen.

The Chasshu Ramen was the best dish. Its broth was the thickest and most filling of any other dish. The bamboo shoots, pork, mushrooms, assorted seafood and poached egg all contributed to a rich, full-bodied flavor. The distinctly zesty seafood taste combined with the frothy pork broth satisfied all my taste buds.

Alternatively, Ronin’s Spoon offers a superb vegetarian ramen. The broth was thin but still had a rich, earthy flavor. Plus, a lack of meat made it lighter on the stomach. Overall a hearty, but manageable dish.

The ambiance is just as soul-warming as the soup. The restaurant is small but filled with pictures of Japanese scenery and eclectic wooden furniture. Everything feels quaint. Plus, the staff helped me with all my needs — even running into the parking lot to give me my forgotten debit card.

Eating at Ronin’s Spoon for open lunch only works if you are willing to spend some extra money and get take-out. Bowls of ramen cost up to $13, and though food comes out quickly, ramen does not lend itself well to a sit-down, 35-minute meal. Still, takeout takes approximately 10 minutes to prepare for up to six dishes. Plus, you can order out as soon as the restaurant opens at 11:00 a.m., making it easy to get back to GBN in time.

Overall, Ronin’s Spoon is worth the price if you have the time to go and the cash to spend.

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Restaurant spoons out ramen for the soul