Sunday, February 26, 2012

B(r)oke Bowl

Boke Bowl Sign

We recently read if there was one word to describe Portland's food scene in 2011 it would be "RAMEN". Boke Bowl started as a pop-up restaurant a while back operating out of commissionary kitchen Oba with rumors of a permanent spot. That time came and Boke Bowl opened up in the lower east side's industrial warehouse district. Being big fans of ramen we treked down there for lunch one day and was completely won over by their broth and steam buns.

The operation was smooth and efficient, exactly the way a lunch spot should be! We were impressed from the minute we stepped into their industrial space, from the menu board, counter ordering system to the friendly and efficient service and fantastic bowls of ramen.

We ordered a bowl of the chicken & pork broth ramen bowl with additional pork belly and poached egg ($9+$1+1.50 = $11.50), as well as a seafood miso ramen bowl with additional poached egg ($10+$1 = $11).

Chicken and Pork with Pork Belly & Egg Ramen Bowl

Seafood Miso Ramen Bowl

The chicken and pork broth was tangy and the smoked pork belly added a extra layer of smokey porky goodness. In previous ramen bowls with added pork belly the meat is stewed and you can see the marbled fat and pork meat, but Boke Bowl was completely different with the pork belly being smoked, which made the ramen bowl taste as if we were eating South Carolina pulled pork, it was delicious.

The seafood broth was beyond just a miso/kombu/bonito broth, it was packed with shrimp. Both bowls of ramen had an impressive array of seasonal cubed veggies to break-up the monotony of meat, noodles and broth. This time of year it was kombucha and various squash vegetables - delicious!

Besides ramen bowls we decided on a side of kim chi ($1) and some fried chicken buns ($6). We were really curious about their fried chicken steam bun and we were pleasantly surprised with a tasty, crispy, tart, tangy and all around delicious fried chicken wrapped in a perfectly sized steam bun cake. The sauce on top had us guessing after every bite to the point that we started picking all the little mustard like seeds to find out its true identity. This was just a tasting of the fried chicken and we will be back for Thursday Night Korean Fried Chicken Night!

Fried Chicken Steamed Buns

Fried Chicken Bun

The kim chi tasted just like Mike's! Spicy, tart, a little fishy and all around yummy!

Side of Kim Chi

With Boke Bowls base ramen bowls starting at around $9 with additional costs for add-ons and all the yummy steam buns, it could be easily dubbed Broke Bowl, but we'll be saving our pennies to come back to Boke Bowl soon!

Boke Bowl Logo

Menu Board

Long Open Kitchen

Housemade Hot Sauce

Order Number and Condiments

Boke Bowl Lit Sign

Boke Bowl 1028 SE Water Avenue Portland, Oregon 503.719.5698 10am - 3 pm Monday-Saturaday Boke Bird 5pm - 9:30pm Thursdays

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