Lines formed outside Octane Coffee in Grant Park whenever chef and restaurateur Guy Wong of Miso Izakaya served ramen at his pop-up called Ton Ton. After all, it was winter, and what could be better than a steaming bowl of broth of noodles? Fast forward a couple of years. No longer a pop-up, Ton Ton Ramen now has a permanent home at Ponce City Market.
The setting is fast-casual with a long bar offering bowls of ramen and other Japanese bites. No alcohol is served but guests are allowed to buy a drink elsewhere and enjoy it at the restaurant.
LC and I made a spontaneous stop recently. It was quite late and we were ravenous. We started with orders of steamed edamame and gyoza. Both arrived while he ran across the hall to Minero for cocktails. Expertly steamed with a sprinkling of course salt, the bright green pods yielded tender beans which we quickly devoured.
Gyoza can be prepared in a variety of ways. My favorite version is pan fried after being steamed so the wrappers are crispy instead of sticky. Although Ton Ton’s gyoza are simply steamed, the flavor of these dumplings was excellent. Filled with pork, we dipped them in soy sauce with rice vinegar, sesame seeds, and scallions mixed in.
We decided to share the tonkotsu ramen, a steaming bowl of unctuous pork bone broth with pork belly, menma (bamboo shoots), spinach, scallions, noodles and half a soft boiled egg. A chili garlic bomb topping added lots of heat to the savory broth. We slurped up the last noodle just as the kitchen was closing.
675 Ponce de Leon Avenue 404-883-3507