By Kelli N. McClain, Contributor
Agu Ramen Bistro is a new, hip, no-nonsense Dallas ramen restaurant in Mockingbird Station, just around the corner from the Angelika Theater.
Maybe you don’t care that they are the fifth of seven planned/opened locations in Texas. Maybe it doesn’t matter that chef/owner Hisashi Uehara is from Japan and landed in Hawaii to be a haven there for Japanese comfort food. Because, let’s face it: Where ramen is concerned, the only real question is: How is that broth?
[Disclosure: Agu Ramen provided The Dallas Diva with complimentary food and drinks. The opinions here are the writer’s own.]
Everything at Agu Ramen is made from scratch, including the broths. The signature broth takes 24 hours to create, the chicken broth takes more than 9 hours and their cha-siu requires 18 hours for perfection.
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I almost ate too many appetizers to fully appreciate the ramen, but I couldn’t resist!
The Agu gyoza (above) is a dumpling filled with ground pork, cabbage and chives. It didn’t need a sauce, but I had soy sauce with mine, and it tasted delicious.
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Agucini (above) are the Dallas ramen restaurant’s take on arancini: deep-fried cheese rice balls served with a yuzu-citrus aioli that also has some heat to it! These are crunchy and cheesy, so eat them while they are hot.
Meantime, I also tried the agedashi tofu (left), and, sad to say, I still don’t like tofu but that’s just me. Try it at least once and you may like it.
It took me about 15 minutes to choose my ramen. I was almost in a panic because they all look so good! There is a pork-bone broth; a thick, heavier pork-based broth; a chicken broth; a spicy broth (pick your level of torture); and a vegetarian broth. I finally chose the chicken one, and this is was exactly what I wanted.
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Tori ramen (below) has chicken char siu, aji tamgo (soft-boiled egg), crunchy menma (bamboo shoots), fresh green onions) and nori. I gave my egg to my partner and took a swan-dive into the ramen. That first sip is smooth, flavorful and just warms you to your soul. This place is a win for Dallas ramen lovers!
I confess, after all the appetizers, I could only finish about a quarter of it. That’s OK: My partner asked for a to-go box and had lunch all set for the next day.
No reservations are required at Agu Ramen. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., but check the website for weekend times.
Agu Ramen, 5331 E. Mockingbird Lane, Ste. 125, Dallas. 214-258-6193.