Ramen Takeya review image

Ramen Takeya


819 W Fulton Market, Chicago
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By this point in your life, you probably have a group of friends with established roles. You have the childhood friend who you still love, but also sometimes ignore their calls. You have the wild friend, the one you always have a crazy time with. And then there’s the reliable friend, probably named Steve or Stephanie because those sound like safe names. You’ll always have a good time with your reliable friend, but at the same time you know your experience with that friend will be predictable.

Ramen Takeya is the restaurant equivalent of that faithful friend: you always know what to expect from it, and that's just fine. You're happy to hang with it for ramen and other Japanese dishes, and you may even have a few beers if the mood's right. You can also lean on Ramen Takeya for its accommodating yet cool environment - it's got a high-top bar which is great if you're trying to kick it and grab a drink, while the low-top ramen bar is ideal for when you want a quick meal directly in front of the cooks at work.

Their signature ramen’s are all chicken based, which means the broth is on the lighter side and not too rich. There’s a couple spicy options, but either way you have the ability to doctor the broth as you please. This customization is partially what makes Ramen Takeya feel like a safe bet – you’ll never be given something so rich or spicy it’s too much for you, but you can add ingredients to create the right end result for you.

The rest of the items on the menu are also good, so feel free to order buns, mini donburi bowls, or anything else that sounds good. Reliable friends can be hard to come by these days, and Ramen Takeya is an easygoing yet cool ramen restaurant you can always count on.

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Food Rundown

Hamachi Carpaccio

Thinly sliced hamachi in a light yuzu ponzu with chive, salmon roe, and garlic chips. The garlic chips really stand out, but otherwise it's a standard and solid dish.

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Chicken Paitan Ramen

A light chicken based ramen broth with noodles, egg, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, diced onion, and scallions. As mentioned the ramen isn’t too thick or rich, and as far as ramen goes the portions aren't huge. You'll have the choice of chicken or pork belly, and this is one of the few times we suggest chicken is absolutely the way to go - it's excellent. A spicy chicken paitan version is available, but we still don't find it all that spicy, so get a side of chili oil either way.

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Tokyo Classic Shoyu Ramen

A slightly more rich broth made from a chicken and pork combo. Also has noodles, choice of chicken or pork belly (get the chicken), egg, bamboo, spinach, naruto (the white thing with the pink spiral that inexplicably had its own emoji before tacos), scallions, and seaweed. Again, get some chili oil involved.

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Ebi Chili Bun

Two buns with gulf shrimp and a sweet and sour chili sauce. It’s like general tzo’s shrimp in a bun, and a lot heavier than you might expect.

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Fried Chicken Bun

A great piece of fried chicken and spicy mayo in a bao. Two come with every order and a great appetizer or side to share.

Ramen Takeya review image

Salmon Roe Donburi Bowl

The mini donburi bowls are simple but great, and a nice extra bit of food if you're really hungry or just looking to share. Our favorite is the generous portion of salty salmon roe over white rice.

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Strings is a great ramen shop in Chinatown.

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