Monday, November 14, 2016

AGU Ramen Bistro

As soon as Carl from Ramen in Common posted a soft opening notice, I was super excited. 
 Even though it's a trek for me, the curiosity killed the cat and got me to trek out that way.  
To start, got Gyoza.  Ironically, our ramen came before the appetizer, but once it got here, you can taste that it was fresh.  I can't detect any frozen bits, heck, they even pan fry them to be crispy at the bottom.  The inside filling I haven't quite made up my mind just yet, but it is ground pork with cabbage.  And I don't dislike either of those, just something about the combo made me do a double take in a very neutral kinda of way.
 Tonkotsu Ramen is their game and the owner is from Okinawa, so they try to stick to as traditional as possible but with their own spin.   I got the Kotteri Tonkotsu, which means, it is pork-bone broth, with pork char siu, 60 degree egg, fried garlic chips, black garlic oil, bamboo, and scallion.  Price is $14, which is higher than normal, but worth the money.

So, you have to watch the exclusive interview Carl had w/ the owner of Agu.  The owner was describing how they made their ramen.  Soup is cooked for 22 hrs, chicken broth for 9 hrs, char siu cooked for 18hrs, and you can taste it.  As suggested, I tasted the broth by itself, then again after mixed everything all up.  You can tell there's texture to the soup, they really did put in the time.   Noodles is a little different than the ones you get around town, but the soup is really why you're here for.  They give you 2 pieces of pork, which as your chopstick touch it falls apart.  It does blend it.  Again, you're here to taste their broth, which I do, and frankly, the only ramen place that after I finished with my noodles, I went back to slurp the soup.  The other place I do that was at Ninja Ramen.  The difference here is that the noodles is not as elastic, but definitely egg-y.  Soup is cooked longer here and everything does go well, all but the egg.  You can definitely tell the food is not same ingredients that the other restaurants uses.  As a matter of fact, if you watch the video, a lot of their ingredients are shipped here.  Definitely something different.

This place just soft open since Friday, November 11; and it is already busy and packed.  While we were there right at lunch time, as the time progress, more and more people showed up and waiting for a table.  That said, there were a lot of 2-tops and they weren't filled but since it's the weekend, people came in droves.  I know it's soft opening, but currently, they have 3 staff at the front of the house and 2 in the back.  The 3 staff up front is the host, bust, server, and the 2 cooks are doing EVERYTHING in the back.  So, things are a tad slow, and they are short-handed.  But I see great things for them once they're fully up and going.  Definitely go back.  

Agu a Ramen Bistro
1809 Eldridge Pkwy So
Houston, TX77077

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