Photos/Guchi's Midnight Ramen
For months, Boston has been talking about Guchi's Midnight Ramen, a rumored ramen pop-up in the works from several O Ya chefs. Now, the venture is getting ready to launch. On Sunday and Monday, Guchi's will host its first test runs, for friends such as Barbara Lynch (Menton, No. 9 Park), Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa/Toro), and John Gertsen (Drink).
Yes, the ramen feasts really will be held at midnight. For its test events, the Guchi's crew will take over Bondir in Cambridge. When Guchi's launches for public consumption, it will take place in different restaurants and more offbeat locations around town. The people behind the project hope to host events every other week. (Eventually, the pop-ups may lead to a more permanent situation.)
The crew consists of four people. There are three chefs who currently or have worked at O Ya: Yukihiro Kawaguchi (a.k.a. Guchi) runs the line there; he conceptualizes and creates the broth for Guchi's. Mark O'Leary is also on the line, doing prep, at O Ya; he is Guchi's noodle mastermind. And Tracy Chang, who spent a year at O Ya and recently returned from a stint at Michelin 3 star restaurant Martin Berasategui in Spain, works on other aspects of ramen creation, as well as dessert. The fourth person is Vilas Dhar, a lawyer who works on community entrepreneurship and development. "I'm trying to build a culture of entrepreneurial food around Boston," says Dhar, who was behind local pop-up Dore Creperie. (He is also contemplating an underground supper club.)
As for the ramen, everything is made from scratch, from soup to noodles. The menu will shift frequently, always centered on some form of ramen; broth and toppings will change. Sunday's practice event, for instance, will feature three courses: a bun filled with pork belly, a big bowl of ramen, and a dessert such as granita or green tea cookies, as well as a treat to take home. "Guchi is this very focused sushi and sashimi chef who comes up with dishes at O Ya," Dhar says. "His family has a noodle shop in Japan. We are going back to the simplicity of ramen, with the level of execution all these chefs have."
The food will be accompanied by tea and Japanese beer, depending on the license of the host venue. To attend, people will purchase tickets. Unlike some other ticket-based restaurants, the ramen nights will be reasonably priced. (At least until the scalpers arrive.) "This will be a very low-cost, accessible thing for anyone who loves ramen and is out and looking for adventure," Dhar says.
So when will the first public Guchi's Midnight Ramen pop-up take place? Start practicing your slurping skills. It won't be long.
In the meantime, here are some new photos to tide you over:
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ContributorsSheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.
Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.