It’s so nice to see a new restaurant open and it’s even nicer for me to be able to share my dining experiences with you lovely Ronsters. Last week i had the pleasure of experiencing the new Japanese restaurant Ooki Pavillion which resides a stones throw from the Letzigrund tram stop.
Ooki Pavillion resides in the octagonal building to the south of the Letzigrund and, as it is surrounded by gardens and grass gives a way more relaxed and spacious impression than its counterpart in Zentralstrasse. The lamps are adorned with Ooki's unique logo and, above the door, their neon sign screams Tokyo nightlife.
Once inside the layout of the restaurant gives the feeling of space with an understated elegance. And you can see how unique the building is. I must admit that, with all the hard surfaces in the room, i was concerned that it would be loud in there but, in spite of the restaurant being nearly full, it was easy to make conversation.
So…what about the food? Well primarily Ooki is a ramen restaurant and as i perused the menu i was distracted by the offerings being taken to other tables. It all looked delicious but after a few moments of consideration i took the «Avocado-Yuzu Tatar» and the «Tantanmen» for the main course.
The starter was fantastic but special mention needs to go to the Tantamen bowls. They really are a meal in themselves with noodles, vegetables and ground beef (there is a vegetarian and vegan alternative,) all mixed into a delicious spicy soup of which there are three spiciness options, «Karai» – spicy, «Sugoi karai» – mega spicy and «Yaba karai» – crazy spicy. My (very friendly,) waiter warned me against trying the «Yaba karai» but i did it anyway and he assured my that i would now be on his personal wall of fame if i completed it, which or course, i did.
Rons Tip 1: Slurping - it is pretty hard to eat a ramen bowl without some sort of suction being employed and this is exacerbated by the beautiful Japanese spoons, (or «Renge» to give them their correct name,) that the restaurant provide. Therefore slurping is permitted…nay…even encouraged. And, if you are in you best clothes they will even provide you with a rather nice bib to protect you. (It looks way better than it sounds.)
Rons Tip 2:Ooki Pavillion does not take reservations at present so be prepared for a wait before you dine. Also, as they are busy, they may ask for the table back after two hours. (but obviously not if there are no customers waiting.)
Full of chilli and, feeling mellow and contented, i paid the bill and contemplated my meal. The food was great, the surroundings beautiful and the atmosphere relaxed and friendly. The next question is, when do i go back?
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