This year we’ve had some seriously bomb pop-ups come through Boston, and somehow I was lucky enough to hit up two over the last couple weeks. I guess I’ll kick off my FOMO inducing recaps with Guchi’s Midnight Ramen, which I’d been hearing about for a few months now, mostly in regards to how impossible it is to land a ticket. So naturally, you can imagine my surprise when a friend casually asked if I wanted to volunteer at the most recent event. Ummmmm, let me think… yes?! (If you aren’t too familiar with Guchi yet, you can get the full story on the concept and the amazing team who bring it all to life here) This time around it was going down on Marathon Monday at The Gallows in the South End.
Tickets usually go for $25 each, with enough servings for a total of 60 guests (so you can see why this thing sells out so quickly). The menu is simple, pork buns to start followed by your choice of ramen.
Yum yum pork bun! It’s no secret, I lahvs the pork. This one came braised in soy, rice wine, ginger, and star anise, served on a bao bun accompanied by a quick pickle, cilantro and roasted peanuts. Normally you get one, but I couldn’t help it, I ate 3. Luckily it wasn’t enough to spoil my craving for Ramen.
The Ramen – noodles made with a medley of flours, giving it just the right bite. The broth, your choice of a Shio Tare salt-base or the soy-based Shoyu Tare — throw in a mix of pickled bamboo shoots, nori, scallion, Charsiu pork shoulder, and a six minute egg with the yoke still a bit runny and you’ve got yourself a bowl of nostalgic delight.
Reminding you of the Ramen you once loved and putting it to shame all at the same time, you’ll never look at the noodle dish the same way again.
Volunteering was great because it gave me an opportunity to meet the staff and see a little of what goes on behind the scenes. Here we have Yukihiro Kawaguchi, the Guchi Man himself, crafting another smile-inducing, heart-warming, stomach-satisfying bowl of Ramen.
And because the world is always a better place because of pork…
They decided to make a pork bun the size of… a frisbee? It was enormous, and I’m assuming it broke a few world records.
I must say that I’m pretty bummed I didn’t get a photo of dessert, which were Yuzu Macaroons made with a white chocolate yuzu ganache, flaky salt and black pepper. Thanks to Tracy Chang for making the delicious treats, I definitely spent hours obsessing over them as I continued to toss them in my mouth like skittles.
Overall I’d say the event was a major success. Everyone was impressed with the food, and the elusive nature of the dinner certainly adds an element of surprise and excitement you don’t get from just any dining out experience. The staffs energy was infectious, with a mix of Gallows employees, O Ya experts and a few volunteers working together to execute the whole thing. If you’re not one to go to bed early on a Sunday or Monday (which is when the pop-up usually takes place) there’s certainly no where else you’d rather be, and rumor has it that the team hopes to make this thing more of a bi-weekly affair. So make sure to follow them on twitter and keep an eye out for when the next rounds of tickets go on sale; I guarantee you will thoroughly enjoy yourself.