April 12th, 2013

Backbar, Somerville

Backbar is a strange place; you go down an alley in Union Sq, walk in to the back of a building, through a dark hall and emerge in a cool, small space that feels like a members only club. They serve specialty cocktails and snacks, as well as an $85 omakase, if you give them 48 hours notice.

They started serving ramen in February. It is only available from 4-6pm and there is only 10 servings made a day. I went with Billy to experience it. On the website, they describe the dish: “The broth is made from pork and duck stocks, with scallops, miso and soy sauce. The noodles are made fresh daily and topped with shredded pork, runny duck eggs, scallions, and bamboo shoots.”

My soup came and the first thing I noticed is that it wasn’t hot enough. I don’t need it burning hot, the way Mama Tsoi likes her soup, but lukewarm was insufficient. I liked the springiness of the noodles, but there was not enough broth to enjoy them with. I thought that the duck egg added very little to the dish; a normal chicken egg would have sufficed. The bamboo shoots are very similar to the jarred pickled bamboo shoots from Chinatown I grew up eating.

I think that YumeWoKatare is a far superior bowl of ramen for the same price ($12).