Order: The Ramen Burger- Sirloin Burger topped with Banana Pepper, Aged Cheddar & Fried Celery on a Ramen Bun.
Rating: 3/5 fist pumps
The concept of a noodle bun burger is not uncommon. But it’s hard to do well. Noodles were not meant to be served in bun form, how could a bun made of noodles hold up under the destructive power of hot burger drippings? Would they overcook the burger to ensure that the noodle bun wasn’t compromised? I did not have high hopes going into this restaurant. I figured Blowfish was making an entry into Burger Week simply to drive new clientele to the restaurant, and the ramen burger would be too ambitious to execute well.
I went to Blowfish with my friend Andrew. You may remember him from such posts as the Charcut visit. Andrew is a great burger buddy, as his knowledge of food stretches way beyond mine. Plus, if you ever need a suggestion of a good beer pairing, Andrew is never short of suggestions. Finally, his company is delightful. So if you know Andrew, go ahead, ask him to dinner.
We got to Blowfish and staked out one of few tables left. Much like Diner Deluxe, there was only one server and one bartender for the entire restaurant. What is with restaurants and understaffing? If you’re not running your full staff on a Friday night (when we were there), or if a full staff for Friday means one server, there is a problem. It is not fair to the overworked server and not fair to the clientele. From what I read on Urbanspoon, slow service at Blowfish is not a new occurrence, and I think their approval rating takes a beating for it.
Once we finally got our food, however, it was a pleasant surprise. I don’t know how the talented kitchen staff pull off the feat of binding noodles together, yet still keeping their crispy texture. If it was me, I’d have coated each bun in egg, but I feel like my buns would have ended up like french toast, the egg coating all the noodles and losing their texture. I didn’t taste any binding agent, I just tasted tender noodles. It was really good! I loved the use of the banana pepper, which added a great heat, without too much salt, as hot sauce can do. The burger was perfectly cooked, and the ramen bun held together as I ate it, it didn’t fall apart. There was a small side of teriyaki sauce which was great to drizzle over each bite. Side dish was a small bowl of yam tempura. It was a creative alternative to the classic side of fries, I only wish that Blowfish gave a bigger serving of them with the burger.
The burger was amazing, it is the service that results in this burger being rated only 3/5. Service has a huge impact on my dining experience. I would love to come back to Blowfish and sample the rest of their menu, however, if I’m going to have to wait 20 some minutes after the end of my meal to get the check, I think I’ll skip it. The burger was delicious, well cooked and very creative, very deserving of accolades, but they’re going to have to employ more staff before I go for a repeat visit.
Hope you had a great burger week! I know I did. Stay hungry.