Slurping Turtle: Restaurant Review

After my (10 Mile) Race this past weekend, I was ready for some serious food.

I have been wanted to visit the Slurping Turtle for sometime now, and had not quite convinced Pat to go there with me yet on a date night.  Well fortunately my “Best-Mate” (Best friend + roommate) Case is just as adventurous with food as I am, and I have been forcing her to watch episodes of Top Chef with me this season.  That combined with Slurping Turtles amazing reviews (both online, and from friends), I have been dying to get here and feast on some ramen.  So this desire combined with Casey backing me, on top of I did a race was a recipe for me to finally make it here!!!


The restaurant is in the trendy “River North” neighborhood which boasts a lot of amazing food, and bars.  The set up of the restaurant is really really cool- we were lucky enough to snag a booth right by the window.

We did have a short wait, but let’s emphasize the short- and it was well worth it for the booth we got.

For those of you who do not know how Top Chef plays into this- the Executive Chef of Slurping Turtle (Aaron Cuschieri) was on this current season of Top Chef.  ADDITIONALLY he is originally from Michigan- I mean how much better can it get?  We did see him there… and all three of us were kind of fan-girling (I guess Pat was technically fan-duding) and even if Pat doesn’t want to admit it- we all thought it was effing legit as all hell.

Our service was spot on, our server explained things on the menu really well.  Casey and both ordered some Sapporo (beer) neither of us had ever had it before, we told the server what kind of beer we liked, he made that recommendation- we were most pleased.

I ordered the Tonkotsu, Casey had the Short Rib Shoyu Ramen, and Pat ordered the Katsu-don.

Shoyu Ramen
Shoyu Ramen

We all really really loved what we ordered!!  Casey and I destroyed our noodle dishes, (I took a nap after), and Pat’s dish somehow tasted like an Asian version of Chicken fried steak.

I’m happy to formally report that this restaurant lived up to all of the hype.  Don’t let the menu descriptions or use of the word “Ramen” fool you- this is not your basic “noodle” brick I dined on so frequently as a youth.  These noodles were “homemade”, and essentially badass.  Casey and I are already planning our trips back, and the different cocktails we will try (they have an appealing cocktail list), as well as the different items we we will try as well (I think next time she and I go we will try the Bento box with some hot and cold tapas- but we will see) .

I am also formally happy to recommend this place to others.  Again do not let menu descriptions be put-offish- this food is delicious for both the adventurous eater, as well as the eater who cherishes classics.  Depending on your preference I would suggest going either prior to or follow the lunch or dinner rush.  We arrived around 1-1:30 on a Saturday, and the place was packed but we were lucky enough to snag a table right by the window.

We managed to find time for some slurp shots
We managed to find time for some “slurp shots”

Whether you are a Chicago resident or traveling here, I strongly recommend this place- especially on a cold day!!

**Please note that all opinions regarding Slurping Turtle are my own.  The only thing that influenced me to say what I did above was the food I gobbled down last weekend.  🙂

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