By Anna Ing
In 2013, the ramen burger was born and now it has arrived in the Boston area. Located conveniently near the Boston University campus, Ki Bistro, a small and unpretentious take out locale, is home to this delicious burger novelty, which uses savory ramen noodles to create the signature ramen burger bun.
I ordered the Kimchi Burger ($5.95) with the ramen bun, which came with a juicy beef patty. The kimchi, made from scratch, was not overly spicy. If you want the usual kick, you won’t find it.
Next was the Stuffed Cheesy Hamburger ($6.25) with the ramen bun, one of their top sellers. The ramen bun on this burger was a bit difficult to eat. It was not as crispy as expected, and was even unseasoned and soft in some parts due to the sauce and meat. The rest of the burger, which includes cheese, peppers and caramelized onions, was fabulously paired with an aioli sauce, or garlic mayonnaise.
The Banh Mi burger ($5.95) also made for a delicious meal, particularly when paired with a fried egg (cage free and $1 extra) with runny egg yolk. Unfortunately, the burger and sauce overpowered the pickled vegetables, jalapeños and cilantro rather than complementing the flavors.
My companion raved over the teriyaki chicken on a hot dog roll. The teriyaki sauce impressed by not coming across as too sweet or overpowering, with the right amount drizzled on the chicken. On the downside, she missed the cheese in the description and found it to be unwelcome.
We ended our culinary adventure with the Pulled Pork Burger ($5.95): Asian-style pulled pork in a special sauce along with pickled veggies. The soft, eggy brioche bun contrasts well with the saucy meat, though the pickled veggies were lost in the shuffle again. We paired it with sweet potato fries ($3.25), which gave good crunch with flavor.
For drinks, we enjoyed the iced Vietnamese coffee ($2.95), pleasantly sweetened by condensed milk. If you’re a fan of green tea lattes, they serve it hot, and it was not bad up until the end, when it became too bitter to finish. The coffee mocha was not available on my visit.
Aside from the food, the owners are friendly, hardworking and receptive to ideas. They are working on having daily specials to add more variety to the menu. The ramen for the buns is specially ordered and the beef is high quality. If you want the rice bun, you need to order 24 hours in advance as it is time consuming to make. Be aware that the ramen bun, rice bun and other fixings such as fried egg are all an extra charge ($1 to $1.50). Everything is, however, made to order.
After three visits, I am nowhere near done with Ki Bistro — I still need to try the rice and noodle bowls. This restaurant is definitely worth checking out if you are even the slightest bit curious about the unique concept of a “ramen burger.”
270 Babcock Street
Boston, MA 02215
This post is also available in: Chinese