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Downtown Bites: Roped into Loving Ramen

The next time you’re not sure where to eat, think ramen. Ichicoro is St. Pete’s new ramen restaurant, situated underneath the Station House on 1st Ave. South. It’s easy to miss, but after you’ve eaten there, you’ll always know where to find the red neon sign. The restaurant is modern, minimalist and rustic with wooden beams as the main decoration. Behind a long dining counter, customers can watch the chefs in the kitchen. The whole space smells of the smoky flavors you’ll taste in a bowl of ramen.

If you’re not super familiar with ramen, like me, the menu can look very intimidating. Descriptions of the dishes lead to more questions, as the Japanese ingredients may be unfamiliar. Trust your gut, it will thank you after you’ve finished eating. I got the Shio Ramen. Noodles swimming in a chicken broth with grilled chicken and chives. There’s a seasoned egg, nori (or seaweed), and bamboo shoots.

I’d only had ramen on one separate occasion, so I basically ordered blindly.

 

Ichicoro is St. Pete’s new ramen restaurant, situated underneath the Station House on 1st Ave. Photo courtesy of Ambria Whalum/Connect.

No lie, the Shio is a little weird. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever eaten. The bamboo shoots are packed with flavor and the nori melts down into the broth. The chicken had soft spots but was crunchy at the same time. The noodles went on for miles in the salty broth. After the first few bites, I didn’t know how to feel, but then my taste buds turned down a road I never knew existed and the next thing I knew, I was just shoveling everything into my mouth.

I paid $13 for a bowl, which may seem a tad pricey, but it’s so worth it. The aesthetic of the restaurant is appealing in and of itself, but the ramen is will suck you in. The restaurant offers other small plates like bao (steamed buns filled with meats and veggies) and and yakitori skewers (Japanese grilled chicken).

They are only open after 5 p.m. so it’s definitely a place to come and unwind after work or after an evening class. As for me, it’s a new place to fuel a newfound ramen craving.

Ichicoro’s hours are 5-11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 5 p.m.- 12 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Their Ramen room is open from 5 p.m.- 12 a.m. Monday through Wednesday and 5 p.m.- 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

All photos courtesy of Ambria Whalum/Connect.

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