|Address:||144 Church St, Burlington, VT 05401, USA|
|Working:||11AM–10PM 11AM–10PM 11AM–10PM 11AM–11PM 11AM–11PM 11AM–11PM 11AM–10PM|
So we went to Gaku Ramen recently for the first time. We were excited at the prospect of an authentic ramen source within an hour of us, as we have been limited to only being able to get it at a number of locations in Montreal (which we visit at least once a month). My partner also spent a significant amount of time in Japan and so has considerable first-hand experience with authentic ramen. While things seemed promising and our experience was still basically positive, things fell short of hopes and expectations and unfortunately Im not sure well be returning unless some things are addressed. The first disappointment was the menu. Nowhere on the menu was an turnkey option for actual, traditional ramen (pork chashu, scallions, nori, 1/2 egg). This immediately caused us concern. However, talking with our waiter (who was very nice), we determined we could modify in a way that wouldnt affect price. Still, any place advertising "authentic" ramen should at the bare minimum actually HAVE a traditional ramen bowl on the menu to select. If they want to offer their own creative variations and twists, that is fine and can be enjoyable... but have the basics, please. The waiter said that many people were just tossing the nori, but I dont see that as a legitimate excuse. If someone doesnt want nori, they can order one of the other ramen bowls like the menu already has, or request them to keep it off. Second disappointment was the prices. It immediately became obvious that this place was a bit over-priced. Perhaps due to being the only game in town without competition, but still. $1.75 for the additional toppings is quite high, when normally even fancy places might only charge $0.75/ea. I ordered the traditional Tonkotsu ramen. We found the broth to actually be quite light and not quite accurate, especially for the broth that is supposed to be the richer and more-savory option. The noodles (they only have 3 noodle options, for this one they put in what they just call the "thin noodles" were ok but not quite right. The prok chashu was very strange, being very thin slices like deli cuts than normal pork chunks like one would expect. Granted it wasnt as fatty, but I wasnt a fan. I also ordered a glass of sake. I got a good amount, but strangely served in a champagne flute, which felt very odd and out of place. My partner ordered the black garlic miso, with nori and egg. I actually liked her broth more than mine, finding it far more flavorful and rich. The noodles (these were the "curly noodles") were a huge disappointment, being extremely doughy and chewy. They were almost unpalatable. She was also very disappointed to only get one slice of nori, especially when youre being over-charged $1.75. We considered the karaage but didnt order it. Partially because it was too overpriced ($8!!!), but also youre only getting 4-5 oz (5-6 pieces) for that price. A shame as that is one of our favorite things to almost always order with our ramen. There was also edamame (one of my favorites) as well as gyoza which we also sometimes order, but we passed here as the cost was going up but the experience going down. Not all was bad. I definitely appreciated the location, and we felt that the decor was very sharp and nice. This is a place with a lot of potential on the surface, but really needs to work on prices and menu if they really intend to nail the "authentic ramen" thing. Right now their promises fall quite short, and you pay dearly for it. I look forward to them hopefully continuing to hear this feedback from enough other people and take it to heart, addressing their menu and prices. At that time well gladly return to give it another chance.
I just happened to be in Burlington this weekend and came across this place on my phone and thought I would give it a try. I didnt realize it was their opening night or may have thought twice about it but I am sure glad I didnt. The place was full when I arrived but they still got me down pretty quickly. I had the Tonkatsu (not sure of spelling lol) and it was as good as I have had anywhere! By the time I finished my dinner and sake (fun presentation by the way) the place was packed. Looks like Burlington just added a new long term fixture to the Church Street Marketplace area. Will certainly be back!
Stopped in on a very cold Friday night to try something different. I sat at the bar and ordered a Shrimp Ramen bowl that really hit the spot the shrimp were tender and the broth was seasoned to perfection. Seated next to me was a young woman that turned out to be the General Manager Shannon Stewart. We struck up a wide ranging conversation covering multiple subjects and best of all I received a lesson about different types of Saki the one recommended was incredible. I cant urge you enough to stop in and enjoy the experience.
The ramen was too starchy and too salty, more then if I had eaten an instant ramen. I also asked if I could have my egg boiled instead of getting a soft boiled and the chef wasnt able to fulfill my request. I was really disappointed because I watch a good amount of anime. The ramen wasnt to my liking and when I asked the workers what amine show was playing neither of them could tell me. You should play animes that your co workers know the names too and maybe something more known and popular.
Really nice location for the non-winter months. Had some appetizers as sharing plates -- the Japanese fried chicken is outstanding. Not over fried, not overly greasy, very juicy. Buns were surprisingly tasty as well. Prices are very reasonable for a Church Street location. Service was a little casual, but it looked like there was only 1-2 servers for a busy Saturday night so I dont figure its a normality.
Honestly the worst ramen Ive ever had, but to be fair Ive only had pretty good ramen throughout my life. The boiled egg was too salty and tasted completely of soy sauce. The pork was fine. The soup was fine. However, the most important part is the noodles and that was terrible. It tasted floury and it wasnt cooked properly. It wasnt "bitey" or chewy, but tasted kind of sandy.
Went on a date here, the food is amazing! The spicy tonkotsu is actually spicy, which my fiancée loved. I loved the fried rice- I was scraping the bowl into my mouth by the end of it. Its also beautiful. Gaku has a great aesthetic. The only issue I had was that it is very echoey, because theres no fabric or anything. Other than that, I cant wait to go back!
Great place, great hours, perfect for downtown Burlington. It was a tad salty but it did not take away from the experience, absolutely great ramen and I look forward to trying the rest of the menu. Also really cool beer glasses. My friends and I left Red Square around 1AM and walked in and had beer and Ramen, perfect end to the night.
Have been several times, consistently slow service, the ramen itself is marginal at best (high sodium, poor noodles/overcooked, but decent protein) , and this last time both I and my girlfriend got diarrhea right after we ate lunch. Sad because the old Ramen shop on st paul was fantastic and I miss good ramen in this town.
Pretty good food. Good ramen. Surprisingly good fried rice and gyoza. The crispy pork belly rice bowl is basically their regular fried rice with one thin slice of pork belly on top. Decent space, plenty of seperation between rooms for a slight bit more privacy than some of the restaurants in downtown Burlington.