I finally got to try Aji Ramen Bar for a small birthday dinner. We all really liked it! Here’s the breakdown:
Located in the Shackleford shopping area, between Star of India and Jason’s Deli, this is an easy spot to hit up in Little Rock.
The inside is small, with mostly tables for 2-4 and a bar. We were lucky to find one table to fit all 6 of us.
The menu can be found on their Facebook page, in the link above. It not only has seven types of ramen to choose from (and an all-vegetarian one not listed on the menu with veggie broth, broccoli, and fried tofu!), it also has two rice bowls. Plus, there are many unique appetizers to check out, if ramen is not your thing.
Description: 5 fried octopus balls, served with green onions and creamy sauce.
Unsure of what to expect, we first tried these fried octopus balls. While I’m not a fan of octopus, the picture on the menu looked too good to pass up.
These bite-size balls are covered with, what I can only imagine are thinly sliced fish, flakes that are still moving…and they don’t stop! They smelled pretty fishy. However, the toppings, sauces, and the balls were a delicious combination. Nothing tasted fishy about this dish.
The texture inside was soft, almost like mochi, with a crunchy exterior and a small piece of octopus in the middle. These were very unique and tasty. I suggest you give them a try.
Vegetable Croquette, $4.95
Description: Fried mashed potatoes mixed with vegetables.
These pretty large croquettes were very good! Very crunchy on the outside, and extremely creamy with mashed potatoes mixed with a few veggies in the middle. They come with what I assume is a “yum yum sauce” and some shredded lettuce. Everyone loved these.
*My friend also tried the steam bun with pork belly and loved them! She said the pork belly was melt-in-your-mouth. I will definitely try these next time.
T1 Cha-Siu Ramen, $10.95
Description: Rich, creamy pork broth with pork belly, soft boiled egg, green onion, black mushroom, corn, seaweed, and chili hair.
This ramen was delicious! The broth was more flavorful than any other ramen broth I’ve tried around central Arkansas (I’ve tried about 3 others). The noodles had a perfect chew. The pork was tender. The eggs weren’t overcooked, like they sometimes are. The chili hair was a nice addition to give just a tiny bit of heat and flavor. The rest of the toppings were pretty typical, and created a great bowl of ramen! I will definitely get this again!
*They also give you some red chili paste if you want to add heat to your ramen. I added the smallest amount, maybe a teaspoon, and it brought the heat! It was perfect for me, but be careful with this stuff. A little goes a long way!
The space is small, and was packed when we arrived for a Tuesday dinner at 6:30, but it had cleared out around 7:30-8:00.
The service was extremely helpful. The waiter asked if we had any questions, he explained everything we inquired about in detail. Our waters were never empty. And they were FAST! We got our appetizers in lightening speed and right after, our ramen arrived. Great for a quick lunch!
If you haven’t given this place a try, you’re missing out.