Food Review: Aji Ramen Bar in Little Rock

I finally got to try Aji Ramen Bar for a small birthday dinner. We all really liked it! Here’s the breakdown:

ENVIRONMENT

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.

MENU

https://www.facebook.com/Aji-Ramen-Bar-709585816084060/menu/

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.

FOOD

Takoyaki, $5.95
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!

OVERALL/SERVICE

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.

Food Review: Fassler Hall

Fassler Hall is a new hot spot in Little Rock.  Located downtown, on Capitol, right next door to Dust Bowl Lanes, it is a great spot for hanging out, drinking beer, and eating delicious food.

ENVIRONMENT

This place is HUGE. Indoor is a very open space with a very lengthy bar and also multiple tables, big and small. Then, out back there is another large patio area with many tables with large umbrellas for some shade.  This is the perfect spot for hanging out with your friends and meeting new ones.
The two times I have been here, the place was packed, but there are plenty of seats for however many people decide to show up.

MENU/FOOD

The link below shows the menu from Fassler Hall’s website:

Menu

In short, this is a German-themed restaurant. There are many different sausages to try, from traditional bratwurst to a lamb or chicken sausage. All are house-made as well. While I’ve been here twice so far, I  have yet to try any sausages. I will! but everything else looks so good!

There are also appetizers, like duck fat fries, house-made pork rinds, and pretzels. I’ve tried the pretzels…they are pretty good and come with a side of mustard. And two for $6 isn’t bad!

They also have a couple sandwiches (schnitzels mostly) and a haus salad that is delicious. I added falafel to mine ($9 total) and they were very tasty and the salad was very large. Great deal in my book.

However, the star of the menu has to be their entrees, which come with two sides. I’ve tried the schnitzel and it was phenomenal. Dare I say, even better than The Pantry’s. It is very large, cooked perfectly and covered in this delicious mushroom gravy.
For the sides, I tried the sweet potato spaetzle, which was too sweet in my opinion, and the roasted Brussels sprouts. The sprouts are served cold (on purpose), which was very odd, but they were very good. Still, I’m going to have to try new sides next time- like the duck fat fries. I stole one off a friend’s plate and they are killer. SO crispy!

They also have a pretzel bread pudding and some brunch options like tacos and biscuits.

I can’t talk about this place without mentioning the beer!
There are plenty of options here. Even if you don’t like beer, they also serve wine.  But the beer here is the point. They have a few Euro and German drafts, German bottles, but plenty of other bottles available. The issue is they are not cheap. I paid $6.50 for a bottle. To me, that’s too expensive. I think the best deal is to get a Litre of one of their drafts, which will run you somewhere between  $8-$14.

Even if you don’t go for the beer, check this place out for the food and the fun environment. Heads up: it will probably be packed, and the service will then be slow. But that’s okay! You’re there to be laid back and spend time with friends…and to try that schnitzel.