Scenes from the First Installment of Guchi's Midnight Ramen

Last night, O Ya chefs Yukihiro Kawaguchi and Mark O'Leary took over Bondir for a late-night ramen pop-up.

A bowl of ramen, Guchi’s Midnight Ramen-style. All photos by Leah Mennies

In November, I told you about Guchi’s Midnight Ramen, a collaboration between O Ya chefs Yukihiro Kawaguchi and Mark O’Leary (with help from O Ya alum Tracy Chang). Last night marked the hotly anticipated debut ramen dinner, an invite-only tasting with industry folk including Colin Lynch of Menton, Jamie Bissonnette of Toro and Coppa, and John Gertsen of Drink, which took place at 12:30 am at Bondir in Cambridge.

I was lucky enough to snag an invite as well, and in the name of research I braved the cold and ate what may have been the latest three-course meal I have ever consumed. (I didn’t get home until 3 a.m.) I have to admit, it was definitely worth it. Ahead, a look at what’s in store for those lucky enough to hit up a future Guchi’s ramen pop-up.

In the small quarters of the Bondir kitchen, Yukihiro “Guchi” Kawaguchi (right) and Mark O’Leary assemble steaming hot bowls of ramen.

The finished bowls, complete with flavorful char siu pork, toothsome handmade noodles, bamboo shoots, egg, and scallions, all within an awesomely salty, cloudy broth. The team also made what they called “umami oil,” a mushroom-packed, slightly spicy substance served in small jars in the dining room — this added an extra layer of flavor to the ramen (and I think I would eat it on just about anything.)

Before the ramen made it out to the tables, guests each got a steamed pork bun filled with pork belly, cucumber, and cilantro.

Chef Jamie Bissonnette (Toro, Coppa) houses a big mouthful of noodles.

Want to go to the next pop-up? The location and date is as of yet undecided, but keep tabs on the above info to snag a spot the next time around.

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