Portland’s Ramen Hotspot

By Jubilee Lopez '14

  • Pork belly steamed buns ($9). (Photo: Jubilee Lopez '15)
  • Pork rice bowl ($9). (Photo: Jubilee Lopez '15)
  • Pork ramen bowl ($10). (Photo: Jubilee Lopez '15)
  • Boke Bowl on a Saturday night. (Photo: Jubilee Lopez '15)

Ramen shops are popping up all over Portland, and Boke Bowl offers a Pacific Northwest twist on traditional-style ramen.

Located in the Southeast Waterfront industrial area on Water Ave. (about six blocks from OMSI), Boke Bowl has been around for four years and has finally begun to take off.

Last weekend three friends and I visited Boke Bowl on a Saturday night just before closing. The spacious restaurant was pleasantly busy with about two thirds of the seats filled. We waited in a short line to order, paid, then took our wooden numbers to a long table that cuts the clean, orange and white (think Ikea mixed with Little Big Burger) eating area in half.

I ordered the pork rice bowl ($9) and was pleased to see a large bowl filled with moist white rice, seasoned and slow-smoked pulled pork, pickles, squash, kimchi (Korean-style pickled cabbage), and sprouts set down in front of me within fifteen minutes.

A friend enjoyed a large bowl of pork ramen ($10) that had all the same ingredients but with steaming broth and thick house noodles instead of rice.

Though the price for ramen is exactly the same as Portland’s newest ramen shop, Boxer Ramen, Boke Bowl has a broader menu than its competition.

The pork steamed buns ($9) came last in a ceramic container that held three fist-sized fluffy buns filled with pork belly glazed in a sweet-sour Korean teriyaki sauce and topped with sliced green onions.

Overall, the food came promptly and was warm and flavorful.

As its website states, “The restaurant is closed to the public Monday – Wednesday nights in anticipation of hosting your birthday, holiday party, office party, wedding reception, or any other event you may have in mind.” The restaurant offers both onsite as well as off-site catering to both small and large parties.

Be sure to visit Boke Bowl next time you have a hankering for some quality Portland-infused Korean cuisine.

1028 SE Water Ave. Portland, OR 9712,

http://bokebowl.com/

Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wednesday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.