by Steven Doyle photos by Joey Stewart
Last evening Top Knot hosted the final segment in its three-part series,0 Uncommon Ramen, event which benefits No Kids Hungry program. Top Knot is the modern American restaurant with Asian roots that features sharable plates with market ingredients and flavors from Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Japan. The series featured Chef Tyson Cole (January 30th), Austin BBQ magnate Aaron Franklin ((February 27th) and Jesse Houston from Saltine, a beautiful oyster bar in Jackson, Mississippi that has a sexy Asian twist, yesterday.
Each bowl of ramen reflected the cooking styles of each chef’s personality, such as Franklin’s affinity for smoked brisket – the ramen was heavy laden with the lush Texas-style meat.
This holds true to chef Jess Houston and his choice of ramen ingredients. The base was a muddied dashi broth seasoned so well and topped with a fried chicken foot, a peel of fried chicken skin, the requisite soft boiled egg, and more seasoned chicken. It was brilliant in its execution, and divine in design.
This is not chef Houston’s first hand at ramen. He offers special ramen nights at his restaurant where the bowls sell out excitingly fast.
We managed to slip in an order of our favorite hamachi crudo
The true pleasure of the bowl was watching novices in the art of chicken feet attempting their first gnaw. When it comes to chicken feet, best found at dim sum purveyors, anything soft is edible. The flavor comes from the sauce, or in case of our ramen last night, the broth. Then you will be left with a slew of bones and the satisfaction of knowing you have accomplished what most Americans find curious.
Also offered during the night was an odd hotdog wrapped in American cheese, bacon and bologna. These were wolfed up as fast as the back of the house could knock them out.
We appreciate Top Knot not only bringing interesting chefs to Dallas to challenge our pallets, but to engage us with terrific flavors. The added bonus of helping children through the No Kids Hungry program is even more satisfying.