On chilly days, there’s nothing better to eat than something that’s warm, comforting, and flavorful. If you’re looking for a lunch that totally delivers on all three fronts, you should probably head up to Meshikou Ramen.
Nestled in a shopping center on Bethel Road, Meshikou is a tiny space serving up delicious ramen, sake, and more. If you’ve ever mentioned even a passing interest in ramen to people in Columbus before, there’s a very good chance that Meshikou has been suggested to you.
That’s for a good reason. The restaurant opened a few years ago, but they’ve quickly earned a loyal following. The quality and consistency are always great, whether you’re dining in or ordering carry out and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable.
The portion sizes are generous, on both appetizers and ramen dishes, so if you’re thinking of getting an app and you’ve got company, consider sharing.
To kick our Meshikou adventure off, we ordered some appetizers: the K.F.C. wings and the Barbecue Chashu Bun.
The wings were perfectly fried and then tossed in a sweet garlic soy sauce. They were crispy and juicy and kind of embarrassingly messy to eat in public, which I consider a mark of a great chicken wing. They were also massive.
If you’re wondering why the fried chicken at Meshikou is so delicious, you should pop next door to their Korean Fried Chicken joint to find out. Also, that’s what the K.F.C. stands for.
The Barbecue Chashu Bun appetizer came with two steamed buns stuffed with pork belly, spring greens, mayo, and sweet & spicy pickle, and they were amazing. As far as appetizers go, they’re pretty filling, so if you end up eating both, be prepared to ask for a takeout container for your leftover ramen. These buns were so good that if they had been the only thing on the menu I ate, I would have left a happy camper.
Luckily for me, there was still ramen to come.
I ordered the Spicy Miso Paitan Ramen with pork belly and not only did it look beautiful, but it also tasted phenomenal. The flavors were so perfectly balanced, giving me the perfect spicy-but-not-too-hot way to warm myself up on a chilly February day.
If you don’t eat ramen (which you should definitely at least try) there are some other options on the menu. I highly recommend the Karaage Rice bowl. This marinated chicken is flash fried and then served over white rice, topped with unagi sauce and spicy mayo.
I can’t say enough about how fantastic Meshikou is at frying chicken. Although I went for ramen this time, I will absolutely be stopping into Meshikou Chikin to treat myself to some more of this perfectly fried chicken.
I had such an enjoyable experience at Meshikou and I genuinely cannot wait to go back. Hype can build unrealistic expectations, and this restaurant has certainly been hyped. But I couldn’t have been more impressed. Meshikou Ramen is located at 1506 Bethel Rd. You can check out their menu at meshikou.com.