Grill Thrill

Chicken wings and other joys at Slurping Turtle

The Sunday noodle menu at Bucktown's Takashi has long been the city's best source of ramen.

As expected, then, the new tori ramen ($13) on the menu at Slurping Turtle, chef Takashi Yagihashi's just-opened River North restaurant, is one fine bowl of noodles.

Grilled organic chicken, vegetables, springy noodles and a soft-cooked egg are enveloped in long-simmered, collagen-rich pork-and-chicken broth, with an extra dose of umami from anĀ infusion of bonito and kombu. Tokyo-style shoyu ramen, with braised pork and fish cake, can be had too.

But the bite that most grabbed us at our recent meal was far simpler: a chicken wing that's salted, misted with sake, and passed across the binchotan charcoal grill.

The wings arrived, two to a plate ($3.50), with a trace of char and sprinkle of coarse salt. We bit, we audibly moaned and we promptly ordered another round.

Buried in a long list of grilled delights, including chicken heart, miso-lacquered black cod and foie gras, the wings can easily be overlooked. This would be a mistake.

Curry croquettes ($7) deserve a nod too. The Japanese penchant for curry is often lost in Western translation, and these creamy fried parcels are an excellent taste of the tradition.

Slurping Turtle, 116 W. Hubbard St.; 312-464-0466 or slurpingturtle.com