Arts restaurant review

A casual sort of ruckus

Ruckus serves up delicious noodle dishes in a casual setting

9229 the dope yolk   lior hirschfeld
The Dope Yolk is a Ruckus starter dish.
Courtesy of Ruckus

Pan-Asian Noodle House, $$
5 Tyler St
Boston, MA 02111
Monday–Sunday 11 a.m.–9 p.m.

Ruckus, the pan-Asian noodle house located in Chinatown, is a casual spot for a delicious meal. When you walk in, you order up front and then take a seat at one of the multiple counters. The lighting and music give the restaurant a quirky but funky vibe, and one white painted brick wall gives a slight rustic feel. I found the music enjoyable. It was at a level where I could still hear everything my friend said but felt that our conversation couldn’t be overheard by others.

After a short wait, my friend and I got our meal. I got the Kake Udon and my friend got the Tokyo Style Ramen. Both were good, but the udon was definitely better. It had braised short rib that was incredibly tender, and the noodles were hearty and filling. The only negative part about the dish was the shaved seaweed garnish on top. While I have no problem with seaweed, the garnish was rather large and tangled together. When I tried to mix it in, it turned into a massive clump that wasn’t pleasant to eat. I would have preferred having either a smaller garnish, or having it mixed in beforehand and spread throughout the dish. 

As for the ramen, I wasn’t as impressed. The ramen seemed rather bland and the broth wasn’t as rich as the udon dish, though I will be the first to admit that I prefer udon noodles over ramen. But I’m afraid that if these two dishes went head to head in each category, the braised short rib in the udon dish would definitely win out over the pork belly that accompanied the ramen. 

The menu is more on the limited side with only six main dishes. There is one dish marked as spicy, one tofu dish, and two mains that feature watercress. If you are allergic to seafood, five of the six dishes have fish in the broth, so it might be better to find another place if you want more options. For pricing, all the main dishes are over $14, so it’s by no means a cheap, broke college student kind of dinner spot. I also felt that for the price, I would’ve liked a slightly larger portion, but I didn't leave still feeling hungry. 

With a party of two, it was easy to find seating, however, if you are considering going with a group larger than three people, I’d suggest going elsewhere. The dining area is primarily countertop space, which is fine for two people, but with larger groups, it can become awkward as you wouldn’t be able to talk to everyone easily and getting an entire group seated together would heavily depend on other customers. Even if there are five or six seats available, odds are that those seats aren’t together, and there is only one counter that could accommodate more than three people so that they can face one another. When my friend and I ate at Ruckus on a Saturday evening around 5 p.m., it was not too busy and a larger group would have been able to find seating. However, any busier, and it wouldn’t have been possible. 

Overall, Ruckus was a nice treat. The food was good and not too pricey for a night out. The vibe of the restaurant was pleasant, and the experience was enjoyable, so while I wasn’t blown away by the whole adventure off campus, I’d recommend going there as a fun date night or dinner with one or two friends.