My #1 was fabulous. The housemade noodles were the perfect texture with goodies galore—green onion, bamboo shoots, woodear mushroom, egg, seaweed, and red ginger. Yet, the star of the show was the pork broth. Chen and his team perfected it with all the balanced elements of flavor: salt, sweet, umami.
The name of the game with poke bowls is both fish freshness and texture variety, and Fun Bowl nails it. The #8 boasts ahi tuna, mango, avocado, English cucumber, edamame, corn, and seaweed salad, while #13 includes an adventurous combination of tuna, salmon, blue crab, English cucumber, red onion, jalapeño, avocado, corn, edamame, and seaweed salad. In both cases the fish was very fresh and the textures were playful. I was particularly impressed with the ripeness of the man-
It's worth mentioning the portions are very large, and the value is insane at Fun Bowl. All ramen and poke range between $10.95 and $13.95 without add-ons. Also, it's definitely possible to get at least one meal and a snack out of it. There isn't any alcohol on the beverage menu—just iced teas and Coke products (yes, Coke, not Pepsi, as one of my girlfriends thought a worthy mention since many local restaurants lean toward supporting our state brand). Despite the fact that I would rather be doing most things with a beer in my hand, I wasn't bothered by the absence of booze. And, if I felt like I needed it, I would get my noods to go. Because what says "couch food" better than a big ol' bowl of noodles and broth? If you think of something let me know.
In the customization process, diners can choose from five sauces and three bases. One of the base options is spring mix, which would be perfect for a lighter option on a hot day. I'm not really a poke person because I don't love the texture of raw fish, but Fun Bowl made me a believer because the pieces were bite-sized.
9/11 ART AND WINE AT WATERLINE 6-8PM
9/12 JAKE NEWMAN DUO 6-8PM
Thirsty Thursday! $3 Select Pints! Poor Piggy’s BBQ, 6-8pm
The gals and I split to four corners of the menu going for #1 Fun Bowl Ramen with pork chashu, #7 Spicy Kimchi Ramen with pork chashu, #8 Fun Bowl with brown rice and Sriracha mayo, and #13 House Fun Bowl with sushi rice and Sriracha mayo.
Costar to the broth was the half softboiled egg perched on top of the noodle bowl. It tasted like it was preserved in soy sauce, which is a restaurant savvy move as far as cost goes. It was absolutely delicious, not to mention cooked with a perfectly medium yolk. The #7 Spicy Kimchi Bowl boasted similar strengths and the addition of corn and kimchi for a sweetspicy complement. The pork broth in the #7 had noticeably more sesame oil in the mix, a welcome taste to the spicy bowl.
go in the #8. Under-ripe mango can be a fibrous mess that tastes like it met a tropical fruit once. Fun Bowl made sure it was fresh, succulent, juicy, and an excellent teammate alongside its co-ingredients.
9/13 MAC & JUICE 8-10PM
But it was time to move on to the main events, ramen and poke.
It had a restrained sesame presence that gave it a "chef's kiss" of nuttiness. They could have cooked shoe laces in this broth and I would have gladly slurped them up and asked for seconds. The textures in the dish all married beautifully, too, providing crunch, chew and creaminess at every turn.
9/14 RANDY MCQUAY 8-10PM
However, the mantou bun made up for the lackadaisical salad experience. The Chinese have a few types of steamed buns: bao, served either sweet or savory, and round with a flat base, and mantou, usually served plain and round with flat sides. The mantou were perfection, made a little flatter and used to create a delicious Chinese slider filled with sweet, chewy Berkshire pork belly. Snappy, fresh cucumbers, spring greens, and a salty, umami sesame sauce filled the sweet, chewy steam bun. I could have eaten a six pack. Heck, give me 12. I like a challenge.
Captain Bill’s Brew Food, 6-9pm Salty Sistas, 6-9pm
9/15 YOGA: Soulshine Flow w/Devan 11AM JENNY LYNN 4-6PM MICHAEL EASKINS VIDEO RELEASE 6-8PM A&Ms Red Food Truck, 3pm
721 Surry Street Wilmington waterlinebrewing.com
Located Under The Cape Fear Memorial Bridge Free parking & brewery tours. Wine & cider are available.
until September 15 encore | september 11 - september 17, 2019 | www.encorepub.com 33
Your alternative weekly voice in Wilmington, NC for 35 years.