Slurp Up – Nexto Ramen is Open in Atlanta
Respected Japanese Chef Mihoko Obunai, known for her pop-up dinners, has blessed ramen-loving Atlantans with the opening of her trendy Old Fourth Ward restaurant, Nexto. Located in an industrial-chic building directly next to Two Urban Licks, Atlanta’s new addition to the restaurant scene is giving us year-round access to Obunai’s expertly curated bowls filled with savory broth, curly noodles, crisp veggies, a soft boiled egg and exciting mix of flavorful surprises.
Although hard to resist the temptation of slurping up a big bowl of ramen immediately, start off your meal with a few of the small plates. The list of must-try items is long, including the melt-in-your-mouth Big Rock Oysters topped with sake butter ($16); fresh Wagyu Beef Tartare made with yuzu and topped with a quail egg ($14); soft Fish and Chips Buns made with crispy eel and tobiko mayo ($10); and my two personal favorites—the fresh Autumn Grain Salad ($8) made with toasty farro, quinoa, beets and farm vegetables; and Okonomiyaki ($10), a Japanese pancake topped with crispy bacon, scallions, and lobster. This savory dish stacked with mouthwatering toppings is big enough to share with the table, although you may not want to. And if you happen to dine after 10 pm, Chef Obunai’s famous Ramen Burger ($12) will be available.
With a concise menu of both hot and cold items, ramen was definitely the star of the show. I highly recommend the classic Kurobuta Tonkotsu ($14) topped with pork belly, egg and scallions; while the Curry Vegetable ($14) and Ebi Shoyu ($14) with Georgia white shrimp, scallion and wakame seaweed came to the table beautifully presented.
Be sure to indulge in a selection from their eclectic drink menu, including inventive cocktails such as the Chu-Hai ($10) made with shochu, lemongrass infused gin, lime juice and lychee. I opted for one of their adult slushie concoctions and happily indulged in the Ochado ($10) made with rye whiskey, apple syrup, cynar liqueur and a lemon slice. I have to admit, it was quite strong, but the warm apple and cinnamon flavors coupled with the icy texture kept me coming back for more. There is also an array of wines and sake, along with craft beers including Georgia favorite Creature Comforts and a few sourced direct from Japan.
Take note of their hours before you decide to pop in, they are closed on Sundays and only open for dinner Monday through Wednesday with late night dining until 2:00am on weekends.
828 Ralph McGill Blvd. NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30306