Thursday, November 17, 2016

Get Booyah-Fierce Ramen At Būya Izakaya Ramen

A couple of things my bride and I discovered almost immediately upon being seated at that new ramen place in downtown St. Petersburg is the name būya, in spite of the phonetic symbol, is pronounced booyah. So, don't let the long "ū" fool ya. Oh yeah, izakaya is a type of informal Japanese gastropub.

Now that we have that grammar stuff out of the way, let's commence with the eating and drinking. Cienna, our delightful and knowledgeable server for the evening recommended a couple of Būya's signature cocktails. When she mentioned one with Angel's Envy Bourbon, I knew I had to have the Oldie But Goodie. This cocktail was made with a Japanese spiced simple syrup, Angostura Bitters, and orange bitters.

Photo taken by Cienna
Sufficiently lubed by that heavenly Oldie But Goodie, the Belle and I moved ahead to the izakaya plates where we were tempted by the Char Grilled Edamame and the Blistered Shishitso Peppers. We could blame our indecision on the Angel's Envy Bourbon I suppose, so rather than choose just one, we got them both.

There were more peppers on the platter before this picture was taken.
We both agreed that the edamame was really good, but the shishito peppers were spectacular. We have enjoyed these peppers from the west coast of Florida to the west coast of California and this Būya version was the best we have ever had.

After our flirtation with the angels the Belle and I chose a glass of Chardonnay to accompany her dinner and a Hitachino Nest White Ale for me. The white ale was vaguely reminiscent of a German Witbier style beer, but not as heavy. This was an excellent ale that complimented my dinner choice of the Pork Belly Ramen.

The pork belly was cooked to tender and juicy perfection. The veggies, mushrooms and noodles were swimming in a rich sea of flavorful goodness.

While I was swooning over my ramen, the Belle was in gastronomic ecstasy with her Gyoza, Japanese pork fried dumplings with a soy based dipping sauce.  

In case you were wondering, Japanese gyoza have some general, subtle differences from the Chinese potstickers. They are usually made from wrappers that are thinner, smaller, and more delicate, and the filling is more finely textured. Although gyoza is prepared in much the same manner as potstickers, the thinner skin crisps up more and the focus is more on the filling.

The menu at Būya is abbreviated, but everything we tried was fantastic. The service was friendly and helpful, and one of the owners, Bryan, stopped by to see how we were doing. The decor at Būya is a little Spartan but there is some interesting art on the walls.

There is a full bar with more Japanese whiskys than I thought even existed. Apparently the Japanese have been distilling for more than a day or two. They are producing some world class whisky.

All food and beverage set us back $103.79. My bride thought that a bit much for soup, but that was some damn fine soup ... and, the Angel's Envy is the nectar of the gods, or angels.

Kanpai, y'all!

Photo taken by Lydia Rector
Būya Izakaya Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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