You have probably heard of uncle already, the super tiny, minimalist ramen noodle joint in the highland neighborhood of denver. If you have not, here is the straight and narrow… this place is ultra-difficult to get into as they do not take reservations and because the dining room is crazy small. However, they turn out some of the most tasty noodle bowls and asian dishes in town with great depth of flavor and finesse.
On a cool night (or heck, even a 90 degree one) uncle will have a line out the door with hungry diners waiting to slurp, sip and chow-down on fresh hamatchi sashimi, spicy chicken ramen, cold sesame noodles and veggie ramen chocked full of snow peas and oyster mushrooms. Yet, the real star at uncle, in my humble opinion, would be the steamed buns. More specifically, the fried green tomato steamed buns.
A corn-meal crusted tomato slice takes a bath in the fryer until a perfectly crisp exterior is achieved. The tomato is then added to a thin steamed bun that is slathered with a pimento spread, miso mayo and a fresh thai basil leaf. Savory with a hit of spice; brightness with a beautiful balance of texture. One might overlook this starter on the menu but let me tell you, this steamed bun is a flavor powerhouse. I honestly could have eaten a dozen of these guys all on my own and been completely content.
While the wait to get into uncle can seem a bit daunting when your belly is rumbling, the wait is worth it. Oh, and a nice addition was made to uncle’s exterior this past week… an outdoor seating area which nearly doubles the restaurant’s dining space. The wait seems even shorter now so head over soon, and don’t forget to order the fried green tomato steamed buns.