9 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111
Shojo is a different kind of restaurant from the establishments that we generally frequent. Shojo is much more modern and has a young hipster vibe with a cuisine that is a fusion of Asian streetfood and American cuisine. The interior is dark with lots of high top table, and there is a huge comic book style mural that covers one wall and features Godzilla and a giant killer robot with a window that looks into the kitchen. There is a small bar that has a large screen TV behind it which was playing a Bruce Lee movie with the sound off.
The lunch menu here is short but with lots of delicious sounding choices on it. We started out with sharing the Suckling Pig Bao. These were heavenly, made of spongy soft steamed bun topped with tender, flavorful pork, kimchi and jalapeno. I love Bao. The problem usually is that it seems to be done mediocrely quite often, so I go through phases where I stop ordering it. However, when it is done well, it is amazing. And such was the case at Shojo.
I ordered the Tori Miso Ramen – which consisted of a chicken miso broth, with noodles, Char Siu pork, a soft boiled egg, a handful of watercress, and a large sheet of nori which was sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds. You can also order the ramen Kae-Dama for 3 dollars more, which the waitress told me, means with extra noodles. I remember being here last year when the lunch special ramen was excellent, and this time it did not disappoint. The broth was rich and savory (not too salty as miso ramen broths can have a tendency to be) filled with tender pork, chewy yellow noodles and a perfectly cooked egg with the greens adding a bit of texture and freshness to the experience.
My counterpart ordered the Pretty Good Chicken Sandwich but according to her, the sandwich was much more than pretty good. It is a fried piece of chicken served on a steamed bun with pickles and spicy mayonnaise. The crispy chicken paired with the spongy steamed bun proved to be an excellent combination. We ordered it as a combo with duck fat fries which were spectacular, possibly my second favorite fries in the world (first being the duck fat fries at Les Halles in NYC, do you see a theme here?). The crispy thin fries dipped into the creamy, spicy mayonnaise might be the best thing I ate here.
If you are looking for a more stylish, inventive, and less traditional restaurant in Chinatown, I highly recommend Shojo. I fully intend to come back some evening and try out their fun cocktail menu.