I Like Duck Buns and I Cannot Lie | Restaurant Reviews | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Eat & Drink » Restaurant Reviews

I Like Duck Buns and I Cannot Lie

Grab a bowl of duck confit ramen at West Jordan's One Noodle Bar.


  • Alex Springer

Fall is officially here, and that can only mean one thing: Soup season, bitches! I was going to make some crack about how I love soup because I'm getting old, but let's be real people—soup is universally amazing no matter what age you are. I am merely excited that I can enjoy my soups in a reasonable climate—you know, one that no longer spikes into triple digits. To make soup season official, I decided to visit One Noodle Bar (1793 W. 7800 South, 385-313-8448, onbwestjordan.com) in West Jordan. It's a new ramen and sushi joint that mixes things up ever so slightly with their crispy duck confit and tamaki sushi rolls.

Even when the summer heat makes eating ramen an exercise in self-destruction, I haven't been able to help myself when it comes to ramen bars. I think Utah has always had a solid ramen game, but it seems like that foundation has made room for some up and coming restaurants to craft menus that give them a competitive edge. This is where One Noodle Bar—not to be confused with One More Noodle House in South Salt Lake, also excellent—comes in.

For starters, they're one of the few places that incorporates duck into the menu. Duck is a versatile staple in Asian cooking, and it's awesome when prepared properly. A quick stroll down the menu at One Noodle Bar reveals the Yummy Duck Ramen ($14.50) that is made with crispy duck confit. When you order up some ramen here, you get to select your broth of choice—I like the spicy tonkotsu, but they also have shoyu and miso broths available.

Duck confit is an excellent complement to a traditional ramen no matter what broth you go with. The added heat from the spicy chilis always hits home for me, but the duck is rich enough to cut through that heat and let you know it's there. Noodle-wise, this place is as good as you can get, and the familiar additions of a boiled egg and scallions along with fresh corn, spinach and fried garlic are also present for the party. Whether you're a diehard ramen fan or just trying it out for the first time, the Yummy Duck Ramen isn't just a clever name.

If you want to double down on duck, the duck buns ($9) are a great way to start—or finish a meal. The soft, steamed dough is among the most heavenly textures you can get as a mere mortal, and the crispy duck gets topped with small slivers of onion and sliced cucumber. Though they are small in stature, the flavor packed within each bite is insane. The cucumber, onion and hoisin sauce impart flavors you might encounter in a tasty banh mi, but that crispy duck confit once again makes sure you know that it's the star of the show. Plus, "duck buns" is fun to say. Go ahead. Give it a try.

Even though they are incorrect, I know people who don't like duck exist. If that profile sounds familiar, One Noodle Bar has plenty of excellent options. Obviously, you can go traditional with the Pork Chashu Ramen ($14) or even the Black Garlic Bomb Ramen ($14.50) for some excellent ramen within familiar territory.

When I'm not craving duck confit, I really like their Wonton Ramen ($14.50). I grew up on Campbell's chicken and dumpling soup, and this connects with a lot of the same synapses I developed as a kid. The wontons have hung out in the broth for long enough to absorb that delicious flavor and become slippery enough to really test your chopstick skills. The interior of the wonton is made from chicken and pork, and would definitely be able to stand on their own as far as flavor and texture goes. I can see myself not wanting to branch out from the Yummy Duck Ramen whenever I come back, but this is a fun alternative for those who are in the mood for something different.

Like most ramen joints that are worth a visit, One Noodle Bar also has a menu of poke bowls and tamaki, or sushi that is assembled and presented in a folded piece of nori like unto a tiny taco. Sushi can do no wrong in my book, especially when it joins some ramen at my table, but something about the tamaki variation really lands here. The process of picking up a good-sized tamaki that takes two or three bites to finish off just lands right after polishing off a giant bowl of ramen. It provides a satisfying feeling of excess while skipping the post-dining regret since all the food is so light and fresh.

I promise this ramen frenzy I am in will eventually die down, but I can't help but get excited whenever a place like One Noodle Bar opens its doors. We're in an interesting place with ramen—I've started to see ramen restaurants like this one get a bit bolder and deliberate with their menu options, and I am completely on board.