Adam Gollop and Jasmine Kean took on a culinary storm when the opened Bad Bones Ramen on Water Street this past June.
Shockingly the downtown food market had not come across a ramen selection to date and Bad Bones was the first to introduce the idea to Newfoundland palates. The restaurant has a wide variety of ramen choices and Jasmine and Adam are damn good at what they do.
You can see people lined up outside the restaurant waiting to be served. A few times the restaurant has had to close their doors because they ran out of food. The response has been more than they ever expected.
“We’re elated and a little in awe. We are aiming to please but have definitely had a few growing pains. Right now we’re in the process of adding more storage space so that we aren’t running out of ingredients so quickly. We’re also looking for another chef to gain some experience in this type of cuisine and also take some of the load off of Adam,” said Jasmine of the busy restaurant. “We knew people wanted ramen but the response has been three times what we anticipated.”
Adam has been cooking for fourteen years mainly in St. John’s but also in Europe and across Canada, while Jasmine runs the place.
“Adam does the cooking, Jasmine does the operating. We envisioned it together and created it together.”
However, the ownership of a restaurant is new territory to both of them and they are learning as they go. The pair has recognized the needs of their customers and they changed the menu according to interest.
“We decided to use wheat noodles in all of our dishes except Pho, which has rice noodles. We’ve ordered a more authentic Japanese noodle that we think customers will enjoy. Adam is changing up the Pho broth a bit and using seaweed to create umami. Some of the ingredients are difficult to find here,” explained Jasmine. “The menma- the lactate fermented bamboo shoots that belong in the Tonkotsu, but we’ll continue to do our best.”
Bad Bones will keep the Vegetable Shoyu, as a vegan friendly option and offer rice noodles as a gluten free option and some dishes will remain consistent while others will change or go. It depends on the customer and overall reaction from the public. It’s something Bad Bones is willing to work with as time goes by, but some items will remain secure on the menu.
“The tonkotsu is here to stay, it is the most popular dish and Adam really enjoys creating it. The broth has to simmer for 30 hours and we run out of it quickly, so sometimes it’s unavailable. The chicken miso is also a permanent menu item and also popular. Finally, the salt cod-shio, that will stay too as it is a Newfoundland inspired bowl. Adam uses the salt from the cod as the shio base,” said the co-owner of the selections. “We will change up the features- our feature right now is a Spicy Lobster Ramen with Pork Belly. That one has been a huge hit and we’ve had a lot of compliments on it. Adam will continue to experiment with features, a Jiggs Dinner Ramen is in the works.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Newfoundland restaurant without a traditional twist.
To check out the selection, drive down Water Street and look for the skeleton Fish symbol. The door should be lined with lots of customers with hungry bellies. The little skeletal fish was designed by Adam himself.
“Adam sketched out the logo, which was originally used for our small batch hot sauce. We use this at the shop and will be selling it as well. Benjy Kean digitized it for us and helped us to refine it,” Said Jasmine. “Benjy also provided a lot of art for our shop, he is a local artist and has been working on a project where he makes something every day. It’s been going on for well over a year now. We like to support local artists and welcome anyone with an idea to come talk to us. One thing we wanted to do was get stencil art put on our trays, we think that would be a fun way to showcase local talent.”
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