Located on the third floor of one of Cheongdam’s back alleys, Aori is an easy miss for those who haven’t heard of it yet: chances are, the likeliest group to have heard of this Japanese ramen joint would be the K-pop enthusiasts, as it is better known by the fact that it's owned by Big Bang’s very own Seungri.
Perhaps quite fitting for the area that it's located in, but the deep-red wall covering the entrance of the restaurant may seem rather intimidating. Inside, though, a fairly modest layout of the interior feels warm and welcoming. With the exception of only a few tables, each catering to a group of 4 to 6, the seating is conveniently divided up for the lone diners. These compact dining spaces are set up with a menu, some ground pepper, an overhead compartment for visitors to store their belongings and a small wireless table bell to call the wait staff. The menu is quite simple, consisting of just two items: Aori Ramen and Aori Ramen Lite. They are essentially the same, while the ‘Lite’ version has less basic toppings. You can customize your ramen simply by checking off the toppings you want on it, on the little piece of paper they provide for you. The most important part: the broth they make at Aori is rather clean, with almost no remnants of pork—meaning it also lacks the tangy, unappetizing smell of bone-broth. The chashu slices were soft and very easy to chew on (making you wish there were a few more slices), while the sliced scallions on top added a refreshing kick and a crispy texture to the noodles. One big slurp of the ramen at Aori and regardless of being an avid K-pop fan or not, your taste buds will surely be satisfied. The ramen was delightfully rich in taste and made for a perfect one-person meal.