I hate people who are not serious about their meals. -- Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chuko Ramen

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Though in Asia slurping is acceptable in ramen consumption, do not do it here, you kind of look like a dick and children will stare at you

Corner of Vanderbilt and Dean is Chuko. I went here for a quick lunch and though it has been opened for a while, people were constantly coming up to the door and window, just staring at it and looking into the place as if it was a zoo attraction. A couple of people did the, “eye shield” I call it and peered into the place which I do not understand why, it is not like the place is hard to see into because though small it is spacious and minimally decorated and everything was in plain sight.

Opened by former Morimoto cooks, Chuko is a ramen place. The menu is minimal they have their two choices for ramen and a number of sides/starters. For all you ramen nerds, people that read the first issue of Lucky Peach and watched Tampopo one too many times, the style of ramen that they have here is not just one style, one features a soy base based vegetarian broth and the other a miso based. I opted for the miso based ramen and you have a choice of meats either pork (Berkshire) or chicken. Mo' food after the jump!

The sides are not to be missed, especially the brussel sprouts. There brussel sprouts are by far one of the tastiest I have ever had. The waitress commented on my order of sprouts saying, “order of vegetables, keeping it healthy”, though I am no Dr. Oz, I am pretty sure that the health content of these sprouts were non-existent as they were fried leaving the leaves crisp and crunchy. The sprouts were dressed in a salty sweet fish sauce and crunchy peanuts and topped with pickled peppers, healthy or not, these were delicious and exciting and could convert any brussel sprout hater. 

The ramen looked good and came with turnips which I think were roasted and a poached egg which is always just a good thing. The noodles were solid and had a great texture balancing between chewy and firm. The pork slices were flavorful and had just a little fat on it. The addition of the turnips was something I have never encountered before in eating ramen but it was pretty good. The broth however, was unfortunately underwhelming. The miso aspect of the broth was almost non-existent in taste and the broth did not have the complexity to it at all, it was very monotonous. The milky color of the broth was desceptive and the broth just tasted thin. The addition of the side of chili and garlic did help amp of the flavor but not enough for me to finish up the broth.

Though the ramen itself left me with mixed messages, the place is charming and welcoming enough. Chuko, though not really warranting an Outer Boroughs trip, it is a neighborhood place. It is a place that if you live in Prospect and craving a bowl of noodles this will certainly fit the bill. 

552 Vanderbilt Ave 
Brooklyn, NY 11238

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