Talk about top ramen.
Two members of the culinary team behind Manhattan’s ultimate Japanese super-eatery, Morimoto, will open an equally exciting — though infinitely more casual — noodle house in Prospect Heights later this month.
Jamison Blankenship and David Koon, who were, respectively, chef de cuisine and executive sous chef at the 10th Avenue palace of Asian cuisine, promise that their restaurant, Chuko, will serve up pork gyoza, baked bun sandwiches, fried oysters, and of course, luxuriously simple bowls of ramen of an infinitely higher pedigree than everyone’s favorite college friend, Cup O’ Noodles.
“Each broth will be long-simmered, using antibiotic and hormone-free meat,” said Koon. “We’ve even had noodles specially designed for us, a different one for each broth, to ensure maximum chewiness, contrast, and flavor. It may seem unnecessary, but when you only have three things in a bowl, the details really matter.”
Commitment to such quality doesn’t mean rock bottom prices — soups will hover around the $12 mark — but the means justify the end.
“We could use a cheap egg, and put out a $9 bowl, but we want the good egg, the heritage pork, the scallions from Japan,” said Blankenship. “Some people think nothing of spending $12 on a cocktail. Why not on a big, beautiful, filling bowl of ramen, that we’ve put our heart and soul into?”
Sounds like Morimoto would approve.
“I threw up an hour before we told him that we were leaving,” remembered Blankenship, who lives next door to the restaurant. “But he was very proud of us; he knows opening your own place is the greatest goal for a chef. And if it wasn’t for him, and learning how to make ramen through him, we’d never be where we are now.”
Chuko [552 Vanderbilt Ave. near Dean Street in Prospect Heights, (718) 576-6701].