Manhattan may be home to such esteemed ramen-temples as Ippudo and Momofuko, but these slurp-worthy spots make Brooklyn a true noodle destination:
ZuZu Ramen: Executive chef Akihiro Moroto brings some serious cred to this Park Slope noodle temple — which, oddly enough, shares owners with the nearby Aussie eatery, Sheep Station. The classically trained Moroto grew up helping out at his fathers ramen restaurant in Japan, and now plies the PS crowd with unimpeachable bowls of green curry miso, garlic soy, and hot and sour ramen, as well as the house special “ZuZu Ramen,” with char siu pork, slow cooked egg, and bamboo shoots, in a smoky dashi broth.
ZuZu [173 Fourth Ave. at Degraw Street in Park Slope, (718) 398-9898].
Ramen pop-up at Lunetta: Long after converting his Smith Street restaurant, Taku, into the Italian eatery Lunetta, chef Adam Shepherd still found himself hounded with requests for his much-loved, much-missed ramen. That’s when the idea for the “Full Moon Ramen Pop-up” was born. Now, in accordance with the lunar cycle, guests can swap linguine and littlenecks for noodles in pork stock with grilled, braised ribs.
Lunetta [116 Smith St. between Pacific and Dean Streets in Cobble Hill, (718) 488-6269].
Tengu Sushi and Noodle House: This four-month-old Bay Ridge contender one-ups the area competition — ie: a veritable army of sushi spots — with a tasty array of broth and noodle combinations. Options include a classic tonkatsu ramen with char siu, grilled pork chop, or pork belly, shrimp tempura or roasted duck in a shoyu broth, and tofu, grilled chicken, or pork katsu in miso.
Tengu [5920 Fort Hamilton Pkway. at 60th Street in Bay Ridge, (718) 633-3336].
Hand-Pull Noodle and Dumpling House: You can’t beat this humble Bensonhurst joint for freshness — noodle dough is mixed, stretched and cut by hand right before your eyes, before being deposited alongside goodies like spare rib, five spice pork, head-on shrimp, and baby bok choy in generous bowls of glistening, primarily beef-based broth. You also can’t beat it for value; the most expensive items on the menu — hand pull noodles with seafood, or the house special combo with beef, tripe, tendon, pork chop, and egg — go for a mere $6.75.
Hand-Pull House [7201 18th Ave. near 72nd Street in Bensonhurst, (718) 232-6191].
Waza Sushi and Ramen: Fort Greene steps up its Japanese noodle soup game with this spanking new spot, serving heaping, $9 ramen bowls in hot, cold, and spicy iterations. The new blood isn’t messing around — Waza is the Japanese word for technique — or the proper way of doing something.
Waza [485 Myrtle Ave. between Hall Place and Ryerson Street in Clinton Hill, (718) 399-9292].
Chuko Ramen: Two members of the culinary team behind Manhattan’s ultimate Japanese super-eatery, Morimoto, are opening 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 will serve up luxuriously simple bowls of ramen. “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.” Prices will be a bit steeper than others, but early buzz is that it’ll be worth it.
Chuko [552 Vanderbilt Ave. near Dean Street in Prospect Heights, (718) 576-6701].
Ramen Yebisu: Unusual as it is for Williamsburg to be behind a food trend, the grub-happy nabe didn’t have a dedicated noodle house — until now. Zagat reports that signs have gone up and work has begun for Ramen Yebisu on N. Sixth Street.
Ramen Yabisu (126 N. Sixth St. near Berry Street in Williamsburg).
Ichiran Ramen: When it was announced in 2007 that the first city branch of this alluring Japanese super-chain was prepping to open in Greenpoint — to members only — the ramen loving world took notice. Unfortunately, there’s been little development since then, beyond the launching of a rather cryptic website. We’ll keep you posted.
Ichiran Ramen (1013 Manhattan Ave. between Green and Huron Streets in Greenpoint).