Local noodles...ZUZU RAMEN is opening - Brooklynian

Local noodles...ZUZU RAMEN is opening

edited 4:20AM in Park Slope
Sign on the door says Tuesday March 10 is opening day for ZUZU Ramen, the noodle bar on 4th Ave and . . . somewhere between Douglass and Union. It's run by the Sheep Station people.

I had a preview of green curry ramen soup and it was goooooood. Rich, spicey in a balanced flavorful way - mmmmmmmm. (They've been working out the soup recipes and serving them on occasion at Sheepie. I also had some bitchin' chicken soup with a homemade dumpling during the tryouts.) I'm going to like this place, if I can keep affording to eat out . . .

Comments

  • thanks for the heads up!

    i've been really looking forward to giving this place a try!!
  • ((HEAD EXPLODES))
  • I have been so waiting for this! I'm trying it tonight!
  • Carnivore wrote: I have been so waiting for this! I'm trying it tonight!
    I may see you there - went by on Sunday to see how close they were to opening.
  • This is even more exciting than that comic book store opening up on Bergen!
  • zoinks! noodle stampede!
    I may have to change my plans and join the herd.
    I want to try the basic miso ramen w/veg and pork - I still miss working near Sapporo in midtown, and it's been 5 years! O lunch....

    another soup note: girlfriend tried tom yum soup-in-progress and didn't like it so much -- too much tomato and not enough sour. I wonder if they fixed that. I just checked their site -- the menu is not online.
  • If they have a good basic shoyu ramen with sliced pork, I will be very happy.
  • It's after 7 people! No ramen phone photos yet?
    :D :D :D
  • pitu wrote: It's after 7 people! No ramen phone photos yet?
    :D :D :D
    Mrs. C and I will probably be there in an hour or so.
  • muuumm, ramen. carnivore, where are those photos?
  • I won't make it tonight, just got home from work and too tired to haul ass over there. But am anxiously waiting on full reports and food porn pics. Carni: represent!
  • welllllllll, howd this go?
  • Looking forward to hearing and seeing more!
  • For some reason, I'm having trouble uploading my pics from my camera to my computer, so I'll report with text only for now.

    ZuZu (on 4th Ave and DeGraw) was packed last night, but Mrs. C and I only had to wait 10 or 15 minutes for a spot at the counter facing the open kitchen (separated by chicken wire glass that reminded me of my old elementary school). The space is nice, with a mix of counter seats and small tables and the staff is very friendly.
    They have their liquor license and a selection of beers and sakes are available. Sake is by the box only, no whole bottles. The beer selection included one of my favorites, Hitachino Nest White Ale (bottle), and they have Sapporo on tap, the cheapest option at $6.
    The menu focuses on noodles, with a green curry miso with pork belly charsiu, a tomyum with shrimp, a "vegetarian" garlic soy (it contains some fish, probably in the broth) with bok choy, and the ZuZu ramen, with a dashi broth pork belly and bamboo. The noodle soups ranged about $10-14 each. There is also a non-soup beef curry noodle option, and a few over-rice dishes. There were some starters, including pork dumplings, vegetarian dumplings, and steamed pork buns that seem inspired by Momofuku's version (except that they contain charsiu pork shoulder instead of pork belly), and seaweed salad.
    We started with the pork dumplings and the seaweed salad (Mrs. C wouldn't let me get both porky appetizers before our porky soup). The dumplings were potstickers, nicely crisped, although the dough was a little dense. The filling could have been juicier. The flavorful dipping sauce, with shiso seeds, was great. I'll definitely give the dumplings another try. The seaweed salad was okay, a mix of mesclun and a couple of kinds of seaweed, with grape tomatoes. It was ok, and provided a nice contrast of vegetal crunch that was otherwise missing from the meal, but I probably won't get it again unless Mrs. C makes me.
    The ramen was where ZuZu really shone. The basic ramen and bok choy was boiled the same for all the soups, then added to different broths with different condiments added depending on the order. The charsiu pork belly, an element of two of the soups, was seared with a blowtorch before being added.
    Mrs. C got the green curry miso ramen, with pork belly, bok choy, a soft boiled egg and a piece of nori. The broth was an interesting fusion of Thai and Japanese flavors that Mrs. C thought worked well and "didn't taste gimicky." I tasted her broth and thought it was rich and flavorful, with a strong flavor of green curry, but with the miso rounding out the bottom. I didn't like it as much as mine, but it was definitely tasty. The ZuZu ramen was a winner, and I don't see how I could go back and not get it. It was served in a dashi broth, and garnished with pork belly, soft boiled egg, bamboo, scallions and a piece of nori. The smoky dashi broth was intensely flavorful and delicious, and got slightly thickened by the soft-boiled egg. The noodles were perfectly cooked with a nice bite, a texture they retained until I finished the bowl. I was skeptical of the blowtorched pork belly, but they won me over. I think they must have pre-braised the pork belly, because the fat was so meltingly tender. Ultimately if they do well, I assume they'll get a salamander to finish the pork belly, unless they want to keep the blowtorches for the drama.

    All in all, the appetizers need a little work (keep in mind, it was their first day), but the noodles were great. I think they'll have a lot of success in the neighborhood, even with the economic downturn. I can't wait to try ZuZu again.
  • sounds yummy. what were the prices like?
  • sweet tea wrote: sounds yummy. what were the prices like?
    It was $80 including tip for the two of us, including 3 beers, 2 appetizers, and 2 noodle soups. The most expensive noodle soup was $14 by itself, so if you showed restraint, you could eat there for under $20.
  • great review, thanks!
  • Excellent review. And one of my favorite parts:
    Carnivore wrote: but I probably won't get it again unless Mrs. C makes me.
    Crack that whip, Mrs C!
  • Not much to add other than, that pork rocks. I sat at the bar and watched the blow torch. Fun.
    We were a couple of people so pork buns and both kinds of dumplings . . . the veg ones have a fine green skin, the pork are a little doughier. Both tasty. I especially like the dipping sauces for all three. Carn, I think you'll like the skins better on the veg -- don't tell Mrs. C...

    I had green curry miso ramen, with pork belly, nori, veg, etc - it's spicy, it's tasty. The Zuzu special ramen is smokey good, and the ramen really is just what I want ramen to be, great texture.

    It's a nice room, and really fun to watch them assemble everything.
    yeah Zuzu!

    It's at 4th Ave and DeGraw, btw
  • I stopped in for lunch there at 1:00 today. It was closed, and there was no sign indicated its open hours. Someone was inside, but the steel gate was down and locked and he studiously ignored our presence at the front window.

    So we had to make do with Sheep Station, which was fine.
    Poutine and Quebecoise beer! What could be bad?
  • booklaw wrote: I stopped in for lunch there at 1:00 today. It was closed, and there was no sign indicated its open hours. Someone was inside, but the steel gate was down and locked and he studiously ignored our presence at the front window.

    So we had to make do with Sheep Station, which was fine.
    Poutine and Quebecoise beer! What could be bad?
    I love poutine.
  • Ate at ZuZu last night with hubby and friends, and really enjoyed it. I had the ZuZu ramen, which had a savory, smoky broth (not too smoky, just right). And friend had the green curry, which he thoroughly enjoyed. We also had the pork buns and veggie dumplings. I was unimpressed with the dumplings but the buns were flavorful and tasty. The atmosphere was nice, though chaotic, and the waitstaff very friendly. It's too bad they couldn't open up during the winter rather than spring as I imagine lines would have been out the door for hot noodle soup on a cold night. But it's still worth a trip over there to try it out. And if the lines are long and you can't snag a seat, you can always walk over to Sheep Station or Ghenet.
  • went last night and it was good, but don't understand why the two ramen dishes marked 'vegetarian' are also marked with 'contains fish'. i asked and the server didn't know why, and said that it wasn't really possible to get them without the fish.
  • joehill wrote: went last night and it was good, but don't understand why the two ramen dishes marked 'vegetarian' are also marked with 'contains fish'. i asked and the server didn't know why, and said that it wasn't really possible to get them without the fish.
    I would bet they are made with dashi as the soup base. Dashi is made with kombu (a kind of seaweed) and dried bonito flakes (a fish product). So it's not like they can just not add the piece of fish to your bowl of noodles, since the broth has a fish base.
  • Dashi can be made in several styles, including kombu only for vegetarians.

    Most ramenya in Tokyo charge about Yen 700 - 900 (USD 7.15 - 9.20).

    I thought Ippudo in the East Village was expensive (though delicious) for ramen.
  • Carnivore wrote: I would bet they are made with dashi as the soup base. Dashi is made with kombu (a kind of seaweed) and dried bonito flakes (a fish product). So it's not like they can just not add the piece of fish to your bowl of noodles, since the broth has a fish base.
    yeah, i got that, the server said there were sardines or something in the broth. it's just stupid that they list is as vegetarian when they can't make it without fish in it.
  • I went on Saturday. It was good. Especailly the noodles are real. I liked zuzu special (?) but it is overpriced. In general everything is $2-3 more expensive than I would expect them to be. But it is still cool to have ramen place in the neighborhood.
  • Ate at Zuzu the other night and had the house standard ramen. Noodles were tasty, broth was lighter than I like but had a nice flavor. Comes with a soft boiled egg (I prefer hard boiled in my ramen). We also order the pork dumplings and they were awful. The flavor of the dumplings was like those at any local chinese restaurant and the outside was doughy. I wish they would just do a great, simple gyoza. We also ordered the pork buns. They were average, but annoyed me. Zuzu came off as trying to be a Momofuku copy. And nobody likes a hack. I read that chef Akihiro Moroto worked at Lespinasse and Jean Georges. He's clearly a talented chef, so why copy Momofuku's Pork Bun lead? I wonder if it was the owners' idea. If you're going to copy something as good as Momofuku, you better do a great job, otherwise just stick to the basics. I would go back for the ramen if I were too lazy to hit up setagaya or ippudo or Minca, but I wouldn't order anything but the basic ramen at Zuzu. Seriously Zuzu, lose the pork buns, they make you look so unoriginal. And fix the pork dumplings, they suck. Why can't you just be a great local ramen shop with great gyoza?? And if you are going to branch out, at least be original.
  • ZING!!! great 1st post FPS
  • questions

    is this place affiliated with zuzu's petals or
    is that just a happy coincidence ?

    what is a zuzu ???
  • Garfunky wrote: what is a zuzu ???
    owner said it's the slurping noise . . .

    the petals thing is from a Frank Capra movie, unrelated
  • Ok, oldest daughter went there last night with boyfriend and they really liked it. They brought home leftover pork bun, which I thought was great (I mean, WTF cares if they "stole" it form somewhere else not even in this neighborhood? Sheesh!). i didn't get to try anything else.

    Any updates on this place?
  • I still really like the Thai green curry ramen. Does that count as an update?
    :D
    The owner said they're working up a summer menu . . . mmmmm, summer.
  • ^Well, I guess it will do for now, LOL. Was hoping some new people have tried it
  • pitu wrote: [quote=Garfunky]what is a zuzu ???
    owner said it's the slurping noise . . .


    LOL
    i also knew a gal whose nickname was Zuzu.
  • Alas, and 7 years later Zu Zu Ramen is now closed. It was a good run, it was good food (and actually a great happy hour), they will be missed.
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