Samourai Ramen made the tour of the blogs many times over. Not having the time to try out their flagship location in the centre of Brussels – and the first Samourai Ramen to open – I took the opportunity to try out the newly opened Ixelles restaurant.
Across from The Hotel and counting the Apple Store as a neighbour, the location could not be better. Busy shoppers stopping for a quick bite? Check. Tired shoppers stopping for a fast dinner? Check. We went there for a Friday lunch – no shopping.
The restaurant was already half full at midday and filled up nicely by the time we finished. The choice is of course subjective: if you want to get a seat at the more traditional table/ chairs then probably booking is recommended. The high seats by the long bar however seemed to be rolling free – although you might have to squeeze in between other diners.
The menu is short to minimalistic. There are 3 choices of ramen (maybe that is a good thing) and a few choices of protein (meat and veggie). Two set menus, each at 16,50 also include 3 gyozas.
The service was a bit slow – but then again given the restaurant was full and only one person serving understandable. The chefs themselves, a bit busy and at times lost but the food coming out all looked good. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would probably rate my food a good 6. Nothing spectacular, but not bad either.
I have very fond memories of Yamato (which has sadly closed…) so for those who knew it, it is impossible not to try to measure up every ramen in Brussels to Yamato. Whilst Samourai Ramen does not have the flair Yamato had (nor the Japanese crowd cueing) the ramen bowl was rich and filling.
In an ideal world I missed the actual flavour and umph … but I can live with it. And I hope Samourai Ramen does not turn into a chain (my feeling is, it is going in that direction … as a new Waterloo branch opened just last week) and loses its little authenticity.
On the upside though having a ramen restaurant so close to where I work (and shop) is really great and … the design of the restaurant is gorgeous!
Samourai Ramen – website
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