Zuzu Ramen Review: Zuzu Ramen opens in Park Slope

Zuzu Ramen Review: Zuzu Ramen opens in Park Slope

MacLaren’s, banh mi’s, and ramen. Park Slope now has it all. Two weeks ago it was banh mi in Park Slope. This week it’s ramen from Zuzu Ramen. While I was disappointed with my experiences at Hanco’s, I was very pleased when after a late dinner at Zuzu Ramen last night. It’s about damn time we got some ramen in Park Slope. What, you expect yuppies to go all the way to Manhattan for Japanese noodles?

This past weekend they were open for friends and family, and last night they finally opened to the general public. They have some non-noodle things on the menu like vegetable dumplings, pork & beef dumplings, pork buns and other stuff that I didn’t bother to take notes for because they’ll probably put up a menu on their website soon or something (I hope). Sometimes you’re just too hungry to take notes about what’s on the menu.

The waitress described the pork buns as pork that’s braised for five hours. And there’s cucumber and some dipping sauce. Basically this is a variation of the pork buns you would find at momofuku. And the momo version is a variation of this thing called ‘gua bao’ that I used to eat often in Taiwan (see here for an example). Gua bao’s have pork belly in them, along with peanut powder, mustard greens, and cilantro. It’s basically soft pork crack. I think you can find this in Flushing but maybe not in Manhattan.

Long story short, these pork buns are good, but not as good as the Momofuku ones. Zuzu Ramen’s version is meatier and have more meaty substance. Because they have a lower fat content, you don’t get the whole pork fat dripping down your chin thing. Zuzu’s version is still juicy and maybe you prefer a meaty bun. I would call for more fat though. These buns also come with a dipping sauce, which my friend Patrick said was kind of like duck sauce with sriracha. I like the sweet and spicy dipping sauce. You should dip to your hearts delight. For $8 dollars, these things are kind of on the same price point as the pork buns at Momo, so I’m not sure I’d get these every time.

The one thing I heard about Zuzu Ramen prior to their opening was that they would have this green curry miso ramen. Just putting the words green curry miso ramen together in one dish is pretty amazing. Often you would see Japanese style curry with miso in ramen, but green curry is something you normally see in Thai restaurants. For just $10 dollars, I just had to get this thing.

A bowl of green curry miso ramen comes with some thai basil on top, green vegetables, a sheet of seaweed, a super duper soft egg, and some char siu pork. The pork is in the style that you normally see char siu at ramen places, and not the kind of char siu you get at Chinese restaurant. Where as the pork needed more fat in the pork bun, the pork in the ramen was perfect. It was a great complement to the spicy miso broth. Too many times, the braised pork belly in a ramen dish just falls apart. Zuzu Ramen’s char siu keeps it’s structural integrity even as it soaks in the addictive broth.

If you order this ramen, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with your first sip of the green curry miso broth. It really is quite unlike any other broth in the entire city. Due to it’s strong green curry flavor and it’s heat, I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. You have to like spiciness to your ramen and not everyone digs that. Zuzu Ramen also cooks their ramen really al dente. Noodles here are quite toothsome and not soft at all.

Pat ordered the Zuzu Ramen Special which looks kind of like a shio ramen at most ramen restaurant. The broth is strong and flavorful, but at $14 dollars, it represents a premium over places like Ramen Setagaya, which just opened their third branch in the city. See Eater for details if you want.

Zuzu Ramen posts a weird dilemma for me because I really like eating ramen, and I really like cheap shit. They’re kind of like a ramen place on 4th ave in Brooklyn, and they have East Village prices. If you’re not familiar with 4th ave in Brooklyn, it’s a street with four lane traffic, and when the light is green, cars breeze by at 50+ miles per hour. It’s really not some quaint little street in Brooklyn, it’s also not picturesque by any means. So how can this area compete with the East Village in ambiance? If the green curry miso ramen stays at $10, then Zuzu Ramen pretty much gives you the best way to spend $10 in all of Park Slope. It’s not even close. There’s nothing else around the hood that’s as unique or as filling as the green curry miso ramen. Sure, you can get yourself a sandwich for less, or get some chicken from Los Pollitos, but you could get that kind of stuff anywhere. Why not try something new? It’s spicy, delicious, and the best $10 you can spend in Park Slope.

And you didn’t think I would link to that Da Dip video, now did you?

Zuzu Ramen173 4th Ave.Brooklyn, NY 11217718-398-9898