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Samouraï Ramen Noodle Bar in Brussels, Belgium

By alison - March 18, 2014

Samourai Ramen restaurant Brussels, Belgium

Samourai Ramen restaurant, Brussels, Belgium

Asian noodle-lovers rejoice! Samouaï Ramen is the newest addition to Brussels healthy ‘fast food’ restaurant scene and it’s slurp-tastic!

When we first moved to central Brussels, almost six years ago, the food offerings near Grand Place were limited. There was a choice of over-priced cafes, serving traditional Belgian dishes, trashy fast food joints, and way over-priced restaurants serving sub-par food to unsuspecting tourists.

I’m happy to say the food scene in the area is changing. With the addition of restaurants like Hop Dog and Bia Mara, diners can opt for affordable fast food, made from fresh, local ingredients, and served with a smile.

Fans of Asian food can now rejoice, as well, with the opening of Samouraï Ramen – fast food noodles will never be the same in Brussels again.

I first learned about Samouaï Ramen when a press release landed in my in-box a month ago. With dozens of such emails arriving daily, it takes something special to grab my attention. This one contained two of my favourite words – ‘noodles’ and ‘soup.’

I love Asian food – all Asian food. Curries, dumplings, sushi, stir-fries, all excite my taste buds. But, especially on a cold, dreary day (read: Brussels in winter), I love a hot bowl of steaming noodle soup, more than anything. Ramen may just be the antidote to winter in a bowl.

So when I read the grand dame of Japanese cuisine in Brussels, Samouraï, had just opened a Ramen noodle bar, it shot to the top of must ‘must try’ list.

Samouraï Ramen is located just behind the De Brouckere metro on Rue Fossé-aux-loups, right beside the original Samouraï restaurant.

Samourai's tiny open kitchen

Samourai’s tiny open kitchen

As Andrew and I approached, we could see nothing more than a few stools clustered around an open kitchen. Stepping inside however, an extremely friendly young Japanese man whisked us upstairs.

The small but bright upstairs dining room

The small but bright upstairs dining room

The dining room is cosy, simple and bright, owing to the large wrap-around windows. The menu is extremely short – perfectly so. There is nothing but ramen, edamamé (steamed soya beans) and gyoza (Japanese dumplings), with a short selection of drinks and two Japanese desserts.

For the ramen, you can choose from a selection of three broths (priced at 12€): miso, shôyu (a soya sauce based broth), and tonkotsu (made from pork bones). In addition to the noodles and veggies that come in your broth, you can choose to add additional toppings, like breaded chicken (2.50€) or shrimp (3.50€), sliced pork (2.50€) or hard-boiled egg (1€).

Samourai Ramen Menu

Samourai Ramen’s menu – I love restaurants that do one thing and do it well.

We both opted for a set menu including an order of gyoza and a ramen and topping of our choice for 17.50€. Andrew chose the pork broth topped with pork (no surprise there) and I opted for the shôyu with katsu chicken. We both ordered a warming mug of green tea to drink.

Green tea for two please!

Green tea for two please!

Our order arrived quickly and steaming hot. I could hardly wait to dive into my plump gyoza, served with dipping sauce. The texture was perfect and the filling was juicy and delicious.

I love dumplings and Samourai Ramen's gyoza hit the spot!

I love dumplings and Samourai Ramen’s gyoza hit the spot!

Andrew’s pork on pork ramen had an almost creamy looking broth, which we assume is from the bone marrow. The pork topping was meltingly tender with a slightly sweet flavour.

Andrew's pork on pork tonkotsu menu

Andrew’s pork on pork tonkotsu menu

A rich, creamy broth and plenty of veggies make up  tonkotsu

A rich, creamy broth and plenty of veggies make up tonkotsu

My shôyu was the perfect balance of salty and peppery. I could have honestly just drank the broth and been happy. But my broth was filled with thoroughly slurp-able ramen, crunchy bean sprouts, Asian mushrooms, spinach leaves, and a host of other tasty ingredients.

My shôyu with chicken katsu

My shôyu with chicken katsu was salty, peppery heaven.

The only thing I wasn’t completely thrilled with was the chicken. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted excellent. But I found the crispy breading became soggy in the soup very quickly. I would have preferred a simple grilled, non-breaded bit of chicken. In fact though, the rest was so good, I didn’t even need the meat.

With slurpable ramen, I'm in my happy place

With slurpable ramen, I’m in my happy place

I will undoubtedly return to Samouraï Ramen and highly recommend it, if you are a noodle soup lover like me. The fast, friendly service and excellent quality food makes this a perfect entry on the Brussels healthy fast-food scene.

Samouraï Ramen
Rue Fossé-aux-loups 28
1000, Brussels

For more great restaurants in Belgium and beyond, check out our Restaurant Review page.

Alison

Alison

Big Cheese at CheeseWeb
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of Cheeseweb.eu She landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about this quirky little country. She loves to discover Belgium's hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She loves to travel the world with her husband, Andrew, and spend quiet nights reading with her cats and a glass of red wine. You can also follow her work on Google+
Alison
Reason 592 why you NEED to go to French Guiana - FOOD! If you love exotic fruits, spicy dishes, and creative... http://t.co/6l08sWbGtr - 2 days ago

8 comments

  1. Comment by Michelle - Very Hungry Explorer

    Michelle - Very Hungry Explorer March 18, 2014 at 16:47

    I am very excited by this… on the list of places to try it goes!

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison March 19, 2014 at 10:33

      Definitely worth a visit! (or two or three…)

  2. Comment by Inese

    Inese March 19, 2014 at 11:19

    Glad to hear this place is good. I’ve been looking at it through bus windows and wondering how it is.
    I totally agree with you that tempura anything shouldn’t go into a soup because it becomes soggy instantly. But I guess the Japanese think otherwise as I saw that a lot on the menues in Japan.

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison March 19, 2014 at 11:34

      It’s true. Tempura in soup does seem really common but the soggy factor is enough to make me steer clear. Next time I’ll go with the pork or no meat at all.

  3. Comment by SC

    SC April 22, 2014 at 18:41

    The breaded chicken should have been served separately so it won’t get soggy in the soup (like how a tempura set is usually served in Japan). All it needs is one extra plate :)

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison April 23, 2014 at 11:03

      I totally agree, but other than that it was perfect :)

  4. Comment by oli

    oli April 30, 2014 at 18:32

    i would just add 1 comment: unless i read too fast, you did not mention the hot sauce: 100% home made, garlicky spicy > THE BEST I HAVE TRIED IN A LOOOONG TIME. For the rest, this place is a killer :)

  5. Comment by Eduardo

    Eduardo May 21, 2014 at 16:06

    Sounds great! Checking it out after work. Tried making my own soup recently, but it’s not the same :<

    The veggies seem to be different from what I usually got in Japan though. More western-style veggies as opposed to the usual soy beans, seaweed, spring onions, etc.

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