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May 5, 2010 09:42 AM

Ramen in Stamford

I moved to Stamford from Old Bridge, NJ about 4 years ago and that’s when I started reading Chowhound to look for good eats. I especially enjoy reading posts by Stamford/Fairfield county foodies such as jfood, adamclyde, plien69, etc. since they cover a wide range of cuisines. Thanks guys for all the suggestions! Well, I would like to make my own suggestion to this board and hopefully someone will find it useful! Here goes my first post…

One of the things I enjoy is good ramen, and of course thru Chowhound, I found the Kato-Chan ramen stand in Cos Cob. I do enjoy his ramen and occasionally would order the Godzilla. Unfortunately he is only open in the summer (when it’s not raining) and a Fjords Fisheries employee told me Kato may not open at all this year since he needs to be in Japan to take care of something. Anyway, I think I found an alternative for those of you in Stamford who wants a ramen fix.

I’ve been eating at Kujaku for quite some time now and have mentioned several times to Eddie, one of the owners, that he should try introducing new things to the menu, like izakaya style (sort of Japanese tapas) dishes, yakitori, etc. I just got back from Tokyo at the time so I was blabbing to him about it. One of the things we discussed was ramen. Well, as of last week, when I went there for lunch, I saw on the lunch special menu, Ramen with Yakibuta pork. Of course I had to try it...and it was good! The broth was very flavorful (not too salty) and the roast pork was tender! I asked Eddie if I can get it for dinner as well and he said just ask for it and they will make it. The only thing missing is perhaps ni-tamago, onsen tamago, or one of those poached eggs they have at momofuku noodle bar; this was served with hardboiled egg, but I am just being nit-picky. Eddie said that since not many people know about the ramen yet, hardboiled egg is the simplest for now because the other ones are take a bit more work and don’t keep as long. I told Eddie that I will post about it in Chowhound and will spread the word. Heck I was eating outside while watching Bello the clown yesterday at Columbus Park and several people had asked about it.

Anyway, please let me know what you guys think!

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  1. a great post and great tip on good ramen. Something we are really lacking in (well, before now maybe!?!). I was just at Ippudo in NYC yesterday... would love to have something almost similar here.

    Quick question for you since you clearly are well versed in ramen and Japanese... What is Yakibuta pork? and would that ramen be considered at tonkotsu? or is that different (forgive my naievety).

    Thanks again...

    5 Replies
    1. re: adamclyde

      By the way, I've always want to try Ippudo, do you have any thoughts which ramen to order there? How about appetizers?

      1. re: foodominator

        I've been to Ippudo numerous times and all the different ramen dishes are great! I've never had a bad meal there. Usually I get either the akamaru modern or the shiromaru classic ramen dishes and I ALWAYS get an order of their hirata pork buns as a starter. Different from momofuku's pork buns but just as good.

        1. re: SeoulQueen

          Thanks for the suggestion SeoulQueen, I will definitely try Ippudo soon. Pork buns sounds good right about now...

          1. re: foodominator

            Yeah, hard to order wrong there. Lots of recommendations on ippudo over on the manhattan board. Enjoy!

      2. re: adamclyde

        Hi Adam, sorry for the late reply, haven't logged in to Chow in a while (inexcusable, I know). I don't speak Japanese, but asked the proprietor and he said it simply means roasted pork. I think this is a tonkotsu style ramen, but I will ask the next time I go.

        I've always wanted to go to Ippudo. What do you usually order there? Any appetizer recommendations?

        (If this is a repeat post, I apologize, because I thought I replied already, but don't see it. )

      3. Thanks for the tip, foodo! I agree that the broth was rich and flavorful, with a nice touch of dashi, although I did think they might have kicked it up a bit with MSG. They were also a little skimpy with the greens in my bowl, but I did rush in there just 5 mins before closing.

        For some reason, it's hard to find ramen around here (everyone has udon, but not ramen): Kato at Fjords, of course, and Sakura in Westport (not great). Kujaku is on my regular lunch rotation, so I like the fact that they are now serving ramen. I like the fact that they are turning into a reliable, pan-Japanese lunch spot for me. Not spectacular in any one thing, but always reliably good sushi, teppan, and now ramen.

        Sakura Restaurant
        231 Wickenden St, Providence, RI 02903

        1 Reply
        1. re: plien69

          I agree with your opinion of Kujaku, its reliable, you know what you're getting. And since I go there regularly (lunch/dinner), its like that Cheers theme song, "sometimes you want to go, where every body knows your name..."

          I am curious to find out about the MSG, let me ask the next time I go. If you get a chance try the pork appetizer on the Japanese menu. Its all in Japanese, but there is a picture of it on the bottom left side. I need to warn you though that it's somewhat fatty, but its really tender and they serve it with some Japanese mustard and a little bit of greens.

        2. Had the ramen (pork) and it was pretty good! Not outstanding, but good enough to satisfy if you have the hankering.

          There was a beef ramen on the menu too.

          A good heads-up!

          1. As the weather turns colder these past couple of weeks, I thought it was time to try the ramen at Kujaku again. They didn't have it last week (bummer), but did have it today, and it was very good. Not overly salty, which it was one time this past spring, but rich, deep, broth, which most udons are not.

            I think I will ask for a bit more greens next time as I think it could use some more than what usually arrives in the bowl, but it was a really satisfying, piping hot bowl of ramen for a cool November day. $8.75/bowl is pretty steep for what is essentially street food, but hey, it's Fairfield County.

            6 Replies
            1. re: plien69

              it's pretty hard to find any decent Ramen for less than $10 in NYC. And even here in southern cal, the cheapest (good) ramen I can find is ~$8. So I think $8.75 is pretty good value if its good.

              1. re: adamclyde

                I guess I don't have a great frame of reference for ramen. I was comparing it to comparable bowls of Chinese noodle soup in Flushing, which can be had for around $4-5.

                BTW, are you missing El Charrito? They started serving a red mole that's really, really good.

                1. re: plien69

                  I think good ramen is a totally different animal than chinese noodle soups. Much more preparation and usually more expensive ingredients too. At least for the good stuff. But that's just my observation.

                  I do miss el charrito. But the absolute abundance of fantastic mexican at every turn here dampens the pain. Oh, and having thousands of vietnamese places in Little Saigon 10 minutes away is another pretty amazing side benefit...

              2. re: plien69

                Got the urge after reading your post, so sat down for some Ramen on a cool rainy day. The ramen at Kujaku is a different from ramen I've had elsewhere, but I guess ramen in general is subject to a lot of interpretation anyway (love the variation!).

                At this sitting, the ramen was more delicious than last time I had it before summer. Not many toppings, but a very generous portion of pork. And the pork was delicious: tender and flavorful.

                A good start to the ramen season :-)

                1. re: chipmonger

                  Im happy to have found this post!! I just posted asking about ramen on the boards. Ill give kujaku a try...keeping my expectations low. Ive been spoiled by Ippudo as well, and Id surely miss the gooey egg. I cant imagine a hard boiled egg in my soup, eew..

                  1. re: lovesublime

                    I hope you enjoy it, I still go there once or twice a week, either for lunch or dinner. I guess since I live and work in Stamford, it's probably the most convenient place for ramen. I agree with the egg comment, in fact if Ryoko happens to work at the sushi bar, I've asked her for poached eggs instead of hard-boiled (not quite onsen tamago but at least its gooey). On occasion, I've also asked for extra pork (I think $2 upcharge). Now that you've mentioned it, I need my Ippudo fix soon...