Remember the days when ramen noodles were nothing more than a cheap college dorm room staple?
Vanderbilt Avenue’s Chuko was graced with a New York Times dining review yesterday, and the reporter’s favorite dish wasn’t the ramen, pork gyoza or fried chicken – it was a salad.
Chuko in the neighborhood, helmed by Jamison Blankenship and David Koon, two veteran chefs at Morimoto. Despite their success at one of Manhattan’s fanciest eateries, the two friends wanted to cook simple Japanese comfort food, and thus, Chuko was born.
The Times calls their ramen ingredients “top-notch,” and the noodles have “good tooth,” though reviewer Ligaya Mishan found their broth to be lackluster. Still, Mishan gushes about the aforementioned favorite kale and sweet potato salad, Brussels sprouts and a mizuna salad (apple, fennel and pork).
When Patch talked to the chefs in August, a few weeks before their opening, Blankenship said they want their ramen to be the focus for diners.
“We’re not necessarily traditionalist, but we understand what makes a good ramen,” he said. “We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it and experimenting, and we think we can do something that’s, I wouldn’t say authentic, but very delicious—handled with good care, with good technique and ingredients.”
Chuko, 552 Vanderbilt Ave. at Dean Street, (718) 576-6701.