At this buzzy Brooklyn ramen joint—reminiscent of a less sceney Momofuku with its natural-wood aesthetic, hipster waitstaff and ’90s hip-hop soundtrack—Morimoto vets Jamison Blankenship and David Koon bring their high-end training to Japan’s deceptively complex soul food. The pair has plenty to show for their tinkering: a gorgeous soft egg that spills its yolk into a complex and buttery miso broth; fat, springy noodles bobbing in the comforting soy broth; and a rich yet restrained tonkotsu, vivid with baconlike porkiness. Yet for each inspired tweak there are small missteps, like poached chicken breast so soft and moist that it provides no textural contrast and gets lost in the soup. A selection of bright, creative snacks—crispy brussels sprouts laced with red chilies and fish sauce, eggplant sliders encrusted with panko—help pick up the slack, rounding out Chuko’s appeal as a worthy neighborhood hang.
565 Vanderbilt Ave
|Cross street:||between Bergen and Dean Sts|
|Opening hours:||Tue–Sun 5:30pm–midnight|
|Transport:||Subway: B, Q to Seventh Ave; 2, 3 to Bergen St|
|Price:||Average bowl of ramen: $12. Cash only|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.5 / 5
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Everybody raves about Chuko, and rightfully so. The ramen is uber flavorful (and comes with as much chili sauce on the side as you want). And this may sound strange, but the kale salad was maybe one of the best kale salads I've ever had. The place is small, and while it does get busy, it's not nearly the madhouse that well-known ramen places in Manhattan can be like. Also, it's much simpler than a lot of the trendier ramen places, like Ivan Ramen in LES. This place is also in a great location: It's walking distance from Prospect Park and a slew of bars and shops on Vanderbilt.