Monday, June 6, 2011

Zuzu Ramen - Brooklyn

Traveling Changes You, Sometimes for the Worse
From a very young age I wanted to travel.  As soon as I graduated college I got a Eurail pass and bounced around Europe for a summer.  I even did a 41 day stretch on the trains, sleeping upright in the seats and pulling into a new town every day.  Now I split my time amongst three continents and am constantly amazed by it.  I've learned more from travel than from any classroom.  Unfortunately, it's spoiled me.  I cannot eat Mexican in Paris (sorry Candelaria) or croissants in New York.  I'm stubborn about ramen, even though I've slurped it many times in Tokyo and should know better.  My latest disappointment was at Zuzu, where they plied me with gyoza with skin as tough as a rawhide football....
Then it got worse.  Pork buns drowning in a puddle of their own blood.  I've never seen a pork bun like this, ever.  I was so angry I wanted to leave.  I was there with my better half though and I'm working hard to improve on my anger issues.  Unfortunately, I'm early in the process, the step where you realize you have a problem but don't quite know what to do about it.  The old me woulda left for sure.  The working-on-me me got quiet and dark-faced.

When the green curry miso ramen arrived I'd already written the place off.  I scooped up some of the noodles half-heartedly and frowned at their strange taste.  I kept at it though, I was hungry after picking at the first two dishes.  Then a funny thing happened - the broth started to grow on me.  The strange taste began to fade and a new spiciness overtook me.  "These aren't bad, actually"  I said, brightening.  She looked back at me with a pity that I interpreted as "My poor baby is stuck on an emotional roller coaster."

The space is nice, the service is good.  The ramen, as it turns out, was ok.  Now for the all important question, would I go back?  No.  You cannot charge me thirty-something and go 1 for 3.  You gotta go at least 2 for 3.  Sorry Zuzu, when in NY, I'm sticking with Ippudo.  They're just as pricey but twice as nicey.

173 4th Avenue

Park Slope

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  1. Wooo.. snarky post I see. Agree dumplings was a disappointment and pork bun flavor was kinda weak.

    The ramen was a surprise though. Guess after the first 2 dishes, we kinda lowered our expectations so the ramen came out a winner. I honestly liked it and will go back for it again. Char siew that came with ramen was yummy. Plus it only cost 10 bucks.

    Perhaps we should go back again but this time just stick to their specialty?

  2. @Dodo - ok, we'll put it on the very long "re-visit" list.