People: RB, CK and myself
Feelings: Brooklyn gets another new ramen shop--this time it is called Ganso in Downtown Brooklyn, located across from a very large IHOP and Popeyes. Modernized and fused ramen shops in Brooklyn have been a major disappointment for me, including the recent opening of Dasara in Carroll Gardens. It has been torture seeing my soul food goes butchered. I started to take things a bit personally when I saw Dasara using a traditional sumo tea cup as a water cup. "RB, I don't think I want to eat ramen in Brooklyn anymore. I just feel insulted."
But this is the international culinary scene of Brooklyn after all, and a former Matsuri chef has arrived to make things right. At Ganso, while the decor is quintessentially Brooklyn minimalist cool, they bring out some serious flavors of miso and soy based broth as well as typical Japanese comfort food like gyoza, fried chicken, and croquettes. Each dish is quite modern with an interesting twist, but the flavor remains simple yet powerful.
Crispy gyoza ($7) had a layer of extra crispy layer that made the dish more interesting textually. The inside was full of juicy soup from the pork and finely chopped vegetables. Usually Tan Tan noodles are available only with meat, but Ganso offers this as a vegetarian dish, which is a welcoming surprise. At $12, this hearty bowl of ramen with sesame chili broth provided an incredibly clean flavor. The thin chewy noodles were perfectly cooked, and the fresh vegetables and egg soaked up all the flavors from the smokey broth.
RB's Spicy Miso ($13, with Inaka miso broth, slow-braised pork two ways, ajitama egg, seasonal greens) provided an answer to why there are no condiments at each table. Usually at traditional ramen shops, you would see an alley of condiments, but not here. As RB slurped this spicy miso ramen, he nodded and said there was no need to add anything on this perfect bowl of spicy ramen.
Ganso will certainly be our ramen and Japanese food staple. With their fresh ingredients and clean flavors, I can believe in ramen again. Thank you, Ganso.