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Noodlin' Around: Newark's New Ramen Shop

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Chef Sam Ho of Ramen Kumamoto (165 E. Main St., Newark, 733-0888), did his homework before opening a restaurant in Delaware. “We think ramen is really popular,” he says, “and we wanted to open in a college town.” Ho’s 25-seat ramen shop has been packing in students and other aficionados of the Japanese specialty since it opened in May. It serves several types of ramen, which traditionally consists of noodles, meat, fresh vegetables and a rich broth. The menu also offers appetizers such as steamed pork buns and seaweed salad, curry platters and don buri (rice bowl dishes). Ho, who formerly owned Zento Japanese Contemporary Cuisine in Philadelphia and was a sous chef at Morimoto, says he and his restaurant partners are focusing on authentic Japanese cuisine at Kumamoto. But the main draw is the ramen, where diners use chopsticks and big spoons to slurp up the noodles, broth and vegetables. (They’re encouraged to shout out “kae-dama” if they need extra noodles.) Ho isn’t talking about expansion—yet. “We have plans,” he says. “But we don’t want to rush. We want to build up our reputation and trust.” 

Ramen Kumamoto 

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