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Newark’s Ramen Kumamoto Is the Definition of a Hidden Gem


Mayu ramen//Danielle Bouchat-Friedman

Feeling run-down, worn-out or just in need of some good comfort food in your belly? Newark’sRamen Kumamoto is your answer.

A good friend and fellow Delaware Today staffer has been raving about this placefor years, and last week sheoffered to take me to this tinyethnic eatery for an early birthday dinner. We dragged another foodie along with us for the experience,and boy, were we both sorry wehadn’t tried it sooner!

We started with a bunch of tastyappetizers—thegyoza(marinated pork and vegetable dumplings), the potato croquetteand the tempurashumai(crispy battered shrimpshumaiserved with a slightly spicy sauce).

Our steaming bowls of ramen arrived almost immediately after the appetizers.My dinner dates ordered the miso ramen—a miso paste soup topped with roast pork ($10)—and thecharshuramen, a pork bone soup with roast pork, red ginger andscallions ($12). I ordered themayuramen, a pork bone soup with a roasted leek and crushed garlic oil broth ($11). The portions are extremely generous, and you have the option of specifying the exact tenderness of your noodles:extra firm, firm, soft or extra soft. Most come with a seasoned soft-boiled egg—if not, add one to your order for just $1.

I gobbled up my mealin its entirely, but both my companions had leftovers. And when you order takeout or bringextras home, the accommodatingstaffseparates the noodles from the brothto keep the noodlesfrom getting soggy. Genius!

Chef Sam Ho, formerly ofZentoJapanese Contemporary Cuisine in Philadelphia, manages the eatery, where you can also order curry platters anddonburi, a rice bowl dish consisting of fish, meat, vegetables or other ingredients.

Ramen Kumamoto does not serve alcohol, but trust me when I say you won’t miss it—you want to be lucid throughout this euphoric dining experience, down to your last noodle.

More information:
Ramen Kumamoto
165 E. Main St., Newark
733-0888• Facebook
Hours: Open daily,11:30 a.m.–10 p.m.