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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’s Ramen Kumamoto is your answer.

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

We started with a bunch of tasty appetizers—the gyoza (marinated pork and vegetable dumplings), the potato croquette and the tempura shumai (crispy battered shrimp shumai served 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 the charshu ramen, a pork bone soup with roast pork, red ginger and scallions ($12). I ordered the mayu ramen, 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 meal in its entirely, but both my companions had leftovers. And when you order takeout or bring extras home, the accommodating staff separates the noodles from the broth to keep the noodles from getting soggy. Genius!

Chef Sam Ho, formerly of Zento Japanese Contemporary Cuisine in Philadelphia, manages the eatery, where you can also order curry platters and donburi, 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.