SushiSamba flexes its Japanese, Brazilian, and Peruvian muscles starting today for a two month-long ramen special with four new bowls (well, one plate, technically) of noodles at their West Village restaurant.
Designed by the chain's corporate chef Koji Kagawa, the "Samba Ramen by Koji" looks to capitalize on ramen's versatility by employing Brazilian and Peruvian ingredients. Most of the ingredients look pretty typical to us, especially in NYC's rich ramen culture, but guess that's where the Peruvian corn and manchego come in.
Even if we've seen some of these combos before, the dishes sound pretty good and even include a vegetarian option, a welcome oasis in this tonkotsu-soaked town. The Yasai Yasai ramen ($14) employs kale, beet root, baby bok choy, honshimeji mushroom, Peruvian corn, snow pea shoot, spicy garlic, yuzu "skin," which we take to mean the peel of the citrus fruit.
The Shotoribu ($17) puts us back on the meat beat with a bone marrow-based broth—and more marrow served on top—with short ribs, more of the Peruvian corn, baby bok choy, mushrooms and an egg. The Bekon, Uni and Chizu ($16) will be familiar to fans of Yuji Ramen's Bacon & Egg Mazeman. The version of the brothless ramen here uses applewood smoked bacon, manchego cheese, onion, cream, with lobes of uni adding even more richness.
Finally, the less common dessert ramen. The Tori No Su ($13) crisps up the noodles and dresses them in a cinnamon and sugar coating. The nest of noodles gets a scoop of toasted ramen ice cream, hazelnut cream, dollops of milk chocolate sauce, caramelized bananas and a passion fruit-mango gelee. Ramen for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.
SushiSamba is located at 87 7th Avenue South, (212) 691-7885; sushisamba.com