I recently met up with Jay of the Dishelin Guide for ramen at Ganso. After a while, you run into the same people at blogger events, and it seems foolish not to make plans to eat with other foodies. Food people are the best kind of people, right? (Except for maybe food people who are also vegetarian, but most food people are down with veggies, so that’s cool too.)
At 5:30pm, Ganso was fairly empty as the dinner rush had not hit yet. The space is warm and inviting with exposed brick and wooden booths. I’ve had a lot of ramen in Manhattan, but this is my first in Brooklyn. Expect many more BK ramen posts over the next few months.
At most ramen joints, you’re lucky if there are more beer choices than you can count with one hand. Ganso has a good selection of craft beers, including several Japanese beers, starting at $7. I enjoyed a lager with light hops and hints of honey before moving on to a pilsner that paired nicely with the ramen.
Unfortunately, they only have gyoza filled with pork, but they do offer a half portion for $4.50, which arrived with a giant snowflake of fried gyoza skin. The gyoza looked kind of greasy, and Jay’s reaction to the gyoza suggested it was okay, but not all that remarkable.
We shared an order of the spring rolls ($9). Packed with chewy veggies (shiitake, burdock, carrot, garlic chives) with a good crispy skin. The mustard with the soy sauce was a nice touch. Overall, the spring rolls were pretty good, but I wouldn’t say it’s a must order item.
For all you omnivores, there are 5 different meat based ramen bowls on the menu, including a Triple Shrimp ramen. I believe this is the first I’ve seen shrimp ramen on the menu in the US. My Yasai Ramen ($14) had a vegetarian shiitake soy milk broth with sesame paste. This is the first time I’ve tried a soy milk broth, but I’ve seen it on the menu at other places as well.
The noodles were okay. I suspect they might have sat in the broth too long before I started eating them, oops. The broth had an interesting nuttiness to it, but it was kind of bland. It needed salt and pepper, and maybe even some heat to spruce it up. The thick, juicy slices of tofu were the best part. It almost looked like pork belly when my bowl was initially placed in front of me. The other toppings were good, but I would have liked more of everything, especially as the shiitakes were so small and sad.
After some deliberation, Jay got the Spicy Soboro Miso ($15). It’s an inaka (barley) miso broth with spicy ground pork and pork belly. It looked like a good broth, and I’m sure it had much more flavor than mine. Also, if you’re into pork, I’m sure having two kinds of pork is a nice.