Brussels

Umamido (Brussels, Belgium): Big Ramen Bowls in a Small Space

THE STORY

As usual, my day centered around visiting this ramen spot, which opened at noon. This meant I had time to have coffee and a bite beforehand.

I decided to visit a Portuguese bakery (because why not?) within a healthy walk’s distance from Umamido. This way I could have my coffee and small breakfast bite a couple hours before destroying a bowl of ramen.

While walking to Umamido, however, I decided to eat a pastel de nata I had purchased to go.

Rookie mistake.

I didn’t need the pastel de nata. I just wanted it.

Umamido Ramen Restaurant Flagey Brussels Belgium Asian Japanese Noodle Soup

When you go out for ramen, it’s good practice to show up hungry. Of course, this can be dangerous if you’re also walking the thin line between appropriately hungry and hangry.

When I finally arrived at Umamido, I worried that I wasn’t hungry enough. But it seemed too late for another walk around the block.

Umamido Flagey Brussels Belgium sign graphic design

Umamido has five or six 2-top tables inside, and maybe four seats at the bar. The space is so intimate that I couldn’t get into my seat without brushing against the table next to me. There’s just the chef and the waiter - any more than that and it’d be a crowd.

THE REVIEW

I had the Ramen of the Chef, which is described as “The ultimate ramen, spicy, fatty, salty, totally Umamido, the bowl that feeds the soul.” This description is not wrong.

This was a bowl of ramen unlike any other I’d ever had.

Ramen of the Chef Umamido Restaurant Flagey Brussels Belgium Asian Japanese Noodle Soup

What was most intimidating was the bacon, if that’s what you would call it. Just one look at these two slabs of crispy, meaty pork and I knew I was doomed. There was no way I could finish this bowl.

But I happily accepted the challenge.

And instead of corn, there were green peas. While not as sugary sweet as corn kernels, they still added a refreshing flavor and texture. The raw red onion and rocket were also a wonderful surprise.

With the added pinch of kimchi, this ramen was spicier than I expected. But that’s what beer is for.

I recommend this spot for ramen lovers both new and veteran. It’s not a traditional or typical ramen joint, but you’re also not a traditional or typical traveler if you’re seeking ramen in Brussels.


Umamido Flagey (there are seven locations, one food truck, and no reservations), Chaussee de Vleurgat 1, 1050 Elsene, Ixelles, Belgium

Yaki (Brussels, Belgium)

THE STORY

At the beginning of our time in Europe, we were not actively searching out Asian food. Though in our exploration of Brussels, we passed a large window with what appeared to be bowls upon bowls of noodles and rice. I was in awe of just the artistry of it, let alone the fact we had found a noodle spot in Brussels. (It turns out that fake food art is a thing.)

Yaki_002.jpg

I was so excited about the decorative noodle bowls that I forgot to write down the name of the restaurant! I hadn't been as mindful of such things at the beginning of our journeys. A few days later though we finally stumbled upon it again for dinner - it was meant to be.

The restaurant is described on the internet as "Thai," though I would consider the dish I had to be Chinese, and there were definitely Vietnamese dishes on the menu, too. Such is the nature of Asian restaurants in Europe.

The restaurant itself is small, but luckily it was a warm summer evening and there was a table available for us outside. I was enamored with how the kitchen was set up: it was just a few ranges on one side and ingredients lining the other. The operation was admirable - one that I'd want in my restaurant if I ever opened one.

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THE REVIEW

I ordered a noodle soup with char siu pork, and the Ramen Marauder ordered...some other tasty soup. Much like Nam Kee in Amsterdam, this char siu noodle soup tickled my soul. I feel like the BBQ pork is a flavor that appeals to many, but I don't see it as often. The flavors were clean, simple, and distinct. It was the perfect amount of food on a beautiful Belgian evening.

There were so many delicious-looking noodle soups that I wish we could've gone back again! I highly recommend visiting Yaki for your noodle soup fix.


There are two Yaki locations, but we only went to the Grand Palace location: Rue du Midi 52, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgique, +32 2 503 34 09