What could be more comforting than slurping noodles from a delicious chicken broth while the sky over Brussels is grey? Nothing really, other than maybe drowning a gyoza in a spicy soy dipping sauce.
Yamato is a simple and honest place that serves great food. It was opened in 2016 by Kato, who came to Belgium when he was 23. After he had worked at several Japanese restaurants in Belgium, he took over the restaurant from Mr Inagaki, one of the first to introduce Japanese Ramen food culture to Brussels. Kato owns three restaurants (Yamato, and Menma in two locations), but Yamato is the only one where the broth used as a base for the Ramen is made from chicken, whereas other places predominantly use a pork base.
What’s Ramen? Ramen is a Japanese soup consisting of a broth basis that is served with homemade noodles, vegetables such as spring onions, soy beans or bamboo shoots as well as pork slices or Katsu. Katsu is breaded pork, which is very thin, crispy and juicy, cut into slices and added on top of your big bowl of Ramen. You can also choose the Miso version, which means that Miso paste (fermented bean paste) is added, giving your soup a more intense, saltier taste.
Another thing that makes Yamato special is the setting. You get delicious soup bowls while sitting at one of the stools around the bar from where you can watch Kato cooking and preparing steaming bowls, filled with handmade curly Ramen noodles, chicken broth, vegetables and meat (or without it if you’re vegetarian).
You can also order other dishes at the little corner restaurant right by Saint Boniface. Their Gyozas are delicious and the Katsudon, too. If it’s your first time here though, definitely try the Miso Katsu Ramen. It’s smooth in its taste, full of umami flavour and full of different textures. Once you’ve taken a bite into the Katsu, you’re going to come back to Yamato over and over again.
Good to know: Gyoza around 7€, Ramen 12-14€
Address: Rue Francart 11, 1050 Ixelles