Yuji Ramen, a pop-up noodle shop nestled in a back corner of Williamsburg’s Kinfolk Studios, will most likely become your favorite ramen joint come summer. Its specialty dishes feature a style of brothless ramen called mazemen, which is catching on in Tokyo but is still uncommon here. In Yuji Ramen’s mazemen dishes, toppings such as slices of spicy tuna, vegetables, and nori ribbons crown noodles bathed in a slightly creamy sauce instead of broth. When the ramen arrives at the table, you admire the presentation, mix everything together, and dig in.
Yuji Ramen’s menu is concise and changes often. This past weekend, it included two unremarkable bun appetizers ($4)–pork and kimchi, and shiitake–and four types of mazemen ramen–spicy tuna, bacon and egg, uni miso, and veggies (made with yams).
The seafood dishes are the best of the lot, especially the uni ramen ($9), a type of seafood carbonara, the richest, boldest dish on the menu. Creamy sauce made with tare seasoning and fragrant uni grips curly noodles; scallion slivers, shiso, and nori confetti add crunch to the mix. The spicy tuna ramen ($10) garnished with well-seasoned slices of cooked tuna, threads of fried chile, nori, and Chinese broccoli, uses ordinary flavor combinations, but is nonetheless satisfying in its heartiness and spicy kick.
Considering what we’ve tasted so far, summertime seafood noodles should be promising here. We’re looking forward to trying the crab mazemen in the works now that uni season is waning and seeing where else Yuji can take the idea of a ramen dish liberated from its broth.
Yuji Ramen at Kinfolk Studios (90 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, 646-262-1358) Open Thursday through Sunday from 7 p.m. until close.