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Steamy noodles at Umamido, Flagey

Huge bowls of Japanese noodle soup with pork neck and all the trimmings.
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Cycling in Brussels offers a new kind of cold, which makes a Swede feel almost at home. Freezing my fingers off whilst battling grey traffic every morning brings on strong a strong longing for Umamido in Flagey. It’s a loud and brightly-lit Japanese Ramen (noodle soup) restaurant, with welcoming kitchen smells, and a friendly waiter who doesn’t stress despite the constant queue of guests.

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It is advisable to start with kimchi or gyoza dumplings, if only because they look so nice. The kimchi is served in an oyster shell sat in a little pool of salt. I don’t quite get the salt, because the hot, salt and sour kicmhi has all the spicy and salty pickledness needed. If you go for lunch, and you are two, you get acouplpe of fried gyoza dumplings for free.

The miso soups are served up in an esthetically pleasing manner, in huge ceramic bowls. They taste rich and warming, and the creamy, meaty tasty of the pork neck accompanies the miso beautifully. It is so soft, it almost falls apart by itself. The garlic mushrooms adds a nice dimension of chewiness too, if you opt for adding that. And it is very filling food, so no worries for those who can’t imagine having just soup for lunch. The noodles are a very different quality than the ones you make at home, and keep their shape beautifully.

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Unfortunately, the vegetable miso is dull, even with the addition of smoked garlic butter, so I would only recommend Umamido to my meaty friends. Perhaps one can hope in the future they will serve some seafood-based, savoury and equally rich alternative to the meat soups. But aside from that, Umamido may be one of the best was of celebrating the cold chills.

Umamido, Chaussée de Vlerugat 1.

 

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