The noodle scene in Williamsburg Part 1
I used to say “there is no authentic Japanese restaurant in Williamsburg!” I know I was ignoring the fact that Bozu was a neighborhood stable for a long time, but it is a tapas bar that can barely fill anyone up. Or the fact that Supercore has been providing homemade Japanese food long before i moved to the neighborhood. When Zenkichi opened up, it still haven’t change the scene since it is once again a tapas bar. When will there be an authentic sushi joint? Or a noodle place?
If you are waiting for a sushi place, keep waiting or hop across the river to East Village. However, if you are waiting for noodle, I am happy to report that depends on the type of noodle, there is at least one restaurant in Williamsburg that can satisfy your craving!
First up is Samurai Mama. Don’t be fooled by such an unfortunate name and immediately think this is one of those neighborhood Japanese restaurants that clearly isn’t run by Japanese at all. Samurai Mama is actually brought to you by the owner of Bozu, Makoto Suzuki. With that knowledge, I have a certain expectation and they are mostly met! The wood and brick shop is in line with the authentic decor of Bozu. The most noticeable feature is the giant communal table right in the middle of the room. It can easily accommodate for 20+ customers! (there are also some booths and tables on the side for more private setting.)
In terms of food, Samurai Mama does have sushi on their menu, with a unique taco style offering but the focus here really is udon! Their udon is made in-house, not the frozen ones you get from the grocery stores. The texture is just about right, not too chewy and yet not too mushy. Udon are served in 3 styles: Kake, Tsuke Jil, and Bukkake, which simply means serve in hot soup, cold with dipping sauce, and dump and stir. Their toppings are kept to the minimum similar to the traditional Japanese offering, so be sure to check out their appetizers particularly the Pork Belly Daikon!
Overall Samurai Mama is a reasonable price place with a very solid offering. With the New York Japanese noodle scene dominated by ramen, this place is a refreshing standout!
Samurai Mama is located at 205 Grand Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
P.S. next post will be about, you guess it right! Ramen!