Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City
On the Neighborhood Eats tour that I lead for Urban Oyster, we talk about the unique food ecosystem in the neighborhood of Carroll Gardens. The food businesses in this area collaborate with each other, so if you own a restaurant, you don’t have to leave the street to get your fruit, cheese, meat, or coffee. This is the way it is along Smith Street and you either adapt or you don’t fit in.
Dassara Ramen opened just a few months ago on Smith Street in the former Chestnut space. It’s a spacious hipster haven that puts original spins on Japanese noodle soups. This is not the authentic ramen you will find throughout the East Village. This is something they like to call Brooklyn Ramen.
And already you can see signs of the rest of the neighborhood on their menu. I came by for brunch when they offer a unique dish featuring ingredients from neighboring appetizing shop, Shelsky’s. Hot kippered salmon, scallions, and cream cheese sound out of place on Japanese noodles, but somehow this unlikely brunch dish made perfect sense.
The noodles arrived with lots of additions, but barely any broth. I quickly learned that mazemen is a type of ramen dish with ingredients for mixing and very little (if any) soup. The lack of hot liquid actually made sense with these toppings. These full flavored ingredients would have overpowered any broth.
Even without soup, the springy noodles were still wonderfully moist. Balls of fried cream cheese and bright salmon roe provided two very different bursts of flavor, while the smoky fish seemed to tie the whole dish together. Some mighty tasty broth lingered at the bottom and my only complaint was that there wasn’t more of it.
They also offer a Deli Ramen at dinner featuring smoked meat from Mile End, whose commercial kitchen (being re-built from Sandy) is just blocks away in Red Hook. It’s nice to see Dassara is already keepin’ it in the ‘hood.
|271 Smith Street (between Sackett and Degraw Street),
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn