205 Grand St, Brooklyn
Makoto Suzuki, the man behind Bozu (one of Brooklyn’s most unsung best restaurants) plus the chewy deliciousness of Udon equals Samurai Mama – the perfect new spot for Jim and my first date night since baby. We arrived early before the crowds and snagged one of the few private two tops – the cozy and simple wood and brick space is dominated by a huge communal table. Udon is the name of the game here and offered in many varieties – in hot soup, dipping style, and bukkake (nothing dirty – just sauce slathered) all with different topping options from veggie to pork belly.
I opted for the traditional soup with the pork, Jim the same but as a dipping dish. Both were great, with thick, perfectly cooked noodles and a nice, sweet broth that I spiced up a bit with the red chili spices. The pork was tender and as good as it is in Bozu’s fabulous pork betty platter.
But there’s more to the menu than noodles, and you should come hungry so you can sample a bit of everything. The sushi comes in a taco form (with the nori acting as shell) and both the tuna avocado and eel avocado were outstanding. The gyoza arrived like in a surprising puffed baked appearance and was miles away from the frozen appetizer we all know so well from most Japanese restaurants. The list of sakes was varied and I opted for a smokey Suehiro glass. They had an unpasteurized bottle available (the drink I most missed while pregnant) but am really not at the point yet where I can drink half a bottle of anything.
Already garnering great local reviews and praise on yelp, Samurai Mama is sure to become another neighborhood fixture and a particularly welcome one as the nights get colder and colder and a steaming bowl of Udon beckons.
(Thanks mom and dad for the babysitting).