Takumi Düsseldorf in Rotterdam

Takumi Düsseldorf opened a ramen shop in Rotterdam last Friday evening and I immediately went to have a ramen lunch the next day. It was on a late Saturday afternoon and only half the store was taking orders. I think that the kitchen staff cannot handle the large crowd yet and they did this to have a better quality control. When I asked for a table for three, the waiter told us that the wait was about an hour, but we were allowed to sit and study the menu at the tables on the one side of the ramen shop that they kept empty. As a real Japanese ramen mania, I decided to just wait it out.       

Takumi Düsseldorf Rotterdam sapporo ramen restaurant west-kruiskade 9





In the end, the wait wasn't that long. I think it was about 40 minutes and the time just flew by, while we were trying to decide what we wanted to order.

Takumi Düsseldorf Rotterdam interior

There are 13 different ramen to choose from and you can also customize them by adding more ramen noodles or extra toppings. For four of the ramen (the normal ramen, aji-tama ramen, Sapporo ramen, and the Takumi's special ramen), you can also pick out the soup base: shio (salt flavored), shoyu (soy sauce flavored), and miso (miso flavored). Besides ramen, there are also three curry rice dishes, 5 kinds of mini donburi style rice bowls, and side dishes such a korokke (fried potato corquette), kara-age (fried chicken pieces), and takoyaki (octopus balls), and gyoza. There are also several interesting matcha ice cream desserts.

The ramen are really affordable with prices from €10.50-€14.50, mini rice bowls for €5.80 and €6.50, and easy combination rice plates (with for example a half portion of fried chicken and a half portion of gyoza) for only €9.50.

Takumi Düsseldorf Rotterdam 4-people tables

We got a good table near the windows and to save time, we were handed the order form beforehand, so that we could immediately place the order when we get seated. I think there are around 10 tables in there and the tables are not too close to each other. I really like the comfortable benches and I could easily have a nice conversation without disturbing the neighboring table.

Takumi Düsseldorf Rotterdam ramen condiments

On the tables, you can find napkins, chopsticks, and condiments for the ramen: sesame seeds, ramen pepper, and La-yu (spicy oil). I actually tried a bit of the condiments: sesame seeds (adds a bit of crunchiness and sesame flavor to the ramen), ramen pepper (it tastes like normal white pepper with a hint of herbs), and La-yu (it makes the ramen taste a bit like the Chinese spicy jelly fish).

Takumi Düsseldorf Rotterdam hot green tea japanese tea pot cup

I ordered the hot Japanese green tea (€2.70), which came in a cute, one person tea pot and with a matching cup. Since we were starving, we were very happy to see the gyoza arriving to our table very quickly. We ordered the large portion of 10 gyoza (€8.80) to share, but if you are alone, you can also order the smaller portion of 5 gyoza (€4.80).

Takumi Düsseldorf Rotterdam 10 gyoza

The gyoza were very delicious, as they are soft on one side and slightly crispy on the other side. You can really taste that the wrapper of the gyoza is fresh and not from out of the freezer. There was also a nice balance between the chewy and soft wrapper and the juicy chicken and vegetable filling. Not one side gets the upper hand. 

Takumi Düsseldorf Rotterdam 10 crispy gyoza

Afterwards, the ramen were brought to us one by one. We didn't get the ramen bowls all at once, but we only needed to wait for a short while, so we never really had to stare at somebody else's delicious ramen without one in front of us for a long time.

The first one, we got was the Tsukemen (cold noodles), which probably takes the least time to make.
 Takumi Düsseldorf Rotterdam tsukemen cha sui bean sprout egg seaweed

You can get the tsukemen in normal (€12.50) and big size (€14.50). We decided to get the big size, as it was only €2 more and we could share the noodles if necessary. The others could try out the tsukemen soup too and add more noodles to their own bowl if there is still some soup left. The noodles have an amazing texture - soft and chewy -, so you will definitely be craving for more.   

As toppings, you get a handful of seaweed and bean sprouts, two halves of a soft boiled egg, and some cha sui (pork). I actually couldn't figure out what the red pot was for, as the watery and milky liquid inside had a very bland taste. The brown dipping soup with spring onions on the other hand had a very rich bonito flavor. I had a bite of noodles with it and I quite liked it. It was rich, but still a bit refreshing. Maybe due to the spring onions.   
 Takumi Düsseldorf Rotterdam tsukemen toppings egg cha sui bean sprouts seaweed

This is the ramen I picked and it is the Buta-tama (literally translates to pork-egg) tonkotsu ramen. Tonkotsu ramen has a milky, collagen rich, flavorful, and fatty pork-bone broth. Because cha siu is a must with ramen, I ordered an extra portion of cha siu for €2. 

Takumi Düsseldorf Rotterdam buta tama tonkotsu ramen cha sui pork soft boiled egg

As toppings, you get some bamboo shoots (delicious and crunchy, cooked in a savory sweet soy sauce broth?), a runny egg, spring onions, bean sprouts, thin slices of fatty pork and fried onions. The tonkotsu broth was milky, savory, and rich as expected. I really like it, but half way in, it can get a bit too heavy and salty. So, I recommend taking a sip of bitter green tea every once in a while to cleanse the palette.

The cha siu had a nice flavor - albeit a bit dry - and the pork shreds/slices in the middle taste similar to the stir-fried beef topping you get in a gyudon (beef onion rice bowl). The crispy fried onions on top was a nice touch, as it adds lots of flavor to the pork and noodles. Breaking the runny egg (barely boiled) onto the ramen can also make the noodles taste more smooth and rich.  

The noodles were a little bit softer than the tsukemen noodles I tasted before, but it still had a nice bite and it tasted just as good. It is basically a matter of preference. If you like it with a bit firmer and chewier texture, you can get the tsukemen and if you want noodles with a slightly softer outside - but still just as chewy in the inside - you can get one of the ramen soup bowls.

Takumi Düsseldorf Rotterdam buta tama tonkotsu ramen pork cha sui soft boiled egg bean sprouts spring onions fried onions bamboo shoots

 We also ordered the Takumi's special ramen with a miso flavored broth (€14.50). As it is the special ramen of the ramen shop, it was worth a try.

Takumi Düsseldorf Rotterdam takumi's special miso ramen

As toppings, you get cha sui, thinly sliced cabbage, spring onions, bean sprouts, and crispy fried onions. Out of the three ramen, this ramen has the most interesting and layered soup base. I tasted a deep meaty broth with some fried garlic and fried onion flavors and a sweet cabbage end taste. It says it also has special spices in there, but I cannot tell which ones they are. Just try this one out for yourself!   

Takumi Düsseldorf Rotterdam takumi's special miso ramen cha sui thinly sliced vegetables cabbage garlic onion special spices

By the end of the meal, I considered getting a matcha green tea dessert, but I got too full. I think one bowl of noodles is already a good filling lunch for the most of us. But since they are almost bite-sized snacks, it is possible to also squeeze in some pieces of the delicious gyoza too. Or the other side dishes that I haven't tried yet. 

The waitress also came over to ask us if we enjoyed our meal, as she heard some complaints on the opening day that the soup base of the ramen was a bit too salty. They deliberately had the chef come over from the Takumi Düsseldorf main shop in Germany today to keep things on track in the kitchen. I thought that the tonkotsu ramen was a bit too salty, but it is supposed to be that way as I had it in Japan like this too. So, there were no complaints from us. We felt lucky that we got to eat ramen made - or at least supervised - by the traditional Japanese chef from Germany.   

With the bill, I also got a Takumi Düsseldorf stamp card with which I can collect stamps for every ramen I order. When you have 10 stamps, you get 5 pieces of gyoza for free, and with 20 stamps, you can get a bowl of ramen for free. The ramen is almost as good as the ones I had in Japan, so I will definitely be back for more ramen! 



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