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In the middle of a cold winter we always look for ways to warm up. A couple of nights ago, on yet another freezing day, I decided to treat myself into a steaming bowl of ramen soup. Having already tried the ramen of Umamido and Yamato, my partner in crime and I headed to Kokuban, a Japanese restaurant that is famous for serving some of the best ramen in Brussels.

We arrived around 19:30 and luckily, it was still quite calm so we could choose our table. There are actually two Kokuban restaurants, one in the European quarter close to Living Room and Parc Leopold (where the pictures were taken) and one between Flagey and Avenue Louise. If you pick the latter, it’s probably better to book in advance as it gets rather busy in my experience.

True to Kokuban’s Japanese aesthetic, the decor is minimalistic, the lighting soft and the service kind and efficient. Wooden tables, blackboards with Japanese ideograms (Kokuban stands for blackboard in Japanese) and a variety of different ramen combinations and otsumami (small starter dishes). Note to the sushi lovers/readers of this post: unfortunately sushi is not served here but no worries, the dishes on offer are really tasty!

The menu features a lot of fresh fish, different kinds of noodles, salads and soups – there’s something for everyone. We shared Kokuban’s specialty, gyoza (dumplings served with a dipping sauce) and a ginger-spiced octopus salad. The flavour was spot on but the portions could be a bit larger considering the price. The miso ramen was very good indeed, light and not very meaty and the ice cream trio (green tea-ginger-sesame) the perfect way to finish a great meal!

If you’re looking for a nice address for a light lunch or a casual dinner with a Japanese flavour, give Kokuban a try. Let me know how you liked it or even better, send me a picture with your comments using the #seemybrussels hashtag on Twitter or Instagram!

Address: Place Jean Rey, 1040 Etterbeek, Belgium
Telephone: +32 2 5142800

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Sandy (@smarksthespots)