Umami’s flavorful Japanese-style ramen adds to Stuttgart’s tasty takeout options
By JOHN VANDIVER | Stars and Stripes | Published: April 8, 2021
Miraculously, there are still chefs out there opening up when life in much of Germany is still locked down.
That’s the case for Umami, a new Japanese ramen eatery that recently opened in downtown Stuttgart, where high coronavirus case numbers mean that eating out still forces you to take it away. Umami, which replaced a different Japanese restaurant in the same spot, offers a refreshing alternative to the traditional takeout experience. For me, COVID-19 has meant too many pizza deliveries and burger pickups over the past year.
The restaurant offers seven different ramen dishes, ranging from vegetarian to chicken, pork and beef-based recipes. There are also various rice bowls available, along with sides like edamame and fried chicken pieces.
I went with the tantanmen, a spicier take on the typical bowl of ramen.
The restriction on eating inside was a pity because the interior looked inviting from the doorway where I made my order. A seat at a table certainly would have been an ideal place to slurp a spicy bowl of soup, rather than the immediate outdoor alternative.
Eberhardstrasse was bustling with construction, traffic and sidewalks filled with pedestrians on this afternoon. Rather than plopping down on the dirty curbside, I walked five minutes to nearby Schlossplatz, where I spread out on a patch of grass to enjoy the more pleasant scenery of Stuttgart’s main square.
When I opened my bowl — served in a sturdy, environmentally friendly paper container rather than Styrofoam — the soupy mix was still steaming hot.
The tantan noodles were served in pork broth with spicy ground beef, bok choy and other tasty nuggets. The hard-boiled egg was cooked perfectly, slightly gooey rather than dried out. The broth had a strong flavor of sesame and soy and just the right amount of spice.
I slurped it up in no time and wished I had more, especially at a cost of 14.90 euros, or close to $18.
The price seemed high to me. But the dish was something new and it delivered on flavor, which made it all worth it.
Location: 47 Eberhardstrasse, Stuttgart
Hours: 11:30 a.m.- 8 p.m., Monday-Saturday
Prices: 9-14.90 euros (around $10-$18)