[NOTE] Yamato sadly closed its doors early 2015.
As a journalist, I have learned to be very cautious when using superlatives such as “best”. The rule: Only use this form, if you are absolutely sure, that you are correct. Here is an opportunity to use the word “best”: Yamato just off St. Boniface (exact address: 11 rue Francart) definitely is the best place for Ramen in town. Not only are food and value for money great, the atmosphere is one of a kind too.
You might not notice Yamato when passing during the day. This corner venue doesn’t open till 18:30 sharp – and only from Tuesday to Saturday. If you have seen the place, you may have noticed that there are no tables (actually there is one rather tiny one at the back near the toilettes.) People sit along a bar, so instead of looking at your dinner partner you look at the cook! And I promise you your mouth will water. The cook – I presume a Japanese, haven’t got round to talking to him yet – has organised his kitchen rather efficiently. There are only about 6 different Ramens on the menu: If I remember correctly there is Vegetable and noodle Ramen (with or without garlic), Ramen with pork and noodles (with and without garlic), Ramen with fried pork and noodles (again with or without garlic). In addition to this you can have Gyozas (little dumplings/parcels) as starters. That’s about it – and that is enough! This way the restaurant ensures great, fresh food and a wonderful and very different dining experience.
However, beware that this is no place for the romantic, candlelight dinner where you can sit sipping wine and holding hands until the restaurant closes: As there is only the one bar with about a dozen seats, guests get their bill as soon as they have spooned up the last drop of soup. But this is part of the fun, part of the atmosphere. Also important to know: this restaurant doesn’t have wine. There is Saki and Asahi beer for those who want alcohol and soft drinks and tea for all others.
One very important tip: The restaurant closes about nine o’clock. However, if you want to make sure that you will get your feed, make sure you turn up at 8:30 latest. Last time we went we got there at eight and had to wait till 8:45 for a seat. Other times we have been there at 6:20 and have managed to get in with the first slot. Perfect if you are looking for a bite to eat directly after work or shopping.
Yamato, Rue Francart 11, Brussels // No website