From Pop-Ups to Full-Time Eatery, Nudo House Now Open
St. Louis, MO/August 12, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – If (like me) you are a fan of ramen, then you might be interested in the new, long-anticipated ramen restaurant which opened in Creve Coeur July 28th. Nudo House, 11423 Olive Boulevard in Creve Coeur, is just the sixth restaurant to open in the St. Louis area that specializes in authentic ramen. The city’s love affair with Nudo House’s tasty Asian noodles actually began long before the restaurant opened—when owner, Qui Tran decided to feature a series of special ramen pop-up dinners at his first restaurant, Mai Lei—and the rest was sweet, sweet (or should I say savory?) noodle history.
Tran has said he got into the restaurant business in St. Louis more than 30 years ago after realizing there weren’t any restaurants offering the Vietnamese cuisine he loved. Tran decided to combat the sad lack of Vietnamese restaurants in the St. Louis area by simply opening his own. And, thus, Mai Lei was born. This was just the humble beginnings for Vietnamese food in the Gateway City, but the global cuisine has only grown in its popularity in St. Louis ever since. And Qui Tran was at the start of it all—now he’s apparently back at it again with the opening of Nudo House.
You might be thinking to yourself right now, “Hey, wait a minute! Isn’t ramen that 99 cent, freeze dried stuff I ate back in college that came in a tiny plastic bag with an even tinier flavor packet inside it that when heated and ingested definitely did not provide me with my basic daily nutrients that any hot meal should!?” Well, you’re half right. They call that packaged stuff ramen too. But, if you are unfamiliar with fresh ramen, then sit down, take a deep breath and let me show you the light (the savory, noodle-y light!). You see, the origin of ramen is kind of a mystery: some sources credit the Chinese for its origin, while other sources claim it was invented in Japan in the early 20th century. The word ramen is actually Japanese borrowing of the Chinese lamian (拉麵). But that’s enough of a history lesson! What’s really important is how it tastes! Now, the biggest issue with those 99 cent grocery store ramens is that they aren’t fresh (freeze-dried noodles just aren’t the same) and they are very basic; just noodles and a flavor packet. I have come across ramen cups that include freeze dried peas, carrots, and sometimes even teeny, tiny shrimps, but these are not the norm and still pretty subpar compared to the real thing. Real ramen is a totally different experience. Unlike that grocery store puck, real ramen noodles are freshly made, not fried and dried. If it’s done right, ramen is served in a big bowl with fresh ingredients like cut up vegetables, a savory meat of your choice, and usually a soft-boiled egg—and, of course those signature, slurp-worthy noodles. Yum! I’m getting hungry just writing about it. Eating authentic ramen is really an experience everyone should try once.
Nudo House offers the raw power of real ramen in a relaxed restaurant setting. The fast-casual service model makes this an unintimidating experience even for ramen novices. It’s clear a lot of thought was given to the ramen experience at Nudo House. Qui Tran and his partner, Nudo House head chef Marie-Anne Velasco, spent two years travelling the country in search of the most sought-after ingredients, recipes, and techniques in order to perfect Nudo House’s cuisine. Their effort is aimed at maintaining as much authenticity to traditional Japanese ramen as possible. Tran says he wants to share the best, most authentic ramen you can find outside of Japan. Nudo House features a small but carefully curated menu that includes four different ramen bowls, two kinds of bánh mì sandwiches, pho, kimchi, spring rolls, crab rangoon and several salad options. Two flavors of soft-serve ice cream are also available for dessert. Nudo House also has a liquor license pending, so hopefully beer and wine will be available in the near future. Nudo House is open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.. This might just be the perfect new place to grab a bite to eat, it’s certainly a great choice for authentic ramen in Creve Coeur.
Owner: Qui Tran
11423 Olive Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63141
By Katie Smith