- Matthew Schniper
From early 2018 to mid-September 2019, this was a Ninja Xpress location, related to the Ninja Bowl at 9697 Prominent Point. But owner Jae Park sold this one to Fang White, the chef at Mama Poké. She refers to herself as “mama” several times during our visit, introducing us to her “mama sauce” (sesame, vinegar, soy, sugar, garlic, ginger) and saying that using no MSG and cutting all her ingredients daily by hand means “mama style,” homemade.
White, who says she operated the sushi kiosk at the Centennial Boulevard King Soopers for four years (around 2012 to ’16), also makes her bone broth daily, a mix of chicken (for milky color) and pork (for marrow fattiness) made with sea salt instead of soy. We try it in a fine, $11.99 chasu ramen bowl whose wine-marinated pork exudes a potent anise lacing above a tangle of serviceable noodles. Our Mama Special Poke Bowl comes adequately loaded over our choice of sushi rice for $12.99 with spicy tuna and salmon chunks, avocado, cucumber, seaweed salad, green onions, red bell peppers and red onions.
Combined with sesame oil, the mama sauce and a spicy wasabi mayo garnish, it delivers heat, crunch, umami, richness, fresh snap and sharp bite. White’s enjoyable dumplings (a mixed six of pork, chicken and beef stuffings for $8.99) boast 13 seasonings (overachieving five-spice, if you will) and notable green onion sharpness.