Jersey Japanese Journey
A guide to New Jersey's Japanese boom
The Hudson River is practically reverberating from the much-anticipated opening of the new Sun Noodle factory in Bergen County, New Jersey. If you love ramen as much as we do, now is the time to head to the region's new noodle mecca.
First stop, Ramen Lab at Sun Noodle: Kenshiro Uki's family debuted its noodle factory in Hawaii in 1981, then opened an outpost in California, and now New Jersey. Is it a coincidence that Stateside ramen fever has followed the same geographic course? We think not. Classes with ramen master Shigetoshi Nakamura begin this week, as do tours of the factory, where custom noodles for Ramen Setagaya, Chuko and ramen cult figure Ivan Orkin are cut). Check @RamenLab for class dates and details. 375 North St., Unit O, Teterboro, NJ; 201-530-1100
To finish, Mitsuwa Marketplace: If your visit to Ramen Lab has left you craving more Japanese food, this giant marketplace is the logical next stop. Shop first for fresh wasabi root, hoshigaki (massaged dried persimmons), elegantly long Tokyo negi onions, shungiku chrysanthemum and pristine sushi-grade fish. Then head to the food court for roasted-green-tea soft serve ($3) and tai-yaki, fish-shaped pastries made of a Belgian-waffle-like batter filled with sweet red beans ($1.75). Bonus: Mitsuwa is also accessible by taking the store's shuttle bus from the Port Authority. 595 River Rd., Edgewater, NJ; 201-941-9113 or mitsuwa.com