1638 Parker Avenue
Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024
Contact | 201.482.4141
Ramen in the summer brings out the masochist in all of us. That’s especially true after a long, hot day walking through Woodbury Commons, but it’s exactly what we did this weekend in the middle of this summer heat.
Menya Sandaime is a little ramen shop in the middle of Fort Lee, tucked away on Parker Street. The rickety cabin was packed in the middle of the day on this summer Saturday despite its not having much A/C going. We figured that to be a good sign.
Turns out the crowd was there for a reason. The broth was bold and luscious. You’ll see why when you get a bite of that pork, charred just enough to leave it somewhere between a liquid a solid state. The fat of the pork slices melts as soon as it hits your mouth, so try no to think about how you’re pretty much taking down a bowl of that liquefied version through that broth.
Anyway, you know that’s what you’re getting yourself into when you go for good ramen. So focus on which of the five choices you’ll have to indulge in.
For the pork-based broths, you’ll have the standard donkotsu and spicy karakuchi. I love a good kick of spice usually, but not if it detracts from the rich melted-pork flavor — which is why you’re here in the first place. The spice in the karakuchi ramen is airy and pervasive. It’s not that it’s too strong, but that masks the really mouthwatering meaty flavors that you’d find in the original.
So long story short, I’d stick to the original.
I’d also recommend not to order an extra handful of noodles. It does substantially increase the size of your order for just $2, but their noodles aren’t the typical ramen-type squiggly noodles. They’re thick, heavy, starchy noodles that will fill you up very quickly.
You’ll see plenty of rave reviews about their gyoza too. They’re solid, especially for those of you who like those charred bottoms on pot-stickers.
Get ready to sweat if you plan to stop by before the fall, but if that’s something you can stomach, it might be a good way to avoid the wait this place must see com wintertime.