Thumbs Up Ramen, a new Japanese restaurant, has opened in Fort Lee. Located at 2024 Center Avenue, Suite G in Fort Lee, Thumbs Up brings together a partnership of two skilled restaurants whose goal was to make customers experience ramen from Japan like never before. The signature item “Bubble (AWA) Ramen” will soon be the talk of the town. Read on to learn more about the Thumbs Up Ramen located in Bergen County.
Coming to New Jersey
The owners of Thumbs Up Ramen are Naotaka Miyazawa and Teruaki Ishiyama. Naotaka hails from Tokyo, where he was introduced to the craft of making ramen in his teenage years. He then moved to work at Tsujita Restaurant in Tokyo, a popular ramen restaurant famous for its tsukmin (Japanese noodles) craft. The business took off and expanded to the United States where there are now several locations. However, the first East Coast location Naotaka opened was Thumbs Up Ramen.
With his 32 years of experience as a ramen chef, Naotaka has teamed up with Teruaki, who has opened countless restaurants across the country, including Tokyo Shokudo and Tendon Tempura Carlos Jr. and B-Bee Crepe & Boba. It was Teruaki who came up with the idea to open a restaurant in Fort Lee, having lived in New Jersey for the past five years and often travels to town via the nearby George Washington Bridge.
(Image credit: @thumbsup777)
The owners first drew attention to the restaurant’s opening in his first Instagram post on December 11, 2021, where he said: “Grand Opening in Spring 2022!! We will update you all on this account! ” The official opening took place on Wednesday, 1 June. To celebrate and welcome new customers, the Asian restaurant gave away 100 bowls of its signature Bubble (AWA) ramen free of charge to the first 100 people who followed its Instagram account.
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About the menu
next to the signature platter, Customers can choose from eight types of ramen on offer, including chicken paitan ramen, chicken baitan tsukmen, chicken baitan miso ramen, baitan chicken miso tsukmen, tomato mapo noodles, vegetable ramen, classic shoyu ramen, and custom ramen. Each dish is customizable with the option to choose from 15 different toppings. Thumbs Up Ramen also has entrees on its menu including karaage chicken, takoyaki, gyoza, pork buns, edamame, and a variety of rice dishes.
Naotaka developed his own recipe for Bubble (AWA) Ramen after his recent visit to Japan and tested ramen from several stores. He shared in a press release, “I thought it was great ramen and worked hard to develop my own recipe. I really wanted Americans to try Bubble (AWA) Ramen because of its creativity and deliciousness.”
The chef at Ramen says it takes 20 hours to prepare the beitan chicken broth. The process involves slowly simmering selected chicken bones with eight types of delicious vegetables.
“It creates a nice harmony when combined with the freshest noodles we get from Sun Noodle, a famous noodle maker who owns a factory in New Jersey,” he said. “Before pouring the soup into a bowl, we whisk the soup to enhance the umami inside the broth. Bubbling texture [is] very soft; When it pops into your mouth, the smell of chicken tickles your nose. “
check it out
Thumbs Up Ramen is adjacent to other restaurants including Bunsik, JINN Ice Cream Rolls, Aquarius Seafood, and Soba Noodle Azuma. There is plenty of seating available inside for customers to dine and watch the ramen freshly prepared daily.
The Japanese hotspot has already earned 4.5 stars on Yelp. One reviewer wrote, “It is always good to have a plate of ramen whenever you want. But for a ramen meal that is different and fresh and reminds you of a ramen you have always enjoyed, this is the place to go.” Another shared, “I am usually skeptical about chicken broth ramen because the ramen in the past was tasteless. Excellent though screws. Delicious, rich and comforting. I will return as a citizen.”
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Hours are 11am-3pm for lunch and 5pm-9pm for dinner every day except Wednesdays, when Thumbs Up is closed.
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