595 River Rd, Edgewater, NJ
web site: http://www.mitsuwanj.com
Takoyaki: It’s Octopussylicious
Before the Korean “invasion” of Bergen County about 15 years ago, the Asian demographic in Fort Lee/Edgewater area was predominantly Japanese and Chinese. While the Japanese contingent is now smaller in comparison with the Korean, it is nevertheless still quite vibrant. Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater, formerly known as Yaohan Plaza, is shopping and eating central for Japanese in Northern New Jersey. Its a Japanese supermarket combined with a food court as well as a mini-mall. If you live in Manhattan, you can get to Mitsuwa via their special buses at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Today Rachel and I went to Mitsuwa for lunch, to eat some Tonkatsu and Ramen, as well as Japanicised Chinese food.
This is a store that sells ornamental mochi (glutinous rice cakes) and Zeri, gelatin encased fruits.
Plate lunches at the UCC Cafe.
Sanuki / Bukkake Udon.
Court dining area.
Main Dining Area
Ham/Cheese/Asparagus Katsu Rolls.
Taiyaki, sweet griddle cakes shaped like fish.
ITOEN has its own tea store here, where you can get loose leaf and bottled iced teas.
A view of the Katsu and Sanuki take-out windows.
Italian Tomato, an “Italian” pastry store and pasta place, Japanese style.
St. Honore, a Japanese pastry store.
When I took this photo it was Strawberry month, so they put up a display of everything strawberry flavored they sell at the store.
Giant Strawberry Pocky.
The menu at the Ramen specialist.
Hot (spicy) miso ramen.
Display dishes at the Ramen specialist, Sanoku.
A plate display at the Katsu (fried items) specialist, Katsuhana.
A Japanese-style Chinese food display. All of these sample plates are plastic, but they look compellingly yummy up close.
I guess the plastic food displays worked because I decided to get one of the burger steaks with chile sauce on top. Yummy.
Shrimps with Chile Sauce.
One of the combo platters
Berkshire Pork (Kurobuta) Katsu
Giant Shrimp Katsu
More plastic plate lunches on display.
My girlfriend and I go to Mitsuwa a lot, almost once or twice a month. The salt and hot ramen are the two best things at the ramen shop. The tempura is really good, especially the katsudon, but honestly, most of the fried things are forgettable. The udon are perfect and taste like they were made on-site.
I can’t advise enough: subscribe to their newsletter. It keeps you abreast of all the special events. Once or twice a year they do a demonstration with a whole bigeye tuna, demonstrating how they cut it down, how to pick good pieces, and you can buy it really fresh: o-toro, chu-toro, right off the fish, in specially mixed sushi lunches. That happens in the winter. The one thing that they did last year that hasn’t happened yet: they brought in takoyaki specialists from Japan and set up shop inside. The line was all over the front of the store, and it was well worth it. Nothing beats popping a fresh takoyaki into your mouth right off the griddle.
For the Japanophile, the little strip mall next door is not to be missed. They have dishes, glassware, flatware, furnishings, and if you’re into anime and manga, the bookstore and gift shop are lots of fun.
Mitsuwa just opened their website: http://www.mitsuwanj.com/en/index.htm. It has a calendar of when the special events usually happen.
Go there every week. They used to have a few pix before the renovation but not
to whet the appetite (in the literal and figurative senses)
Thank you for taking the photos. I’ll be going there to photograph the outside
soon but, since I’ll be using a camera, they might not let me. (But I’ve done
it before – the Natsu Matsuri in 2003 – photographed the employees I knew
in their yukata. Over the objections of the female security guard!)
[…] In a previous post, I spoke a bit about Mitsuwa Marketplace, a Japanese shopping center in Edgewater, New Jersey. This weekend was the re-Grand Opening of the shopping center since it underwent an extensive reservation in Mid-2006, and some new stores and restuarants were added. Among the things that were going on was a Tuna Cut, where an entire 400lb Blue Fin tuna, caught in Japan, is reduced to sashimi for a huge crowd of onlookers. […]
[…] It’s Octopussylicious For Memorial Day weekend, the Mitsuwa Marketplace Japanese shopping center in Edgewater, NJ brought in a team of Takoyaki meisters from Osaka, Japan […]
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