Right before New Year’s, I was joined by my boyfriend and one of our closest friends in trying out this cute little ramen shop, called Ramen Nagomi, nestled away on one of the side streets in the town surrounding my old college campus. I was really eager to try out this new place because I absolutely LOVE ramen and even more so I was excited to meet up with my friend who I hadn’t seen in a while since he had been MIA studying and working his butt off at his first year of medical school (ayy to my future M.D! 🙌).
Even before taking a step inside, I found myself adoring the simple and minimalistic design of the exterior. The small restaurant is almost hidden from plain view, tucked away below ground between buildings of brick and cement, yet it still manages to capture the attention of every passerby with its aesthetic black and white logo and beautiful hanging lights. The interior, meanwhile, has a more modern rustic appeal along with hints of Japanese culture. Since it was in the middle of lunch-time by the time we arrived, the place was already pretty crowded but luckily we managed to snag a small table without having to wait!
Overall, I had a great experience! The wait staff was very friendly and engaging and the food was pretty good — I ordered a Tonkotsu Ramen and shared a plate of pork buns with cucumbers with the boyfriend. They also offered multiple broth-based options which was great for our friend who can’t eat pork. I think the best part, though, was the excellent company and conversations. It was interesting to hear about our close friend’s first semester in med school and how intense it can be (he has 1-2 exams per week!) compared to our past undergraduate lives. Our topics were pretty arbitrary, as they always tend to be, ranging from Dragon Ball Z references to reminiscing about times we lost money to broken parking meters (LOL 😂). This ended up being one of my last shared meals of the year and I couldn’t have been more thankful that it was with two of the most important people to me. I’m glad I have such a great memory to store from this and since it’s local-ish I will definitely go back to grab some ramen again!
Let me know of your favorite ramen or if you know of any good places I should try in the NJ/NYC area!