I’ve been sort of landlocked in New York City recently. I’m trying to find new things to do and places to go each day. So when my friend Marian, whom I haven’t seen in a while and who is also a veritable expert on everything about Japan, asked me join her at Thumbs Up, a new ramen restaurant in Ft. Lee, New Jersey, I gladly accepted. To me, ramen is a comfort food, and I’d been craving a rich, creamy tonkatsu ramen for what feels like centuries.
This is the second Thumbs Up – the first is in California. Thumbs Up’s signature ramen dishes are called bubble ramen. That’s because the stock is whipped up before serving so it becomes sort of frothy. They do not make the typical tonkatsu ramen, which is made from pork, but instead use a chicken broth. That’s what I had – the Tori (Chicken) Paitan Ramen. The broth had the richness of Tonkatsu ramen, without the heaviness. They also have an interesting dipping version of this dish – almost an inverse ramen.
Here’s the interior of the restaurant. It has a sleek, industrial feel to it.
This was my ramen. Note the slices of pork and chicken. (The egg was eggstra). Can you see the bubbles in the broth?
Marian had the vegetable ramen. I tasted it – it was incredibly unique and delicious.
The restaurant does not have a liquor license yet, so we brought our own sake! Good move!
The restaurant was spotless and the staff was as nice as can be.
My meal was complimentary, but my review is my honest opinion. I would happily return as a paying customer.
Thumbs Up is located at 2024 Center Ave Ste G Fort Lee, NJ 07024.