A change of plans took me into exploring more of North New Jersey for dinner this weekend. On one of the coldest winter days of the year Ani Ramen House in Montclair seemed like a better idea than my original idea to venture into New York City. Ani Ramen House is great for groups of friends and also for a nice date spot, because they have both shared seating with a long table down the center of the restaurant and also smaller table settings around. We originally sat down at the shared seating, and we noticed a table for 2 in the back… thank goodness, after all, this was a date. When the food started coming to the table it just was so flavorful. I had steamed pork buns and ramen before, and I ordered the wings since my date, though he was open, he was unfamiliar with ramen. So we started with the wings that were a special that night. The wings were so good, number one they were huge, and then of course the flavor is most important, but it was crispy and saucy all together.

The steamed pork bun was so good, and I totally get why they are just about a 2 bite sized snack. There is nothing that feels healthy in those 2 bites except the lettuce. But they are so good, the spicy miso mayo I ate one and my date ate the other and I was so tempted to take him up on the offer to eat the second one, but I ignored my greed and let him enjoy it.

Of course the best part of the meal was the ramen. I ordered the Spicy Miso Ramen with classic chicken broth, miso tare with pork chashu (braised pork), bean sprouts seasoned with roasted chili oil, oh and I had to add a soft boiled egg. I never can finish an entire bowl of ramen, but it was so tasty. Ani Ramen House makes sure that you understand that they want you to experience their food fresh, so there are no takeout containers. Although, if I was sick this is exactly what I would want to eat to make me feel better.

Eating at Ani Ramen House was like eating in a small tucked away spot in New York City, without the traffic, and tolls. Parking on Friday’s is a bit of a nightmare, we will definitely be taking an Uber next time. If you are looking for comfort in a bowl, even for the vegetarians, I suggest you take a trip to Ani Ramen House, your friends new to the flavors of ramen will enjoy it.