Monday, February 8, 2010
I have a new favorite specialty market... Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater NJ.
This Japanese superstore is your one-stop shop for produce, prepared foods (sushi, bento meals, Japanese pickles), fresh bread, sake, thinly sliced meats for shabu-shabu (Berkshire pork and wagyu beef!), Japanese confectionery, sushi-grade raw fish; the place for hard-to-find Japanese specialty ingredients and to purchase the high-tech rice cooker of your dreams.
Also a great place for a quick lunch - we found ourselves overwhelmed by all the choices at the food court. A warming bowl of ramen at Santouka? Perhaps some Berkshire pork katsu from Katsuhana? Or maybe some cold zaru soba at Kayaba?
After carefully weighing all my options (and inspecting the numerous plastic food displays), I settled on the spicy cod roe spaghetti from Italian Tomato:
Mmmmmm... salty/briney flavor of the creamy cod roe sauce reminded me a little of sea urchin, spaghetti was perfectly al dente.
Kris made a beeline towards Katsuhana for the pork tenderloin combo meal - two small Berkshire pork tenderloins, 2 tempura prawns, 1 potato croquette filled with 'crab cream). Here's the plastic display:
...compared to the real food:
The Berkshire pork katsu was really tender and not greasy. The combo also came with rice, potato salad, and a small bowl of soup (pork broth with veggies).
For dessert, Ito En's green tea soft serve ice cream (really addictive, good matcha flavor):
The purplish gray hue of the black sesame soft serve can look intimidating but the taste is actually quite mild, tasting almost like peanut butter:
We also grabbed some doughy treats from Oishinbo (from left to right: taiyaki, creamyaki, obanyaki):
Taiyaki and obanyaki are filled with red bean paste; creamyaki is filled with a vanilla custard:
Couldn't resist picking up a couple of Kobe-Injinkan maki (thin crepes filled with chestnut paste and red bean paste) from Japanese confectioner Kobe Fugetsudo:
And a slice of 'kase tarte' (souffle cake with made with cheese) from Italian Tomato:
Tasted like a cross between cheesecake and spongecake with a mild, creamy, slightly egg-y flavor.
But the weirdest thing we encountered that day was a limited edition azuki-flavored Pepsi imported from Japan (and yes, it really does taste like azuki red bean!):
Three hours later, we finally left Mitsuwa carrying $75 of groceries we didn't really need (thank goodness we live over 60 miles away, otherwise I'd be here everyday):
Mitsuwa Marketplace (New Jersey location)
595 River Road
Edgewater, NJ 07020