Last month, Crab Du Jour opened Kanji Noodle Bar under its roof at 4000 Route 130 in Delran, adding more food options to the seafood boil chain’s offering in this Burlington County location. It’s the first and only collaboration between the two restaurants, as Kanji is still a very new concept, with only one other spot open (so far) in Piscataway, NJ.
They might have set up shop here to get their “sea legs” before opening a standalone location in Cherry Hill, which is still listed as “coming soon.” The concept does have many sites as “coming soon” on its website, signaling expansion plans beyond New Jersey.
Ramen noodle soup is a well-loved Japanese dish people crave if done right. In recent years, there’s been a proliferation of ramen shops in South Jersey after a long time of almost none. The success of these ramen places has made it clear people in South Jersey want ramen options.
Upon invitation, I went to Kanji to try the ramen and other things. I don’t count myself as a ramen expert, but I have had many ramen soups and dishes over the years, so I know what I like. To me, it’s all about the broth and the distribution of the ingredients. The broth should have a deep, rich, savory flavor. Just enough ramen to know it’s there, but allowing that broth to shine. Tender meat(s), toothsome vegetables, and a jammy egg usually complete the dish for me.
I enjoyed the Supreme Tonkotsu Ramen, which is made with a creamy pork bone broth and served with three types of pork: belly, chashu, & loin—topped with menma (bamboo shoots), black fungus, ajitsuke tamago (soft egg), scallions, sesame seeds, and nori. There could have been more nori (seaweed flakes) for my preference, but otherwise, a tasty ramen, especially with the tender pork belly!
I also tried the Meat Lovers Donburi, a simple Japanese rice bowl made with pork belly, pork loin, and chashu, served with ajitsuke tamago, pickled ginger, pickled radish, yakisoba sauce, and scallions—a good dish, especially with the jammy egg. In fact, I’d ask for an extra egg next time. It adds a luxurious texture.
Finally, it’s worth noting that this location has a full bar with various handcrafted cocktails, beers, and wines! They host happy hour between 2:30-5:30, which is early for most working stiffs like myself, but it’s a good deal – $4 draft and bottled beer and $8 specialty cocktails. I LOVED the Blue Hawaiian and could have drank them all night – with a DD or Lyft at the ready. Heh!
It’s a welcome combination of cuisines at this location with something for everyone. A ramen option on the Route 130 corridor in Burlington County is good since there aren’t too many. Most spots are in Camden County, so this will be under stiff competition when it opens in Cherry Hill.
Our server was fantastic, by the way. Very friendly and prompt. Check it out and tell them South Jersey Food Scene sent you.
We appreciate the invitation to try a few things. Opinions are our own.
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All photos by Marilyn Johnson should not be used without permission.
Marilyn is a freelance writer covering the food and drink scene of South Jersey. You can find more of her writing on Philly Grub and NewsBreak.