Bloomfield, NJ – A new Peruvian Japanese fusion in Bloomfield is so, so good, it helps to make a strategic plan before you go. That’s because this restaurant features two all-time favorites — ramen and ceviche — in ample supply. Deciding which to get (or how many) is a delicious dilemma to have.
Named 7 Doors Down Ramen Co. (because it’s just seven doors away from its parent restaurant Blue Steel (of the Detroit pizza and killer cocktail fame), this swanky new spot is not your typical ramen shop. It showcases a fusion style called Nikkei, that marries the combination of Peruvian flavors and Japanese techniques for a delicious combination, created by executive Chef Lawrence Talis and Head Chef Luis Blasini.
7 Doors Down has a cool, dark, intimate vibe — rustic wood paneled walls in one room, exposed brick in the other — that helped us forget the sizzling 90+ temps outside. So did the ceviche.
If you only get one ceviche, it has to be the Hamachi. One of five ceviches on the menu, the Hamachi ($18) features red beets, orange poppy seed, ginger, mezcal, leche de Tigre and yuzu kosho. Every bite is an explosion of flavor with your tastebuds trying to keep up and process it all.
Then of course, there is ramen. You have eight to choose from and the two we tried did not disappoint. The 48 hr Short Rib Ramen (available weekends only, $29) is a bowl of happiness — chicken + pork broth, Shoyu Tare, melt-in-your-mouth Wagyu short rib with trumpet mushrooms, garlic chives, candy shallots and a soy reduction. Savory and meat-less, the mushroom ramen ($18) with trumpet mushroom, kimchi, poached egg and black garlic oil, more than satisfied the vegetarian at our table.
Just being able to have ceviche and ramen in the same spot is everything, but there’s more to the 7 Doors Down menu including small plates for a tapas-like experience — we recommend the crunchy Garlic Soy Cucumbers ($7); tantalizing Spicy Grilled Long Beans and the incredible, must-order Coconut Shrimp Bao Buns (spicy mayo, cured cabbage, pickled chili and scallion – 2 per order, $11). There’s also Papas A La Huancaina ($13) and SalchiPapas ($13) that would round out a nice tapas flight.
Another trip back is needed to try two other dishes — Chicken Katsu ($21) and Lomo Saltado ($29). When you go, try and save room to split a dessert. Our server Joe recommended two winners — a milk tea panna cotta with passion fruit and strawberries & pisco (strawberries, Pisco zabaglione and black sesame meringue).
7 Doors Down is BYOB. Bring wine, beer or something to pair with their mocktails that seem perfect for spiking.
7 Doors Down Ramen Co. 271-273 Glenwood Ave., Bloomfield, (856) 543-9480.