If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I’m obsessed with ramen. I’m sure it’s not hard to imagine how excited I was to discover Union Republic. Finally a good ramen restaurant on my side of the river! Located in the historic downtown area of Jersey City, UR is a New American cafe featuring ramen. It’s clearly not your traditional ramen-ya, but the fresh, contemporary interiors immediately won me over.
Sunshine pours through the large storefront windows, and as long as you’re not sitting directly in the sun, it’s a really nice dining experience. I’ve always dreamed of having a farmhouse dining table lined with Eames eiffel chairs, so visiting UR was almost like a little glimpse into my dream house.
Loved the green walls, and they also had some cool artwork up on the walls. Not too crazy about the stools at the bar tables, mainly because I suffered through 5 years of architecture school where we had to sit on those stools in studio for long hours. Having a quick meal on those stools probably isn’t so bad though.
Now on to the ramen! John and I both ordered the Alpha & Omega ramen ($13), the vegetarian ramen at UR. It can be made vegan, which probably just means that they omit the egg. The broth seemed to be entirely made of veggies. I didn’t bother asking the waiter if the broth was vegetarian. We’re vegetarian, but the occasional meat based broth or trace of meat isn’t a dealbreaker for us.
Wild mushrooms, braised collard greens, sugar snap peas, roasted cauliflower, garlic, scallions, nori, and a soft egg. The noodles were a bit too firm at first, but once they had soaked in the broth for a few more minutes, they were the perfect al dente. Boy, do they pack a lot of noodles into these bowls! The veggies were fresh, colorful, and flavorful. The mushrooms and cauliflower were clearly the star here. The broth was tasty, heavy on the garlic, but I have no complaints about that. UR, I’ll definitely be back for more!