Philly-based Genji - which sells sushi in 165 Whole Foods stores in 18 states - always seems to be noodling around with something new. It's behind Hai Street Kitchen, the quick service eatery specializing in sushi burritos.
Now, Genji is extending its Japanese line with ramen bowls, and it has set up a ramen bar at the Whole Food store in Cherry Hill's Ellisburg Shopping Center (1558 North Kings Highway, 856-651-5271), complete with counter and table seating.
There are only two other Genji ramen bars, in Fairfax, Va., and Glastonbury, Conn. Prototypes? A rep would not say.
Genji’s Tonkotsu ramen, made with a pork broth and thin noodles, contains chashu pork, bean sprouts, scallions, black mushroom, ajitsuke-tamago (marinated boiled egg), mayu, red ginger and seaweed. There's a choice of shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), or spicy miso.
There's also a less-soupy style of ramen called mazemen, made with thick whole-wheat noodles and a creamy sauce. The bacon and egg mazemen, with bacon, spring mix and onsen-tamago (poached egg), is pretty much a Japanese version of carbonara. There's a vegetable creamy sesame mazemen with spring mix, avocado, cucumber and tempura flakes, served cold.
They're $11.99 a bowl, or $8.99 for the vegetarian varieties.
Three bao buns ($3.99) - chashu pork, chicken teriyaki and spicy shrimp tempura - and bibimbap complete the menu.