Quick Bite

Quick Bite: Rai Rai Ramen

Rai Rai Ramen in North Brunswick was closed nearly a year after a fire. When it reopened, its customers returned in force.

Pork buns.
Pork buns.
Photo by Shelby Vittek.

Rai Rai Ramen
North Brunswick
1980 Route 27
732-821-5777

Open: Lunch and dinner, daily

Price: $ BYO

Style: Modern ramen, rice and dumpling restaurant, with wavy-textured white walls, globe lights and sleek, black tables and chairs. The dining room scatters four-person tables among three large communal ones.

The Scoop: A kitchen fire forced Rai Rai Ramen to close in December 2014. When it reopened in the fall of 2015, the restaurant’s loyal customers returned to discover a handsomely redesigned interior.

The Menu: Rai means thunder in Japanese; much of Rai Rai’s roar is in its ramen. There are 31 kinds. They vary by flavor of the house-made, meat-based broths (low-salt and vegetarian also available), by spice level, and by type of meat, vegetables and other goodies in the bowl with the ramen wheat noodles. Japanese items extend to shrimp, chicken and pork katsu (cutlets), gyoza (dumplings) and braised pork rice. Pork buns (pictured), crispy mochi ko fried chicken and takoyaki (fried octopus balls) make especially enjoyable appetizers. A short section of Taiwanese dishes includes a shrimp omelet.

Heads Up: In its strip mall, Rai Rai doesn’t stand out. But its food does, earning it many fans. When the restaurant is busy, be sure to immediately write your name on the waiting list, or a later-arriving party that does may be seated first. If you want to take home leftover ramen broth, the staff will replenish your noodles if you ask.—Shelby Vittek

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What's a Quick Bite? Short takes on casual, affordable dining.

Restaurant Details

  • Cuisine Type:
    Asian - Japanese
  • Price Range:
    Inexpensive
  • Ambience:
    Modern ramen, rice and dumpling restaurant, with wavy-textured white walls, globe lights and sleek, black tables and chairs. The dining room scatters four-person tables among three large communal ones.

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