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Jan 8, 2010 01:09 PM

Nijiya Market Mountain View - about to get a ramen cafe?

My husband works at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, and often picks up lunch at the Nijiya Market which is nearby (he also dines at Chaat Paradise - I'm jealous!). He said that he visited there yesterday and that they seemed to be expanding into a vacant space next door and he overheard someone saying that a ramen cafe was planned.

Has anyone else heard about this? If so, I wonder if it would be another branch of Santouka. He and I went to this place at the Mitsuwa Market in Cupertino and he pronounced it as his favoritest ramen ever. That would be awesome.

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  1. I hope you're right about the ramen cafe and it would be great if it were another Santouka. But Santouka is always affiliated with the MItsuwa chain at all its locations in SoCal so I kind of doubt they'd open one at a Nijiya.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Wendy_san

      I sent an e-mail to Nijiya management, and I just received back this reply:

      "Thank you for contacting Nijiya Market.

      The Mountain View Store is doing construction now.

      They will be serve a ramen, but not part of a Japanese chain.

      It is Nijiya original. Plus Udon,tonkatsu etc. hot deli with eat in space. Renewal opens maybe on March. Please wait a moment!!

      If you have question, please contact us!

      Thank you for shopping at Nijiya Market.

      Have a nice evening!

      Best regards,
      Yoshie Ozawa

      Nijiya Market
      20900 Normandie Ave.,#A

      So Nijiya will have their own ramen outpost, at least at their Mountain View branch. And furthermore a place to sit and eat the ramen and presumably any pre-made market food as well. This is good news for my husband!

      1. re: teela brown

        Super, thanks for the follow-up, t b. Please keep us posted on the progress.

    2. Dropped by today to see the development.

      Basically Nijiya Mountain View went through a remodeling (new floors)and little re-arrangement. The store that used to be next door to them had their walls torn down, so now they moved the deli refrigerators into the corner of the new space, and they have a cashier counter wrapped around it on the side. Now the breads and jam and assorted baked goods shelf is in the new space, and behind that, a series of empty tables and chairs.

      I think from the looks of things, it will be ordering some hot food from the cashier spot, then behind them is the kitchen, where they will cook it and you can get it to go or eat at the space. The food I would assume, is similar to the refrigerated bentos and the ilk, and perhaps something similar (in variety at least) to Miyabi-tei, the food court at Mitsuwa.

      1. Any ramen sightings at the Mountain View Nijiya?

        Nijiya Market
        143 E El Camino Real Mountain, View, CA

        6 Replies
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Their in house cafe offers a variety of cheap small meals. There is one ramen bowl called "Ken-chan" at $6.50 tax included (the cafeteria accepts credit cards), a shoyu tonkotsu broth that's quite decent, not greasy or salty. Noodles are outsourced, a little curly and a bit thicker than most other places. Chashu, two pieces but looks similar to the kind sold at the meat section (good marbling, almost like rolled bacon). One whole egg, mine was reheated, still unfortunately rather cold on the inside, but it was precooked perfectly like a good hanjuku tamago should be otherwise. Pretty small bowl (about the size of Dohatsuten's lunch ramen), so it made for a good snack. When you pick up the order (can take almost 10 to 15 mins) at the counter, you can add some self help scallions, bonito flakes, minced garlic, and kick things up a few notches.

          There's also a new ramen place further south, in the Lion Plaza on the other side of the freeway from Mitsuwa.

          Ramen Tenma
          487 Saratoga Ave
          San Jose, CA 95129

          Supposedly offers Okinawan style tonkotsu ramen. Online pics don't look that interesting, but maybe others might like it.

          1. re: K K

            I don't know...that new canteen at Nijiya in Mountain View just never looks good to know the whole place just looks so cheap and so blah. I know I know Santouka is also inside a grocery store but at least their small storefront exudes character.

            If Tenma is any good, it will make it even more difficult to pick a ramen house when one's in the area, with Halu and Santouka right around the corner.

            312 8th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

            1. re: vincentlo

              You are spot on. The cafeteria section is like Costco eatery; a way to get rid of excess ingredients. Cheap food overall but not necessarily great quality. I braved the ramen and to me it was acceptable for a quick could have gone the other way! Their deli bento boxes and sushi in the refrigerator section doesn't look that great either, but it is there for the grab n' go, or you buy em and you can microwave to eat, which is a nice touch to draw in shoppers.

              They have a heated cabinet for steamed buns, Japanese style baozi. Though I'm not braving them. Plus fried items like croquettes...again not braving them either.

              Well Santouka is a Japanese brand with locations in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong. Can't really be beat.

              1. re: K K

                I've tried a few things from the Nijiya MV cafeteria: The steamed black sesame buns are good. I also got a couple onigiri, one with a pickled mustard green (sorry, forgot the Japanese name), and another with chicken teriyaki. Both tasty.

            2. re: K K

              Tried Tenma. I kinda liked the flavorful broth of the Kotteri Ramen but it was not as intense as Santouka's although i liked it more than the ramen at Ajisen Fremont. Definitely a ymmv broth.

              Salt level was just about right. The egg noodles were thin but cooked right with good texture. Generous pork slices (2 versus the thinny winny one at Orenchi) that were well-made and tasted fine. Good hanjuku tamago with runny yolk (non-marinated). Wish there were more soup in the bowl.

              We were served complimentary takoyaki that evening (the octopus was rubbery). Would suggest the $9.50 garlic kotteri version (pic 2) over the regular which is slightly weaker. Chef seems to be Japanese.

              Ramen took a long time to appear and we were the only ones waiting.

              I have not had the opportunity to sample Okinawa type ramen so not sure how this compares with the real thing. Not a bad ramen (have had worse in Tokyo).

              Looks like another ramen place has opened in San Jose (Ogisan) but this one is like a OEC ramen clone (serves shabu shabu etc).

              1. re: rotiprata

                Thanks for posting about Ramen Tenma. I started a new thread here,


                Ramen Tenma
                487 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA 95129