OCHA NEO JAPANESE CUISINE
403 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell NJ 07006
This was my 2nd and final trip to Ocha Neo Japanese Cuisine. The first time, I didn’t find the food to be very good and recall having a stomach ache. This time around, the food was good, but I had a bit more of a stomach ache less than 1 hour later. The place has been there for at least several years, I am thinking perhaps 7, so either they are doing good business or its a front for organized crime. The latter is unlikely, so I want to give this place a fair review.
Its 1pm on a Wednesday afternoon and I am the only one in the place. I order the Bento lunch special and I am thinking its hard to go wrong with Shrimp Tempura, especially since its deep fried and what deep fried food can make you ill? It came with miso soup, and I requested some hot tea.
When the Bento box came it was larger than the one I had the day before at another place, but the portions were smaller. More variety, smaller portions, and that is all fine with me.
I know $10 is inexpensive, even a good deal, but I wish they could have given me at least 3 shrimp instead of 2. That’s not a lot to ask for the main food item of the bento? Sure, they had vegetable tempura as well, in total, 6 pieces, carrot, potato (perhaps), broccoli, and some other vegetable I could not make out, so 4 vegetables, 2 pieces of shrimp and that is what makes up the “Shrimp Tempura Bento Special”. No problem, the salad was delicious, instead of just iceberg lettuce they used spinach, some other greens, but it was good. Instead of 2 spring rolls they used one slightly larger one and cut it in half. There was a small California roll cut in 6 pieces, and of course some plain white steamed rice. Take a look side by side what $10 will buy you.
The tempura was fantastic, not heavy, very light and perfectly fried. Everything was really quite good, but I cannot deny the fact that there was an aftermath of stomach pains and temporary illness. What good is good food if its going to make you ill? Even for a couple of hours?
Final note: They are playing a Madonna CD I never heard, good to hear “other” Madonna, but really not my favorite artist, especially anything from the 1980s and especially not appropriate for a Japanese Restaruant, Neo or Not.
I have to pass on this place… been there twice, had stomach pains twice, and the food is not so incredibly different that I feel I need to return again. I can get this same thing across the street or even just a half a mile away at several other places.