Owls feature prominently in the interior of Fukurow in Newark. Fukurow is a Japanese word that means “owl.” Photo by Laureen Delance
At first, I thought I heard owls hooting, but it was simply my imagination as I stared at the numerous sculptures of owls displayed across Fukurow, an Asian noodle bar right in the heart of University Heights.
Fukurow is actually Japanese for “owl”, hence the inspiration for the eclectic yet modern décor of the restaurant. I was excited to experience this restaurant and knew exactly what I wanted to order: shrimp tempura buns. As I entered my order the cashier suggested that in order to really feel like I had a great lunch, I consider adding another item. In lieu of an additional food item, I ordered the iced zamon-nade, which was a slushie drink made with fresh grapefruit.
My order came out after about ten minutes. The cashier was gracious enough to add onigiri, a seaweed wrap rice ball to my order. “I think this will be a great recommendation to your meal,” he told me. I took him on his offer and, by golly, was he right.
After opening up my pseudo-Christmas-in-summer gift, it became clear why he implied the buns may not necessarily provide complete sustenance. Though I wouldn’t consider the buns to be small enough to be labeled an appetizer, they surely weren’t an entrée, either. However, if coupled with a noodle soup or the onigiri, which he suggested, you have yourself a delicious meal.
Let’s talk about the actual shrimp tempura buns. I must say that I was taken aback by the sweet tasting bread. The bread definitely had a doughy consistency and therefore cannot be compared to Italian bread, sliced bread, or a Portuguese roll. These buns are steamed over high heat until they puff up, and the dough was moist and filling.
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The shrimp tempura was well done. The breading was not too rich, but thick enough to add a nice crunch to the mini-sliders. Coupled with the sweet steamed bun and shrimp were vegetables: shredded cabbage and chopped scallions.
Two different sauces were drizzled on each bun. I liked the sauce that resembled teriyaki seasoning. The other sauce, which was a light orange color, was not my favorite. The flavor had hints of mayo and spice. I’m not a fan of mayo (unless it’s mixed with ketchup by me and not Heinz, sorry) so that bun wasn’t as exciting as the bun with the dark brown sauce.
Shrimp tempura stick buns. Photo by Laureen Delance
It was an explosion of flavors. The sweetness of the steamed bun coupled with the flavors of the fresh vegetables, shrimp and sauces provided a nice balance between savory and light sweetness. Would I purchase the shrimp bun again? I would order the shrimp tempura with the dark brown sauce but may opt out of the steam bun in the future. Know what else I would purchase again? The iced zamon-ade. I’m not a fan of sweet drinks at all, and this drink was just the right amount of citrus and sweetness to help wash down my steamed bun.
As for the complimentary onigiri, the seaweed wrapped rice triangle: I was sold. In addition to the rice being perfectly cooked, in the center of the rice was a heap of well-seasoned fish. If you are looking for a light lunch or dinner, there is no question about the onigiri.
I would visit Fukurow again and try their ramen with a side of iced zamon-ade. Thanks again to the team at Fukurow for providing another great food experience. Until next time, my fellow foodies!
Fukurow is located at 55 Bleeker Street in Newark. The restaurant is open Monday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday noon to 6 p.m. Fukurow is closed on Sundays.