Home Food + Drink Pinwheel Garden Jersey City: Delicious Asian-American Food in Bergen-Lafayette

Pinwheel Garden Jersey City: Delicious Asian-American Food in Bergen-Lafayette

by Evelyn Ibarra
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When you’re craving decadent Asian-American inspired eats, Pinwheel Garden Dumpling and Noodle Bar {located at 318 Communipaw Avenue} is the go-to spot in the booming Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood of Jersey City. This family-owned restaurant opened up in the summer of 2017 and quickly became a local favorite and well-known for their fresh Asian inspired dishes, packed with organic ingredients and bursting with authentic flavors. Keep reading to find out more about this popular dumpling and noodle spot in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood of Jersey City.

pinwheel garden

Pinwheel’s Backstory

{Photo credit: @pinwheelgardenjc}

Brothers Steve and Al Tseng started work on their restaurant in October of 2016. Steve had previously lost a successful clothing boutique in NYC that he had for 14 years. He says that he saw the concept for Pinwheel Garden during a meditation session in 2015, where he saw the logo and the exterior of the restaurant, red doors with gold trim, and lots of plants. He also envisioned a relaxing yet modern interior with weathered wood overtones and touches of metal.

The actual build-out of the restaurant took 10 months, as Steve and Al constructed all the furniture and the interior by hand from donated old floor joists. Work was completed on the restaurant by the summer of 2017 and the restaurant kicked off its grand opening with a few neighborhood tasting dinners to get feedback on their menu items. 

Pinwheel Garden was the first restaurant in the Lafayette neighborhood and was well received by the community. In 2018, Pinwheel brought Jeffrey Devine on board as a partner, who has extensive front of the house and general restaurant manager experience at top-tier restaurants in Manhattan. Jeffrey also owns another local business on the same street, Strictly CBD {so the operation at Pinwheel truly is a Jersey City-focused affair}.

Read More: A Guide To + History of Chinese Takeout in Hoboken + Jersey City

The Food

{Photo credit: @pinwheelgardenjc}

The menu at Pinwheel Garden is full of unique and delicious flavors. Each dish is bursting with spices and ingredients inspired by Taiwanese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Thai, Indonesian, Italian, and French influences. 

About 80% of their Asian-American menu is vegan and vegetarian and provides guests the option to add pasture-raised and grass-fed protein as an add-on, if desired. In addition, the menu is GMO, chemical, and preservative-free and sourced organically when possible. 

pinwheel garden jersey city vegan

{Photo credit: @pinwheelgardenjc}

If you’re craving appetizers, Pinwheel Garden offers some mouth-watering dishes to share with your friends. They are known for their juicy and flavorful dumplings, including bacon and veggie dumplings, spinach pie dumplings {vegan}, and aloo gobi dumplings {vegan}. Their scallion pancakes are another customer favorite and are crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle, pan-fried goodness. 

pinwheel garden dumpling ramen jersey city

{Photo credit: @pinwheelgardenjc}

Some of Pinwheel’s most popular main dishes include their coconut curry {a unique blend of Indian and Thai flavors}, and mushroom drunken noodles {a savory fusion of Thai, French, and Japanese influences}. The coconut curry is one of the top-selling dishes, made with Pinwheel Garden’s signature spiced and sweet Thai/Indian-spiced coconut milk curry, with hints of kaffir lime, lemongrass, and their house-made curry blend, served with organic tofu, peppers, onions, and cilantro. This dish is gluten-free and vegan, and you can choose udon, jasmine rice, or ramen as a side. Tofu can be substituted for another source of protein as well.

All dishes can have protein add-ons or substitutes that include lemongrass chicken, char-siu pork, garlic shrimp, mushroom medley, or beyond meat. Other popular dishes include vegetarian and Maitake Ramen, and its counterpart the Trinity Ramen. The Maitake Ramen is a savory and rich vegetarian ramen, made with maitake mushrooms, kombu, and shiro miso base, and includes organic fried tofu, garlic snow peas leaves, kimchi, bean sprouts, fried shallots, and jasmine tea egg {ramen can be made vegan by omitting the egg}. 

Wild Mushroom Seitan in a Pinot Noir reduction with lettuce wraps

{Photo credit: @pinwheelgardenjc}

The Trinity Ramen is loaded with adaptogenic herbs, and is made from a 36-hour Indonesian-spiced bone broth made from grass-fed beef, pasture-raised Berkshire Pork, and free-roaming chicken, loaded with delicious ramen noodles and topped with a colorful array of fresh vegetables. If fried rice is your go-to, the kimchi fried rice is a must-try at Pinwheel Garden. The kimchi fried rice is made with local kimchi, fragrant Thai jasmine rice, organic egg, a touch of bacon, mixed vegetables, and a generous drizzle of honey sauce, with fresh organic lemongrass chicken on top {make it vegetarian without the bacon and chicken}. 

Oh, and make sure to save room for dessert, because Pinwheel’s mochi sundae is a must-try item. The mochi sundae consists of five warm sesame-filled rice dumplings served with matcha green tea ice cream and dressed with chopped honey-roasted nuts and house-made blueberry coulis. It is the perfect ending to a delectable meal at Pinwheel Garden.

Read More: Where to Find Authentic Portuguese Food in Newark

A Q + A with the Owner

pinwheel garden jersey city vegan

{Photo credit: @pinwheelgardenjc}

We sat down with the owner of Pinwheel Garden to get the inside scoop on this popular stop for all things noodles and dumplings.

Hoboken Girl: What was your inspiration for the restaurant?

Steve Sang: The concept of Pinwheel Garden is an Asian-American melting pot of flavors with an emphasis on health and healing. Growing up, I had friends from many different cultures and loved many types of food, so this diversity made a mark on my food preferences. Like a DJ mixes music, we take authentic bits of our favorite culture flavors and reassemble them to form our unique dishes. My brother Al graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and I have loved to cook since I was a child. My background is originally architecture from RISD so we set out to design and build the restaurant and the menu from scratch.

HG: What sets you apart from other restaurants?

SS: We make just about everything from scratch and put a lot of love into everything we do. We do what we do because we believe in sharing that love with our guests, making them feel good, and seeing them leave satisfied with smiles on their faces. All of our staff are Jersey City locals and I have lived in our area of Lafayette {a block from the restaurant} for five years now, so I’ve seen the radical transformation that the neighborhood has gone through. When I first moved in, you wouldn’t really want to walk around at night. Now it’s a lot different and everyone knows everyone else in the area {and their dogs even}! I can’t wait to see and to further contribute to the growth of our neighborhood. I just know there is much more positive change yet to come for all of us here and I’m excited for it.

If you’re looking for a cozy environment, friendly staff, and delectable dishes, grab a bottle of wine {Pinwheel is BYOB} and your friends, and head over to Pinwheel Garden Dumpling and Noodle Bar, open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00AM-3:00PM and 5:00PM-10:00PM.

Have you been to Pinwheel Garden Dumpling and Noodle Bar? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

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