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Entries in Asian (59)

Tuesday
Jan172017

Where To Find Great Ramen in CT Via CTNow

Photo: Suzie Hunter/Hartford Courant

This in from CTNow's reporter, Leeanne Griffin...

Where's the ramen? It's a common question among food lovers in Connecticut, where the authentic Japanese noodle soup can be scarce, compared to booming scenes in big cities New York and Los Angeles.

But ramen's availability has been growing here, as established restaurants have responded to demand, and new noodle bars have popped up around the state in cities and suburbs alike.

Here's a guide to some of Connecticut's top ramen (not to be confused with the packaged brand).

Tiger Belly Noodle Bar

Granby's Tiger Belly opened in August, and a few early visitors balked at the price tag for its pork and vegetable ramens, confusing the dishes with the inexpensive packaged instant noodles, said owner Ki'yen Yeung. 

Read the complete listing of CT Ramen joints here. 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan082017

Pho 99: Magic Number for Pho in East Hartford and Wethersfield

My magic number for pho is 99. There are those who say 501 is better. I say, are you sure? Because, though I used to eat there back in the day, now my money's on Pho 99 all the way. Friendly service, clean, and more varieties of spring rolls than anywhere else I know. For me, it’s the pho gold standard. Not to mention, Chef Peter Nguyen is a sweetheart of a guy who takes pride in what they serve in his restaurants. The smiling man with the infectious laugh is the heart, soul, chef and secret recipe holder within the Pho 99 kitchen.

“The soup is a BIIIIIIIIIIIG secret! No one, family even--Mary’s (his business partner’s) husband don’t know! My wife don’t know! My cousins—don’t know! There’s a lot of businesses like us who come ask, what the heck are you doing? Unbelievable! What you put in there? I say, I do the same as you do!” Peter smiles, knowing full well what he does separates him from the pack and is absolutely not the same.

 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec112016

Ch'i Public House Opens in SoNo - Exceptional Asian-Inspired Cuisine

Ch’i Public House opened in late November in the space formerly occupied by Ocean Drive and Red Lulu on Washington Street in SoNo. The forces behind the new Asian-inspired restaurant are Rob Moss, Marco Siguenza and Dave Studwell, owners of neighboring Washington Prime. Overseeing the kitchen is Executive Chef Mark Taruna, whose long career spans attending the French Culinary Institute and working as the Sous Chef for Nobu Matsushisa at Nobu. He subsequently joined The Food Network and ran the Iron Chef kitchen where he worked with Morimoto, Mario Batali and Bobby Flay. He brings a new level of creativity to many classic recipes with bold flavors and textures, from the simplest dumpling to the most complex sauces.

 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov032016

Dinner At Miya's: Sustainable Sushi + More in New Haven

This is probably as close to “Dinner at The White House” as I will ever get.  On this, the week before the ELECTION, I headed up to Miya’s for their New Haven Restaurant Week 2016 White House Champions of Change dinner. 

Miya’s is a well-known sushi spot a few blocks west of downtown New Haven that has been serving creative and sustainable seafood, foraged ingredients, and plant-based dishes for over 30 years.  James Beard nominated innovative chef/owner Bun Lai, has been creating and cooking alongside his mother for much of the 30 years Miya’s has been open. (See Foraging with Chef Bun on CTbites)

New Havens Restaurant Week, which runs from 10/30- 11/4 gave Bun the opportunity to offer the menu he and his mother created for President and Mrs. Obama at last months White House Champions of Change Dinner. He was one of only twelve Sustainable Seafood honorees and the only chef awarded this respected award. While this menu is only available for a limited time, many of these dishes are available on Miya's regular menu. 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct042016

Mecha Noodle Bar Opens in Downtown New Haven

Mecha Noodle Bar, which opened its first restaurant in Fairfield in 2013 and later its second site in South Norwalk in 2015, opens its third location in the heart of downtown New Haven. Located at 201 Crown Street, this 2000-square-foot spot will offer the ultimate comfort food in New Haven appealing to students, residents, business people and families alike with its menu of Asian comfort food options at affordable price points.

For those not already familiar with the menu at Mecha Noodle Bar, the menu features signature dishes such as ramen and pho as well as other flavorful selections such as steamed baos and a well curated selection of Asian plates borrowing from Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese traditions. The menu has been created to soothe, nourish, sustain and inspire – at a modest price. 80% of the core menu in New Haven will be similar to its sister locations with the remainder of the menu debuting new dishes with a Mecha twist. And of course, “Slurping is encouraged” as clearly stated on the menu.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May262016

Kawa Ni Now Offering Patio Dining in Westport

Great news for those looking for a unique outdoor dining spot as we slowly ease our way into the warmer months. The patio above Kawa Ni is officially open for business. What patio, you ask? It may be stealthy, but overlooking the Saugatuck River, and decked with twinkling lights, this small waterside gem is sure to become a go-to spot this summer.  

Here’s the deal. The deck is available via stairs next door to Kawa Ni and is open on a first come first serve basis. Diners can enjoy the full Kawa Ni menu casually served in takeout containers, kinda like a picnic.  The somewhat hidden door and metal stairs have a vague speakeasy vibe, but it’s really just "another way to enjoy Kawa Ni,” says chef/owner, Bill Taibe. 

Enhancing the patio experience are two familiar faces, guest hosts Carissa and Maddy, from The Stand Juice Bar (Norwalk and Fairfield). They bring with them both their sparkling personalities, as well as some of The Stand’s juices and blends to enjoy while looking into the river. 

Speaking of ramen, there will be a few cold menu additions diners can look forward to in the upcoming summer months. Chef Jeff Taibe has been working on cold soba dishes, as well as hiyashi chuka, or cold ramen, topped with a variety of local seasonal veggies and proteins.  

See you up on the patio…if you can find it. 

Wednesday
May252016

The Uber-Guide to Connecticut’s Asian Markets

“From wonder into wonder existence opens,” said Laozi, the founder of Tao Buddhism.

He might have been speaking of the joys of the table, so central to Asian culture for millennia---and to Connecticut foodies today. 

Almost 160,000 people of Asian descent call Connecticut home, and a considerable number of grocery stores in the state support the diverse cooking traditions of China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. True to both their Asian roots and the universal principle of making the best of fresh ingredients, quite often the most modest such store will have a produce section and a fish section---in one case, at least, featuring live fish.

Your guide to the best East and Southeast Asian markets of Connecticut appears below.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May152016

Miro Kitchen Opens in Fairfield With Chef From Hapa Food Truck

With much anticipation and excitement Miro Kitchen recently opened its doors on Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield. The new eatery is the collective brainchild of Eugene Kabilnitsky, former owner of Tomato and Basil, and Hapa Food Truck’s Chris Gonzales. I recently sat down with the two to talk about the inspiration behind this creative collaboration.

“My wife and I were both working from home and we found ourselves going to the Hapa Food Truck at least twice a week,” Kabilnitsky told me. “We couldn’t get enough! At the time I was set to open another Italian restaurant at this location and was in the process of hammering out details.” But then he started to wonder whether the Hapa concept might work in the restaurant space. He joked that after visiting the truck 100 or so times he shared his idea with Chris, and subsequent conversations led to the current partnership, and Miro, an expansion of the wildly popular Hapa Food Truck, was born.

The best way to describe the cuisine is to say it is a play on Pacific, Asian and Hawaiian street food with an American twist, mixing the exotic with the familiar.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr172016

Nom-Eez Opens in Bridgeport: Vietnamese (With a Side of Donuts)

The official opening of Nom-Eez, Chef Matt Storch’s new Vietnamese street food storefront, in the Blackrock section of Bridgeport occurs today. As reported by CTbites, joining Storch for this new project are his partners from Match, Jason Wojnarowski (owner of the epically delicious Donut Crazy), and Susan McConnell. CTbites was invited to a sneak peek preview to sample some of the menu and a few donuts.

The menu is divided into three sections, “snacks,” “noodles” and “a bit larger.” The space is small in size, with only eight brightly colored red stools, and the flavors are equally bold and bright and engulf you in the traditional cuisine of Vietnam.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar202016

Pho 170 Opens in Middletown: Vietnamese + Thai Cuisine Gets Top Marks

“That’s it,” I overheard a man say with a smile, holding his takeout order as he joked about having come in four days in a row. The word is out downtown...Pho 170, M’town’s newest/latest, is busy. The service is friendly and attentive, showing this new kid on the block is already in the groove, cranking out fresh and delicious dishes—both Vietnamese and Thai.

It’s not been quite three weeks since Viengthong Charonesuk opened the doors to her newest restaurant. And, unlike so many other spots when they first get started, everything’s well under control. Even on a night when they were one person short on the waitstaff, they pulled everything off without a hitch. Vieng hails most recently from Bann Thai in Cheshire, and she’s run restaurants in other locations across the state as well. Little things, like making sure you have extra plates when you share a dish, aren’t overlooked. And it’s always a nice touch when your water glass is refilled before you even need to ask.

Click to read more ...