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MECHA Noodle Bar  brings Asian noodles and street food to Fairfield. This is a must try. 

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Entries in Asian (35)

Sunday
Apr132014

Ruuthai’s Kitchen: Real Thai in Bridgeport CT

Word’s out. There’s a new Thai place in Bridgeport worth traveling for. Ruuthai is a little family-run restaurant making authentic Thai dishes. Even better, Ruuthai offers dishes rarely seen in these parts, like mussel pancakes, boat noodles and steamed red curry fish custard. And then there are the desserts. Thai desserts are decidedly weird to Americans. Pork in a dessert? What?! Yes, and it’s good.

Ruuthai has been open almost five months. It’s in a residential neighborhood off North Avenue. The storefront is cheerfully decorated with orange and lime accents, and pink and purple swirly, girly flower stencils. The effect is simple and charming. They’ve added a few more tables recently (they’re getting busier), and they do a lot of take-out, but I believe in eating food when it’s at its best – moments after Def Ruangsikul, head chef, has prepared it.

If you sit down to eat you will probably meet Chef Ruangsikul’s daughter Dif. Dif McGeough is the manager and waitress. She was born in Thailand and raised in the United States, and she’s a knowledgeable and gently humorous guide.

Over the course of several visits, here’s what we’ve tried:

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Thursday
Mar272014

Chef Bill Taibe Opening New Asian Restaurant in Westport

If there is any cuisine that is not represented well in Fairfield County, it is Asian, but all of that is about to change. Bill Taibe, Owner of The Whelk and Le Farm, has informed CTbites that he has signed a lease on the old Bistro 88 space in Bridge Square, Saugatuck, and will be opening his 3rd venue by the beginning of summer. What now you ask? Think Asian. 

This new venue will take its culinary and design inspiration from the traditional Izakaya Japanese pubs, which offer a casual dining experience, lots of small tapas-sized snacks, and great drinks. "I've wanted to do Asian since I was at Relish," says Taibe. When asked why Asian, Taibe stated, "In all honesty, it's the food that I gravitate towards most often...and we are always looking to challenge ourselves." "Imagine The Whelk...but Asian." The new venue will be a mix of Japanese and Chinese. "It's our own interpretation of Asian cuisine, but will draw from those regions."

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Sunday
Nov242013

Mecha Noodle Bar Brings Asian Noodles & Street Food to Fairfield

Post opening tweaks are commonplace during the first few months after a restaurant's opening. With Mecha’s minor changes completed, it now firmly fills the belly rumbling void of Southeast Asian Noodles and street food, popularizing Ramen, Pho and South East Asian comfort food.

Owner Tony Pham, who also owns Pho Vietnam in Danbury, saw an opportunity in Fairfield, to capture the hearts and hungry stomachs of the Fairfield U student bodies by opening a Ramen noodle bar. This small, but cozy, space is an architecturally clean, eye pleasing mix of Modern Asian décor...with a long community table in the center and block style tables around its perimeter. There is some additional seating circling the "bar" with colorful Asian ceramic stools adding some pop and a touch of elegance to this casual space. Pham is committed to keeping his two restaurants a "family affair," and you may be seated, served, or cooked for, by one of his family members! 

When I first visited with Tony in September, Ramen noodles were the main attraction on his menu. Several months later, Mecha’s menu is now representative of Japan’s different regional nuances with the current soup bases including Shoyu, Miso and Chicken.

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Tuesday
Jul022013

Sake Grilled Salmon w/ Kim Chi Style Pickled Vegetables via Marcia Selden 

At Marcia Selden Catering, this is one of our favorite times of the year. The local farmers markets are in full swing which means great local ingredients.  The fruits and veggies are bursting with color and flavor, and our chefs are always looking for inventive ways to create mouth-watering food for our clients.

In planning an event, our menus are inspired by the seasons, so we’ve come up with a modern Asian menu that uses the best of what’s available right now. Serve these dishes with ice cold sake or beer for best results.

Enjoy our recipes for Asparagus Tempura and Kim Chi Style Pickled Vegetables with Sake Grilled Salmon seen below:

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Thursday
Jun202013

Mecha Noodle Bar Opens in Fairfield: An Interview w/ Tony Pham

Ramen noodles are having "their moment," and restaurateur Tony Pham, owner of Pho Vietnam in Danbury has just opened a new venture in Fairfield that will have fans of Asian food slurping without pause. Welcome to MECHA. 

Pham, a Vietnamese American who opened Pho Vietnam at the tender age of 21, again uses his raw talent drawing from his years of experience traveling around the world and working in numerous kitchens.  His newest baby, Mecha, located on Post Road in Fairfield is a hip, cozy joint that serves up Ramen as well as Asian street food. Consulting with a master Ramen chef, Tony Pham is placing all bets on this age old Japanese noodle..and we hear Pho is on the way. For a new restaurant aiming directly at the college crowd around Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, it's a perfect match.

Read our interview with Tony Pham below to find out more about Tony's family, the history of Ramen, the meaning of "MECHA," and what inspires Tony Pham. 

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Sunday
May262013

Must Try: Pho Mai Vietnamese in Bridgeport

“You know how to eat that?” asked the kindly woman as she set a steaming bowl of soup before me at Pho Mai.  Did I know how to eat pho? To handle the chopsticks and spoon? To lift the long noodles from the big bowl of broth without slapping myself in the face with a wet noodle? I’ve learned over the years.  But Vietnamese food can be perplexing to the uninitiated. It’s hands-on. 

Pho Mai makes the best Vietnamese food I’ve found in Fairfield County. It’s been open for about a year, and it’s worth a jaunt to Wood Avenue in Bridgeport (across from the Wood’s End Deli) to enjoy the fresh, herb-filled, sweet, sour, and fermented flavors of Vietnamese food.

Pho Mai’s red awnings strike a cheerful air on a bleak corner. Inside, the place is spic and span clean, with freshly painted yellow walls. Big orange fish swim back and forth in an aquarium that bubbles soothingly. The restaurant has been near empty every time I’ve been, and that’s a shame because the food here is seriously good, and it’s a great place for a weekend lunch with a group of friends.

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Sunday
Mar172013

Must Try: Lao Sze Chuan Chinese Restaurant in Milford 

“How adventurous do we want to be?” Maria asks.  “On a scale of one to 10?”  She’s poring over the menus at Lao Sze Chuan and says it’s so authentic, some of these dishes aren’t found in Chinatown in New York City. Diced rabbit with peanuts. Hot and Sour eel with cellophane noodles. Pork intestines with blood cake.

“We have to have frog’s legs,” she says. “And the clams.” She starts making a list.

Donna and Mark’s list is already on their ipod. They’ve been looking  at Lao Sze Chuan’s menu online since three in the afternoon.  Maria passes me her list. Yes, the spicy ox-tongue and tripe is on it and I’m happy not to make more decisions. The menus – two of them, the main large, multi-plastic-paged booklet and the additional four page menu of Szechuan specialties  -- are overwhelming. Pages and pages of intriguing descriptions like “Silky fowl with black mushrooms and bamboo shoots in casserole.”  

I pass Maria’s list to my husband, who glazes over at the sight of her tiny script of five appetizers and 11 entrees. He passes it to Donna and Mark. They cross-reference against their i-Pod list, and add a couple dishes to the feast. Yes! The pig’s ear. 

There’s nothing like dining with the right group of people at the right place, and our crew of 10 is excited about our adventure to the commercial belly of Route 1 Milford to see if Lao Sze Chuan makes the most authentic Szechuan cuisine in Connecticut.  

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Sunday
Feb102013

Rainbow Thai Opens in Westport 

Yes, Virginia, there IS a great Thai food to be found in Fairfield County. The new RAINBOW THAI at 5 Bridge Street in Westport is just what Virginia (and all the rest of us who feared that a great, local Tom Yum Gung soup might not really exist) ordered. RAINBOW THAI is tiny and, not to its advantage, finds itself in that ill fated location in the Bridge Market complex that hasn't to date been a lucky spot for restaurants. Many an eatery has peaked and faded faster than a shooting star in this locale but I think Rainbow Thai has staying power. Why? The food is just so damn good.

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Wednesday
Jan092013

Kids Review: Vietnam Palace in Stratford via AsherZeats

Asher is an 8th grader at Fairfield Country Day School. He has a true passion for food and started his blog, AsherZeats, in September of 2012. Asher reviews everything from Michelin starred restaurants to great dives. This review originally ran on AsherZeats.  

“Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup. “-- Ludwig Van Beethoven.

This Saturday we traveled to Vietnam Palace (a new restaurant, opened this past June) located at- 955 Ferry Boulevard, Stratford, CT in a very busy shopping center.

When we entered, we noticed two very cool statues of lions and a statue of a Buddha. The ceilings were filled with many upside down umbrellas and the restaurant was extremely clean. We also saw that it was a family run business (the best kind of business) with a very small number of people working there. When we were seated, we were greeted by an EXTREMELY friendly Husband/Wife pair who could not be any nicer.

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Sunday
Dec022012

Pink Sumo Opens in Westport w/ Former Nobu Chef

Why Pink? Why Sumo? I'm not sure that I understand the restaurant's name (as it conjures up images of a very large, pony-tailed wrestler in fuchsia bikini bottoms) but there is no mistaking the quality of the food at Westport's latest Sushi and Sake cafe, PINK SUMO! Located at 8 Church Street, across from the YMCA and the colossally popular Spotted Horse, PINK SUMO suits the cozy, subterranean space that formally housed Manolo and, before that, Zest. Those restaurants couldn't seem to make it work in this location but I am pretty sure that PINK SUMO is here to stay. Here's why...

For starters, PINK SUMO'S owner, Skye Kwok, is doing it right by employing former NOBU Sushi Bar chef Eric Cheng to run the kitchen. With great expertise and aplomb, Cheng presents each dish as a work of art. And as the painter chooses the best oils for her art, Cheng uses the highest quality sushi-grade fish purchased by Kwok (also owner of SWEET BASIL in Fairfield) from YAMA, the renowned Japanese fish purveyor in New Jersey. Experienced chef, high quality fish and charming, newly popular location are certainly the ingredients for success. 

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