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Entries in Japanese (31)


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.

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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. 


Mecha Noodle Bar Opens in South Norwalk

A lot of love in that food,” I texted to Stephanie, my CTbites partner and frequent dining companion, within an hour of our departure from the new Mecha Noodle Bar in South Norwalk during one of their training nights.

“That’s the deal. He’s a special guy. It all means something to him. It’s not just the cooking. It’s nostalgia. Family. Friends. Community,” she texted back within moments.

Following that repartee, I realized whatever I wrote about our first impression of the new Mecha would pale in comparison to that observation. Love and community is the essence of what Mecha’s food is all about, and Chef Tony Pham along with partner Richard Reyes (Mézon), is at its Asian comfort food core.

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Kawa Ni Announces New Happy Hour And Cocktail Menu

Kawa Ni, Westport's izakaya by the river, has been both a haven of Japanese-inspired food and a boisterous drinking scene since its opening just over a year ago. The party is about to start earlier, as Bill Taibe and co. have announced the debut of their new happy hour menu of food and drink at the Bridge Square, starting now.

Izakayas are small taverns which cater to the occasionally raucous after work set in Japan, so the new menu, with its focus on a limited number of small bar bites backed up by almost twice as many drinks, is right on theme. The prices of food and drink alike are sharply reduced for the happy hour, which runs Tuesday -Friday 4-6PM. 

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Meet Doom Noodle, New Haven's Ramen Pop-up Restaurant

Doom Noodle, a weekly ramen pop-up restaurant will launch this Sunday, September 27 at Firehouse 12 in New Haven.  

The pop-up's weekly core menu will offer two options for ramen, a weekly bao offering, and shrimp chips, available as eat-in or take-out. Drinks will be available separately from the Firehouse 12 cocktail menu. Dinner starts on Sundays at  6 pm until they sell out.

The duo behind Doom Noodle, Jordan Waters and Molly Kennedy, are recent New Haven transplants who enjoyed participating in a weekly supper club. Jordan, who assumes the cooking responsibilities, and Molly, the creative who will run the front of house, see Doom Noodle as an evolution of their club and a reflection of what they like to eat. 

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Anaya Sushi: All-You-Can-Eat Sushi & Late Night Ramen in New Haven

Photo: Kathy D.

Three-month-old Anaya Sushi, the Japanese restaurant located on Chapel Street in New Haven, recently introduced a $21 all-you-can-eat menu option. Pictured above is the Yale-themed "Handsome Dan" roll.

Yale Daily News reported the restaurant will also extend its hours and menu with a "late night ramen house" option:

Seeing the restaurant’s popularity, Kaoroptham said she also plans to open a late night ramen house in Anaya’s space when the sushi restaurant closes for the night. The proposed ramen restaurant would be open from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily, according to the owner. 

Read the full story on Yale Daily News.

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Mura Pop-Up Delivers Outstanding Ramen

Ramen is one of the great dishes of the world. Contained within a single bowl is the essence of all flavors; and the most recent pop-up restaurants overseen by Chef Mogan Anthony (Locali) just over the border into NY are phenomenal.  Chef Mogan was raised in Singapore and was captivated, at an early age, by the flavors in Asian cuisine. His early training included studying under some of the best Asian chefs.

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Soosh Sushi Opens on Summer Street in Stamford (And It's Kosher!)

The best places, I believe, are the more unassuming places. The little treasures that are off the beaten path, hidden away where you least expect. The best food is the food that is what it is – unpretentious, fresh and bursting with flavor. And that’s the best way to describe this new unassuming little Japanese restaurant in Stamford, Soosh. 

It was a social media friend of mine, Pierre-Christian D. Frye, owner of PCDF Architecture in Greenwich, who first told me about Soosh. Perhaps he was a bit biased as he was hired as the restaurant’s architect. He explained how he turned what was basically an old storage space into a stylish Japanese eatery.

“For the new Soosh restaurant I worked closely with the owner to bring the vision to life of a truly modern, timeless dining experience. I accentuated the compact space with unique lighting and a rich mix of textures, tiles, wood and metal.

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Hana Tokyo Opens in Fairfield CT @ The Brick Walk

Hana Tokyo opened in Fairfield’s Brick Walk Plaza just a few weeks ago, and locals seem to be embracing the new restaurant with open arms. Owner Alan Wu recently relocated from Alexandria, Virginia to be closer to his family. Born and raised in China, he came to the US in his mid-20s and landed in New York City where he immersed himself in the world of gourmet sushi, learning everything possible about the trade. In 2002 he opened the original Hana Tokyo and after 13 successful years as the busiest Japanese restaurant in town, Wu and his restaurant now come to us. Wu prides himself on using only the freshest available ingredients, making everything in-house, and offering unparalleled service.

The new restaurant (which many will recognize as the former Tomba) has a contemporary, earthy feel. As one enters the restaurant, a large mural of a Japanese woman in a kimono, painted by renowned local artist, Suzanne Bellehumeur, greets you as you enter the facility and a small sushi bar constructed from reclaimed wood is to the right. Contemporary and traditional Japanese décor are combined to give the space a look that is modern yet traditional. The main dining area has 8 hibachi tables, a sushi bar, a lounge, plus 20 outside seats.

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Kawa Ni: An Exclusive First Look at Bill Taibe’s Izakaya-inspired Restaurant in Westport

CTbites was invited for an exclusive first look inside Chef Bill Taibe’s new restaurant, Kawa Ni, in Westport’s Bridge Square this week. Kawa Ni means “on the river,” an apt name for a restaurant in Saugatuck whose cuisine and service will take its cues from the informal Izakaya joints found in the Japanese cities of Kyoto and Osaka.

Is it an american restaurant with japanese aspirations? Or is it a japanese restaurant with american inspirations? Both, says Taibe, who distills his love of post war japanese culture and a farm house style approach to japanese food within the walls of the intimate Kawa Ni.  

Equal parts food and drink, with a capital F-U-N atmosphere, the 40-seat Izakaya-inspired restaurant will get the party started by the end of the month.

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