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Entries in Japanese (33)

Sunday
Nov272016

Pacific Rim Cooking At Miro Kitchen in Fairfield: Menu & Chef Update

Change is at hand at Fairfield's Miro Kitchen after the end of their collaboration with HAPA, but the new menu for this autumn and winter retains Miro's signature flavors. CTbites was recently invited to take a tour of the food style restaurateur Eugene Kabilnitsky and executive chef Howard McCall have dubbed "Pacific Rim," with ingredients influenced by Hawaii, China, Japan, and the Philippines.  

The eating area is a bright space, with white walls and darker seating on the right, and a full length bar running down the left. The bar has a respectable selection of craft beer on tap, in addition to wines selected specifically to match the flavors of the food. Cocktails likewise blend with the food, using ingredients like nigori in the Saketini, and Thai chili in the Thaigarita and the Tom Yum, which tasted like boozy lemon grass tea shot through with spiky kaffir lime.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

Sunday
Dec132015

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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Thursday
Oct082015

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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Thursday
Sep242015

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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Wednesday
Apr222015

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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Sunday
Feb012015

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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Sunday
Jan182015

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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