New restaurant brings ‘different Asian food’ to downtown Utica

Pyait Kyaw stop his position as a sushi chef at Turning Stone to pursue his intention of opening his personal restaurant in Utica.

Pyait Kyaw nevertheless remembers the very first meal he experienced when he arrived in the United States at 7 decades previous as a Burmese refugee: A Japanese beef and rice bowl known as gyudon.

Kyaw is going to serve the identical dish at his new Asian fusion restaurant — identified as Nanabi Cafe. The restaurant opened its doorways Monday, April 11, at 106 Bleecker St. in Utica.

Comfort and ease Asian foodstuff with a present day twist

Kyaw reported he wants to provide a little something diverse from the common Asian restaurants in which you sit down and wait for your meals, he stated. It will have ease and comfort Japanese, Korean and Asian fusion foods with a “present day twist” impressed by popular dishes merged with Asian avenue foods.

The menu consists of mainly takeout bento boxes, which are traditional Japanese boxed meals. These have a key dish, an appetizer and aspect dishes. People today can pick out rice bowls, Korean buns, takoyaki or octopus dumplings, miso soup, aji fry or fried fish, sweet potato fries and fried rice among the other individuals. The restaurant also has distinct sauces produced in-residence.

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Nanabi Cafe also provides the common boba tea or bubble tea with chewy tapioca balls. These occur in dairy and nondairy forms.

Bento box with chicken katsu, dumplings and sweet potato fries.

Bento box with chicken katsu, dumplings and sweet potato fries.

Taking a prospect

Kyaw grew up in New York City and Utica, where by he attended Thomas R. Proctor Higher College. Unable to come across contemporary Asian food items in Central New York, Kyaw claimed he needs to provide a fashionable cafe with a city vibe to Utica.

“Utica is growing with the medical center, the college now, I see a lot of people, children,” Kyaw explained. “I want to give them something exciting and fashionable, you know, some thing for people today to stop by.”

Kyaw in no way prepared to devote his lifestyle to food stuff, but it all transformed once he started out having treatment of his father and working at regional dining places these kinds of as Lotus Yard and Dragon Cafe in Utica. Which is where his passion for food grew, inquiring inquiries and practicing at household, he stated.

Kyaw also worked at a friend’s cafe in Syracuse and right up until a short while ago, as a sushi chef at Sushi Sushi cafe at Turning Stone, a task he give up to go after his dream of opening his own restaurant.

“I just observed the potential, I saw the likelihood and, you know, I’m likely to get it,” Kyaw stated. “I’m going to use my time to devote and even if I fail, I am going to know that maybe I will have a possibility of achievement.”

A enthusiasm for Japanese society

Nanabi, which indicates seven tails in Japanese, is the identify of the restaurant, which symbolizes the 7 partners concerned in the business enterprise.

In simple fact, Japanese and Asian cultures are present not only in the cafe but also in his everyday living. Kyaw traveled to Japan, Thailand, Burma and explored the countries’ foodstuff and lifestyle to improve as a chef, he explained.

Pyait Kyaw and his younger sister eating gyudon on their first day in the United States.

Pyait Kyaw and his more youthful sister ingesting gyudon on their initial working day in the United States.

“If you want to be a chef, you have to travel, you have to eat and get out of your ease and comfort zone,” Kyaw stated. “Which is the big difference amongst a cook and a chef, a prepare dinner follows guidelines and a chef makes.”

A refugee himself, Kyaw claimed he recognizes the struggles they face. Which is why, he explained, he wants to give back again to the group and present work prospects for refugees and community people.

“Utica is created from refugees … this entire place is constructed on it,” Kyaw explained. “Which is why we have to attempt for the finest.”

Maria M. Silva addresses foods, drink and culture in the Mohawk Valley for the Observer-Dispatch. E mail her at [email protected]

This posting originally appeared on Observer-Dispatch: Nanabi Cafe on Bleecker Avenue delivers bento bins, boba tea in Utica

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