New restaurant to open in downtown Utica brings ‘different Asian food’

Pyait Kyaw even now remembers the first food he experienced when he arrived in the United States at 7 several years previous as a Burmese refugee: A Japanese beef and rice bowl referred to as gyudon.

Kyaw is heading to serve the very same dish at the new Asian fusion cafe he is opening shortly at 106 Bleecker St. in Utica.

The restaurant — named Nanabi Cafe — continue to is undergoing renovations, but Kyaw reported he ideas to open in April or Could.

Pyait Kyaw stop his career as a sushi chef at Turning Stone to go after his goal of opening his own cafe in Utica.

Comfort and ease Asian foods with a modern twist

Kyaw stated he needs to give anything distinctive from the conventional Asian dining places where by you sit down and hold out for your foodstuff, he reported. It will have comfort Japanese, Korean and Asian fusion foodstuff with a “modern-day twist” motivated by well known dishes merged with Asian road meals.

The menu will consist of typically takeout bento boxes, which are regular Japanese boxed meals. These will have a most important dish, an appetizer and aspect dishes. People today can pick rice bowls, Korean buns, takoyaki or octopus dumplings, miso soup, aji fry or fried fish, sweet potato fries and fried rice amongst many others. The restaurant also will have various sauces built in-house.

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Nanabi Cafe will also convey the popular boba tea or bubble tea with chewy tapioca balls. These will come in dairy and nondairy sorts.

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

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

Using a chance

Kyaw grew up in New York Metropolis and Utica, exactly where he attended Thomas R. Proctor Superior Faculty. Not able to uncover contemporary Asian food in Central New York, Kyaw explained he wants to convey a modern day restaurant with a metropolis vibe to Utica.

“Utica is developing with the medical center, the university now, I see a whole lot of people today, youngsters,” Kyaw explained. “I want to give them a thing enjoyment and fashionable, you know, a little something for men and women to halt by.”

Kyaw never prepared to dedicate his daily life to foods, but it all adjusted as soon as he started out having treatment of his father and working at local eating places this sort of as Lotus Backyard garden and Dragon Cafe in Utica. That is in which his passion for foodstuff grew, inquiring queries and practicing at home, he reported.

Kyaw also worked at a friend’s restaurant in Syracuse and until eventually not long ago, as a sushi chef at Sushi Sushi cafe at Turning Stone, a work he quit to pursue his dream of opening his very own cafe.

“I just observed the likely, I saw the opportunity and, you know, I am heading to consider it,” Kyaw said. “I’m likely to use my time to devote and even if I fail, I am going to know that possibly I’ll have a chance of results.”

A passion for Japanese culture

Nanabi, which usually means seven tails in Japanese, is the identify of the restaurant, which symbolizes the seven companions associated in the business.

In truth, Japanese and Asian cultures are existing not only in the restaurant but also in his everyday living. Kyaw traveled to Japan, Thailand, Burma and explored the countries’ foods and culture to expand as a chef, he said.

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

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

“If you want to be a chef, you have to journey, you have to consume and get out of your comfort and ease zone,” Kyaw reported. “Which is the change among a prepare dinner and a chef, a cook follows principles and a chef creates.”

A refugee himself, Kyaw stated he acknowledges the struggles they deal with. Which is why, he reported, he desires to give again to the neighborhood and offer employment options for refugees and community people today.

“Utica is built from refugees … this full put is crafted on it,” Kyaw claimed. “Which is why we have to strive for the finest.”

Maria M. Silva handles foodstuff, consume and lifestyle in the Mohawk Valley for the Observer-Dispatch. Electronic mail her at [email protected]

This short article at first appeared on Observer-Dispatch: Burmese refugee opening new Nanabi Cafe on Bleecker Road in Utica

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