The New York Times praised Tengda's Milford location—one of eight in a small regional chain—as "perfect for young-at-heart couples and groups," with a high-energy atmosphere bubbling around cuisine it called "very good." The chefs draw gustatory inspiration from China, Japan, and Thailand as they create their expansive menus of Pan-Asian fare, which include fiery stir-fries, grilled meats, and sushi and provide reading material for shy diners throughout a full meal. Moody red and yellow lights dapple sleek black tables and booths, and might occasionally catch knife-flipping and drink-slinging theatrics behind the sushi and cocktail bars.
Visitors to YoBamba Cafe can sate a whole smattering of cravings, and whether it's for something sweet or savory—it's always healthy. Following the motto "Eat well, grow strong," the menu lists small portions of healthful noodles, seafood, and soups that make up Japanese-inspired "compositions." Additionally, a dozen flavors of frozen yogurt are at the ready daily, and a toppings bar houses 48 kinds of edible accessories to jazz up sweet snacks.
Waiters are usually the bridge between diners and their food, but that's not always true at Umi Sushi + Tapas. Sure, they serve some of Chef Kohei Kishida's meticulous dishes, but so do moving conveyor belts. Color-coded according to price, the belt's plates sport both sushi and non-sushi bites, from shrimp tempura rolls to spicy tuna and salmon dumplings.
The rest of Umi's Japanese feasts emerge from the kitchen. Here, Chef Kohei draws inspiration from Japanese gastropubs to craft small plates like fried octopus fritters and edamame croquettes. He also assembles build-your-own sushi rolls, which diners can create from an extensive selection of fixings that includes crawfish salad and sweet mustard miso. Likewise, patrons can assemble their own bubble tea from flavors like lychee and honeydew, or enjoy myriad other libations, such as sake-spiked cocktails.
After ten hours of slow-cooking, the barbecue ribs at Joe’s American Bar & Grill land on tables tender and ready to fall of the bone. Served with fresh-made coleslaw, these ribs are the centerpiece of a menu overflowing with upscale comfort food. Chefs cut potatoes by hand to accompany bacon cheeseburgers topped with aged cheddar and bread-and-butter pickles made in-house rather than flown in by a talking stork. Grilled pizzas are made fresh to order and never frozen, and hefty sandwiches and hand-cut steaks stack plates with sustenance. On the weekends, brunch dishes come out of hibernation to sate guests with made-to-order omelets and specialties such as eggs benedict and prime-rib hash. Diners enjoy the fresh air on the outdoor patio or cluster around the bar to keep track of sports scores or find out who really got married on Days of Our Lives.
Located inside the CT Post Mall, Sakura Garden seats over 400 people, plus space for another 80 in their private party room, and uses warm lighting and exposed-brick walls to surround a decorative indoor tree that plays host to cherry blossoms and the occasional Cheshire cat. Experienced chefs decorate dishes with colorful pieces of sushi and hot hibachi entrees, and the sleekly sneezeguarded buffet arranges a long line of dishes brimming with a rotating selection of nearly 100 different sushi and traditional entrees. At the full-service liquor bar, which is highlighted by blue and purple lighting, customers can occupy their hands with martinis, sake, and beer while keeping an eye on the flat-screen TVs in case a public-service announcement comes on while enjoying happy hours every Monday through Friday.
The culinary historians at JK Asian Bistro plumb the gustatory depths of Far East traditions, sprucing up time-tested recipes with new-world flare for a Pan-Asian menu that runs the gamut from Korean kimchee to Japanese sashimi. Amid ambient green lights and wood paneling, patrons can mouth-juggle morsels of wasabi and plum-battered calamari ($7) or cure spoon hypothermia in a crock of wonton soup ($2). Take an aquatic tour with the spicy maki sushi combo ($14), mingling california, yellowtail, and tuna rolls, or seek à la carte favorites like avocado ($3.50) or sweet potato ($5). Starter plates get slid to the side or skeet shot as waiters emerge from the kitchen, arms full with Thai pineapple fried rice ($10), chicken pad thai ($10) and juicy wok-sautéed beef tenderloin ($18).