"In each recipe of mine," says James Beard-nominated chef Bun Lai, "ingredients from disparate cultures are combined, symbolizing what is possible when people of the world live in harmony with one another." That might sound like a grandiose statement to make about dinner, but magazines such as Food and Wine, Saveur, Eating Well, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Scientific American, and Outside Magazine can vouch for the chef's ambitions to change how the world thinks about food. Both magazines have celebrated Miya's Sushi's blend of Chinese, Japanese, and American avant-garde culinary techniques.
Having been featured on TV networks such as Food Network, ABC, NBC, Fox, and National Geographic for his unprecedented commitment to creating truly sustainable sushi, Chef Bun has forgone traditional ingredients such as tuna, shrimp, yellowtail, farmed eel, and even white sushi rice. Instead, as detailed on his upcoming 2015 major network series, he wraps invasive species such as lionfish and feral hog meat in unprocessed multigrain rice. The results delight New Haven County palates seeking new sushi flavors while also checking the spread of their source within delicate ecosystems?a huge relief for fish throughout the world.
The menus at Sakimura's two locations change regularly in order to incorporate the freshest seasonal ingredients and the chefs’ newest culinary muses. The Simsbury location is known to intermingle traditional Japanese flavors with contemporary flourishes, with specials taking forms such as foie gras with sweet miso sauce. Both locales’ sushi chefs also invent their own creative rolls, such as a deep-fried Godzilla roll and an Out of Control roll filled with shrimp tempura and topped with seared pepper tuna.
Diners seeking a hot dinner can gather around hibachi grills and watch as chefs sear their choice of shrimp, chicken, scallops, filet mignon, or any number of other gourmet ingredients. The hibachi rooms' smokeless grills and modern yet warm decor combine to create a pleasant dining experience.
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.
At Mikado, it doesn't matter if you know exactly what kind of sushi or sashimi you'd like. The Asian bistro's menu features more than 80 specialty dishes along with a unique create-your-own option. Just tell your server or one of the expert sushi chefs what you'd like, and they'll do everything they can to craft a satisfying?and likely quite stylish?dish. Mikado can accommodate such diverse tastes thanks to its broad focus; along with traditional Japanese cuisine, the restaurant specializes in Thai food and other flavors from across Asia. The dining room is as welcoming as the menu, with comfortable lounge seating where guests can relax and take their time figuring out what these "chopsticks" are all about.
The traditional dishes of Japan, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia make their way to Ten Asian Bistro's tables prepared to dazzle any hungry guests who've taken seats inside. Instead of reciting the prologue to Beowulf as they await their meals, diners can watch chefs craft sushi rolls from gourmet cuts of fish and savory accoutrements such as tobiko, scallions, and tempura breading. A panoply of noodle dishes, including pad thai and chow fun, team up with a choice of four meats to sate carnivores, and a steaming wok infuses shrimp and scallops with flavors such as lime, lemongrass, and pineapple. Sake and other spirits inspire toasting before meals, and catering services facilitate noshing in homes, offices, and epicurean mosh pits.
Ginza's menu fuses classic Japanese dishes with contemporary adaptations, earning its Bloomfield location second place for Best Japanese Restaurant in the 2011 Hartford Advocate Readers' Poll. A sushi dinner arrives tableside with an assortment of nine sushi pieces around either a tuna roll or a california roll ($20), and the french dragon lights up the night with smoked eel and avocado atop nori-wrapped shrimp tempura ($15). At the Ginza's Bloomfield location, chefs man hibachi stations to cook up grilled chicken ($17), steak and scallops ($22), and lobster tail ($29) fresh, and made-to-order. Other fusion-inspired eats include sake-marinated short ribs accompanied by Holland leeks, wild mushrooms, baby carrots, and red-wine demi glaze ($18), and the miso-broiled Atlantic salmon with baby bok choy and Peruvian corn bathing in miso as well as a sweet and spicy yet vulnerable sauce ($20).