WALLINGFORD — A Japanese and Vietnamese noodle soup restaurant is slated to open on Ives Road in early April.
FunJu Noodle Bar will feature ramen and Vietnamese pho, a soup cooked for hours with beef broth, noodles, rice, cilantro and scallions. The menu will also include Saigon egg rolls, Sichuan dumplings and firecracker wings, with tamarind, garlic and szechuan pepper corn.
Owner Tommy Zhou hopes to open the restaurant, 20 Ives Road, in the first week of April. He had a warning for his future customers though: “slurp responsibly, because we’re going to serve our soup hot.”
Zhou said his favorite dish on the menu is the spicy miso soup, with slow-cooked pork belly and ground pork shoulder, hot chili oil, black mushroom, sweet corn and boiled eggs.
“The texture is so good,” he said, adding that the spices bring the flavor out.
“We don’t use any soup bases or artificial flavors. We try to make all the soups from scratch,” said Zhou, whose family also owns Pacific Buffet and Grill next door. “We think it makes a difference in taste.”
As noodle soups have become increasingly popular, Zhou said he traveled to New York City to try some of its well-known restaurants.
“The first time I tasted it I really fell in love,” he said.
He said the emphasis on soups differentiates FunJu from other area restaurants.
“I think it’s the richness of the soup. The flavor is completely different,” he said. “It really melts in your mouth.”
“The Wallingford market is of high interest to a variety of tastes,” said Wallingford Economic Development Specialist Tim Ryan. “We’ve seen steady growth in restaurants and that type of food offering.”
A graduate of the Connecticut Culinary Institute, Zhou said the dishes aren’t just delicious, but are fun to cook and look “beautiful” on the plate.
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