As we said goodbye to April we said hello to the first Arizona location of contemporary Japanese restaurant JINYA Ramen. Downtown Chandler’s New Square development is where franchisee Daradee Olson opened the 40th location of the concept that was founded in 2010. Olso discovered the concept while vacationing in Utah and having lived & traveled in Southeast Asia she wanted to bring the concept home to Arizona.
JINYA Ramen offers bowls of broths slow cooked for 20 hours and handmade noodles. Fuji water is used for broths because its 99.9% free of impurities and noodles go through a special aging process before they are cooked. 12 signature ramen are on the menu and including chicken, pork and vegetable based broths. Guests can customize their bowl with more than 25 add-ons. In addition to ramen guests can order starters, salads, small plates and rice bowls that can be prepared vegan or vegetarian.
Local and Japanese craft beers, wine and signature cocktails are available at the bar. The sake menu has been curated by both Olson and General Manager Stephanie Daniels who are certified sake sommeliers.
According to Olson, “After eating at JINYA for the first time, I knew this was the style of ramen I had been searching for in the United States. When I returned home, I immediately began the process of bringing a JINYA Ramen Bar to the Valley.” Olson is so passionate about the concept she has plans to open four more locations in greater metro Phoenix over the next four years.
Guests can enjoy themselves inside the 60 seat restaurant that includes a ramen bar or on the patio with views of downtown Chandler. The modern & sleek atmosphere includes lively music and views of the kitchen in action from the ramen bar. JINYA Chandler is at 130 S. Arizona Avenue, Chandler, Ariz., 85225. For more information, call 480-758-5198 or visit their website.
Founder & CEO Scott Stuart has opened the second location of his popular Scottsdale sushi & Asian style restaurant, Wok ‘N Roll in Phoenix at the corner of Thomas & Central. Known for its sushi, Chinese food, sports and rock n roll music Stuart opened his first location at Miller & Camelback Rds. in June ’18.
“Wok ‘N Roll combines two of my passions: great Asian food and classic rock ‘n roll. When we decided to open in Scottsdale, the name was a natural. We serve delicious sushi and Chinese favorites and put a smile on our customers’ faces with a bit of edgy irreverence.” says Stuart.
An accountant by trade, Wok ‘N Roll isn’t Stuart’s first restaurant as he opened O’Malley’s Sports, Spirits and Grill in Phoenix. He left the industry to raise his daughter then jumped at the opportunity to take over the former J’s Kaiyo Sushi. The fun and casual restaurant offers build-your-own rice & noodles bowls, traditional Chinese dishes and sushi. Starters such as Big Eye Tune Poke, Cucumber Salad and wings also adorn the menu. His fondness of Classic Rock can be found in his signature cocktails with names such as “2 Tickets to “Paradise” and “Smokin in the Boys Room”.
“Last year, when we were allowed to offer take-out only, I’d DJ on the patio in Scottsdale. People gathered in the parking lot. Then I did pig roasts for fans to recall the scents of our kitchen. More people gathered. As a result, when we were able to increase occupancy, we came out of COVID strong.”
The Phoenix location is larger than the Scottsdale location at 4,000 square feet and includes a lot of rock & roll memorabilia and lyrics of favorite songs on the wall. “Wok ‘N Roll appeals to boomers AND the younger crowds who grew up hearing their parents’ brand of rock music played over the years. It’s a fun, welcoming atmosphere and rewarding for us because we appeal to a wide range of patrons. We’re very excited to bring our concept to Central Phoenix.”
Wok ‘N Roll Phoenix is at 2801 N. Central Ave. Phoenix 85004. For more information check out their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
Virtual kitchens/food halls continue to gain popularity with the local restaurant industry. Concept Entertainment Group (CEG), owners of Thirsty Lion Gastropub have opened Central Kitchen, a virtual food hall from the kitchen of Chandler’s Thirsty Lion. Arizona is the 4th state to open Central Kitchen which was launched late last year in Oregon then Texas and Colorado. Guests can order from five concepts Soy Joy Kitchen, Southern Jewel, Killer Wings, Pizza & Spice and Thirsty Lion.
“We’ve been fostering the idea of a kitchen focused on takeout and delivery for the last year,” said John Plew, president and CEO of Thirsty Lion Gastropub. “The pandemic put the process into hyper speed, and we saw this as the perfect opportunity to pivot with the climate and launch an idea that aligns with current consumer demands. Central Kitchen fills a need in the restaurant space by providing multiple culinary offerings from one hub. Guests can order the food that everyone in their home is craving under one ticket.”
All menus include scratch made dishes created by Keith Castro, CEG’s VP of Food and Beverage Executive Chef. Guests can order take-out and delivery from one central website with ease and efficiency.
Soy Joy Kitchen specializes in rice bowls, sushi, ramen and other Asian favorites. Southern Jewel offers Southern fried chicken, Nashville hot chicken, sliders and Southern specialties. Killer Wings serves boneless and traditional wings with a variety of house made sauces. Pizza and Spice has a large selection of gourmet specialty pizzas and salads. Don’t forget burgers, salads, sandwiches and more from the Thirsty Lion and vegetarian options are available from most concepts. Starting January 26th Central Kitchen will offer 25% off each to-go meal ordered at the central website.
Update: Festival postponed, no make up date set yet.
Asian street food continues to gain popularity around the valley with the announcement of the Arizona Bao & Dumpling Festival on March 21st 2020. From 12:30 – 5 p.m. at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park festival goers can taste the popular filled bao and dumplings along with other Asian foods, Boba and desserts until their hearts desire. You’ll be able to shop at marketplace, visit with local artists and play games in between tastes and sips.
Tickets are now on sale for this family friendly event with General Admission tickets only $8 plus tax & fees. There are a limited amount of Early Admission tickets at 11:30 a.m. are $13 ++. Children aged 7 – 12 are $4 and under 6 are free with a paid adult. Admission is separate from food and drink purchases.
Dr. A.J. Chandler Park is in historic downtown Chandler at 3 S. Arizona Ave. 85225.
If you frequent farmer’s markets and food festivals around Phoenix you’ve probably seen the Hot Bamboo booth. Owner Anna Heibach has been serving bao, dumplings and rice bowls for 10 years to those willing to wait up to 30-45 minutes in line. She’s decided to open a store front selling her popular dishes in Chandler come early January 2020.
The Indonesian born and raised Heibach started selling Asian street food in 2008 when her career as an artist slowed down. Before coming to Arizona to teach art she was in the U.S. Army stationed in Germany after she graduated Kent State University with a degree in Art & Architecture. She started making pastries for farmer’s markets, as her popularity grew she remembered her childhood favorites of bao, dumplings and more. Hot Bamboo was born during this time.
Heibach and son Preston won’t stop the festivals but felt the need to provide customers with a full time opportunity to enjoy her food.
Hot Bamboo will highlight character bao at the new store front. Customers can have them filled with pork, teriyaki, chorizo or vegan style. Rice bowls will include pineapple teriyaki pork, coconut curry and more. Her popular dumplings will be served at the restaurant filled with chicken, pork and shrimp. Other specialty snacks will be served along with Thai iced tea, smoothies and more.
Hot Bamboo will be at 980 E Pecos Rd. Chandler, AZ 85226 and open Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. For more info and to see about a opening date check out their website.
Sliding into the space that used to occupy TK’s Tavern at the Scottsdale Quarter, OBON Sushi Bar Ramen will debut this spring from Tuscon based Fukushu Restaurant Concepts. The Asian influenced eatery is known for its traditional Japanese ramen and sushi with Korean flare and its well received craft cocktail program.
OBON founder Brando Katz is a veteran of the restaurant industry having worked as a regional manager for RA Sushi and in several restaurant positions in Tucson for more than 10 years until he went to open his own restaurant with partner Andrew Joffroy in 2015.
“Expanding this concept into the valley has been a longtime dream of ours since opening our first location in Tucson” says Katz. “From our diverse menu to our innovative cocktails and hip yet approachable atmosphere, I truly believe that we’ve created a unique dining experience that will resonate with people.”
The kitchen will be led by chef Paulo Im and the menu will highlight its OBON sushi, a variety of ramen along with steamed buns, Katsu pork and chicken teriyaki.
The bar program created by Beverage Director Matt Martinez has garnered accolades locally being named “Restaurant Bar of the Year” by Tucson Bar Awards and Martinez being named Tucson’s Bartender of the Year and Bombay Sapphire’s Most Imaginative Bartender. In addition to craft cocktails OBON will also offer sake, wine and craft beer.
Check back for updates for more information, a full menu and opening date.
Sushi Roku at the W Hotel celebrates its 8th anniversary this week and it’s the customers who are being given the gift of half off all food. Whether your there for the stylish & delicious sushi or the authentic Asian delicacies, all your food will be 50% off when you guarantee the offer by making a reservation for the any evening this week, Monday, Oct.10th – Thus. 13th. Walk-ins are welcome, seated on a 1st come 1st serve basis.