Ramen or Pho? Pho or Ramen? The questions kept buzzing in my head as soon as I settled down to order and eat at Mecha Noodle Bar in Fairfield. What shall I order? Everything looks so very tempting on this menu with plenty of versions of Pho as well as Ramen to choose from. Over the years, both Pho and Ramen have stolen my heart. I find it really hard to say “No”, if I see either of them on any menu. So when I come across a menu that offers them both – Well! then, what I have is a conundrum!
After my brain could not take the internal battle anymore, I cried out PHO!!! Let there be Pho Sizzle for me. Pho Sizzle is similar idea to Pho Tai which uses rare beef. The beef in this case is grilled hence imparting a deeper and richer flavor to the broth. Pho Tai in comparison tends to be a more delicate flavor profile. One must try both to pick a favorite. Having had Pho Tai before at Mecha, I can safely say that I love them both.
One dish that is popping up on many asian menus lately is Chilli Dumplings. Mecha’s version was pretty enticing and flavorful. I love how the chilli sauce coats my palate with just enough heat to make it an enjoyable flavor explosion, yet not too much heat to make me miserable. Well done!
I am always on the lookout for Banh Mi. Love this asian flavored sandwich. Usually light to eat with tons of fresh flavors from fresh veggies. It makes for a perfect summertime snack or a lunchtime nibble. Mecha’s version was quite delicious. I am not sure if its truly authentic – but I do see myself ordering it again and again.
Tony Pham, the owner of Mecha, was so sweet to send a delicious dish for us to try at our table. It was Rice Cakes with Shredded Pork, Pickled Mustard and Fried Shallots. I have never had anything like this before. It was very similar to pork dumplings- in terms of texture and flavor profile. I have to admit that when I first saw this dish on the menu- visions of the dry, crunchy, unpalatable Quaker rice cakes popped in my head. This dish turned out to be nothing like those rice cakes. It was quite unique and worth ordering again!
There are so many more things on Mecha’s menu that I need to try. KFC (Korean fried chicken) is calling my name. So is the Pork Belly Bao …. and all the versions of Ramen and Pho that I still need to work my way through. Gosh! It’s a tough job being a foodie, ya know?!
Mecha Noodle Bar, Fairfield CT | http://www.mechanoodlebar.com