Mecha Noodle Bar, Fairfield, CT
For those lamenting a dearth of authentic ramen in Fairfield County, head on over to Mecha Noodle Bar, in the Brick Walk Promenade (behind Molto Pizzeria).
While the ramen selection is limited, they are doing things right. Chicken paitan broth is rich and milky, reminiscent of a rich tonkotsu pork broth. Spicy vegetable miso curry is very flavorful. And the mazemen (brothless ramen) is also very well done, the addition of cream cheese mentioned on the menu adds texturally to the mazemen sauce, but nevertheless melds well flavor-wise.
Apps I've tried include the KFC Bao, deep fried slices of chicken dresed with gojuchang and mayo, topped with picked cucumber, turnips, and carrots. Kind of a Korean version of of a buffalo chicken slider. Caesar rolls are a deconstructed caesar salad, wrapped in a Vietnamese summer roll wrapper (the slightly transluscent kind), and sliced sushi roll style, dressed in a light vinaigrette. Kale salad was a mixture of fresh and tempura kale leaves, along with dried cranberries, again with a light vinaigrette.
Since my first visit there, they've added pho to the menu. Not surprising, since the owners also own Pho Vietnam in Danbury. I will say that the pho, while good, are not the stand out items on the menu. You'll pay about $3-4/bowl more at Mecha compared to Pho Vietnam or Pho Saigon in Bridgeport. Also, they were rather stingy with the garnishes. Two in our party ordered pho, and out came one garnish plate with a small handful of sprouts and about 7 basil leaves total. And only 2 of the leaves were full size. And in keeping with the atmosphere, hoisin sauce and Sriracha were brought via tiny sauce ramekins.
Nevertheless, in my opinion Mecha is one of the more exciting openings in Fairfield County in a while. It's brought Momofuku-style cuisine to an area that quite frankly has seen only cookie cutter sushi and Asian fusion eateries in recent years.