Tucked way behind the Trek Bicycle Store in Fairfield, CT is Mecha Noodle Bar. Hubby and I discovered the place thanks to Google after I covered Sacred Heart University’s Kristallnacht Mass last month.
We got there around 9pm. Luckily, the place wasn’t crowded, so we were seated quickly and they served us pretty efficiently. When the food arrived, we just dug in and slurped away. After all, their menu did say “Slurping encouraged”. We were done in less than 15 minutes.
Here’s the thing: I’m no ramen connoisseur, but I’m really very picky when it comes to ramen. Chalk it to experience. I’ve encountered ramen before that were too salty for my liking, but when I came across some really good quality ramen, it changed my mind completely.
We’ve been searching for good ramen places here in Connecticut, but haven’t been successful. Sure, we can always drive to NYC for Momofoku Noodle Bar, Ippudo, Totto Ramen or even Jin Ramen. But is a good ramen joint in Connecticut too much to ask for? When the craving for ramen strikes, driving to the city isn’t always feasible. Imagine my glee when we stumbled upon Mecha Noodle Bar. We weren’t even out of the door, yet we were already making plans to go back.
When we finally returned to this place, we brought along my older sister. It was around 6:30pm when we went there. There was a queue, but what tiny waiting area they had was occupied. At some point, we blocked the entrance/exit, then blocked the path where the servers would pass. It just felt like we were in the way, but we didn’t know where we should wait.
Of course, it gave me time to observe the place better. Seating consisted of no-back benches and stools. To my surprise, the bar stools were big jars (see Mecha’s picture here). But what’s over your head will make you look up. They have wooden beams on the ceiling, not your regular wood beams, but hanging vertical blocks of wood. It’s supposed to simulate noodles or something. The first time we went there, it made me feel uneasy because they were over our heads. I kept thinking, “those better be attached to the ceiling securely!”
Eventually, we got seated at the bar where we could watch the magic happen. Order taking that night took longer than the last time. I was getting slightly frustrated because that wasn’t our experience the first time around.
We ordered their Korean Fried Chicken Steamed Bao to keep our hunger pangs at bay. We didn’t realize that there’d only be two pieces and there were three of us. My sister and I split one bao while hubby had one full bao. It was no bigger than my palm, but it left room in my tummy for my ramen.
Hubby ordered their Paitan Chicken with black garlic, nori, scallion, egg, menma topped with chashu (roasted pork belly). He also requested six chilis to be added to his soup.
My sister and I both ordered Tonkotsu (pork ramen, chashu, spicy sprouts, egg and scallions). I didn’t order any extra toppings or sides. Just ate it the way it was served. We slurped away to our hearts’ content and finished our food in less than 20 minutes.
Once again, the quality of the ramen didn’t disappoint. I’m worried though. I’d love to try their other offerings like pho. In fact, they even have kimchi fried rice! (So far, I’ve found kimchi fried rice only in Hamden. We usually make our own because we can’t find it anywhere near us.) But I know that I’ll buckle down and order ramen again the next time we go there.
Verdict: Mecha Noodle Bar definitely won us over, not just for its proximity to where we live, but for the quality of their food. Overall, their ramen tasted legit. They offer a manageable menu with choices that didn’t overwhelm. Their soups are $10+ but the amount of soup you get per bowl can be shared by two. Did I mention that hubby and I kept eating off each other’s bowl? Of course, there was no way that we’d give up our own bowls. Since it’s tough to find good Asian noodle soups in Connecticut, this was definitely an excellent discovery.
Mecha Noodle Bar
1215 Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824