Kaydara Noodle Bar is a unique eatery in terms of what the majority of Western New York restaurants typically offer. In the mood to stray from your typical pizza pie or burger joint? This is a great place to start.
This Asian inspired establishment is locally owned and operated, located down the street from Shea’s and in the other direction sits on the edge of the medical corridor. The restaurant has high ceilings and extended windows with a view of chefs at work, creating an exposed, contemporary environment. I enjoyed the simplicity of the design, complemented by a slight Asian flare.
The food in a few words was light, interesting and bursting with flavor. The hard part was figuring out the menu. I’ve always been one to order something that sounds exciting and hope for the best. However, this being a noodle bar, I had my heart set on my dish involving noodles. I would have liked our server to explain the menu a bit. When a server asks if you have been to their restaurant before and gives you some heads up on what you are looking at, it makes the diner feel as though they are going to make an informed decision. Instead, I felt lost and insecure about my choices. Will my dish come with noodles in it? No one knows. One of the specials our server mentioned sounded wonderful but again, I was unclear about the noodle situation. When I did ask, I learned that only the section on the menu called “noodles” includes noodles (OK, that makes sense…), the “bowls” have rice (not quite as clear), the small plates are appetizer style and the large plates are entrées without noodles. Phew!
What we ordered
Once we had some idea of what was offered, we found ourselves wanting to try everything. We ordered an enoki (a type of mushroom) fresh roll (2 rolls, $5.50) and a chicken fresh roll. They also offer fresh rolls with pork & nuoc mam. Ours were delightful. The enoki reminded me of a sprout. It was rolled in a wonton wrap and went un-fried. It was accompanied by a vinegar-based, Asian dipping sauce. I preferred the enoki to the chicken. We also ordered the steamed pork dumplings (4 for $6.50). The pork was wrapped artfully and everything tasted very fresh, served with a nice sweet vinegar based sauce. (Author note: 4 years later I still dream about these dumplings.) Other small plates included chicken and ponzu steamed dumplings and potato, goat cheese or sweet & spicy Chinese vinegar potstickers (3 for $5.50). Yu-um.
Wanting to go all in on the “Noodle” section of the menu, we ordered Mung Bean Noodles with savory broth, spinach, pork, tea-smoked egg and enoki and Wheat Noodles with braised beef and sesame chili. In the first dish, the transparent, mung bean noodles were different and complementary to the many other flavors in the bowl. The broth was well seasoned and the taste of the dish as a whole was phenomenal. the wheat noodle dish was tasty with thick, more traditional noodles and a kick from the chili. ($8.50)
The flavor and textures in both bowls exceeded our expectations. On the other hand, they were extremely difficult to eat. There are chopsticks, forks, and even soup spoons at your disposal, however, I just couldn’t manage to keep the food from splattering on my shirt. Do not let this deter you from trying out the Noodle Bar, but I wouldn’t recommend this as first date material. Combine noodles with broth and you probably won’t have the recipe for a second.
Menu items missed
We will absolutely be back to try some other menu items. There are plenty of colorful salads to choose. (Menu boasts vegetarian & vegan options) For example the Sundae Salad – vanilla oil, orange vinegar, goat cheese, candied walnuts & craisins ($9.50). As I mentioned before they have rice bowls with broccoli and a choice of beef, chicken or pork ($10), mushroom or prawn ($13). The Curry Pork large plate with eggplant, cilantro, coconut milk, scallion, and lime will also have me longing to go back.
The lunch we enjoyed was a perfectly light meal for midday. I recommend trying Kaydara Noodle Bar for lunch. The prices may be a bit high but worth it. It’s a nice place for after work drinks and a bite with a friend. This display of diversified cuisine is an asset to Downtown Buffalo. Kaydara Noodle Bar has expanded the options of food lovers in Western New York. You will have fun with the atmosphere and the food.
Kaydara Noodle Bar
777 Main St, Buffalo NY 14221