Like many of our readers, we get really excited when a new restaurant opens up in town. We don’t want to wait 3 months for the restaurant to settle in and get their liquor license before visiting or, in our case, write up a post about our meal. So we are debuting a subcategory of our Food Porn’s called “First Bite”. These are trips to restaurants that have just opened and people who eat there months after this post could potentially have a much different experience.
I’ve driven by the Sidway building countless times since moving downtown and I’ve always wondered when the empty restaurant space would ever re-open. Then just a couple months ago I read in the Buffalo Spree blog Yum that Chef 2-2 (formerly of O Restaurant & Lounge and Hucklebuckets) would be opening Kaydara Noodle Bar in the long vacant space on Main Street and Edward/Goodell.
The restaurant is still very young, having only opened a couple weeks ago for take out only and just 2 days ago opening for dine-in service. The restaurant currently does not have their liquor license but in the mean time guests may bring their own wine/beer or order one of their non-alcoholic drinks. When I walked into the restaurant on a Monday evening, I was shocked at the size. The dining room is very large and can hold a lot of customers. I waited at the large bar that’s located near the open kitchen and watched 2-2 cooking on the spot. Even with the dine-in option available, we decided to order to go since we only live a short 3 minute drive away.
- Restaurant Type: Noodle Bar
- Cuisine: Vietnamese, Japanese
- Location: Downtown
- Prices: Bowls $7/$9, Sides Under $5
Alli and I decided to not try their Pho (we wanted to wait until we dined in for that) and instead order two of their other noodle dishes. I ordered the Wheat Noodles (Udon) with braised beef and sesame chili while Alli ordered the Somen with shank and spicy broth. Once we opened the bag upon arriving home, we took a minute to enjoy the wonderful smell coming from both containers. Alli’s Somen (picture below, bottom) had nice thin rice noodles along with small pieces of beef shank. The meat was incredibly tender and Alli immediately enjoyed the broth. It reminded us both of beef pho we’ve had elsewhere and had a nice subtle pepper kick but without any other aggressive flavors coming through. It’s a great dish for someone looking for a “safe” and more mild meal.
While Alli and I both enjoyed her Somen, we really loved the Wheat Noodles (pictured above, top) with braised beef and sesame chili broth. The Udon noodles were firm and not over cooked (I guess you would say al-dente) and even Alli (who is normally not a fan of thick noodles) absolutely loved them. The broth was full of flavor, my first sip actually caught me off guard with the spicy kick but as I tried more spoonfuls I noticed an underlying sweetness. Along with this great broth and noodles, there was a large tender piece of beef that fell apart with my chopsticks. The pieces of fat that were left on the beef melted in my mouth with each bite. Both of our orders were very large and in retrospect we could have each saved $2 and ordered the smaller size (oh well, leftovers).
We also decided to order off their small plate menu and tried the Pork Egg Rolls (gallery). Stuffed with pork, you could taste that they were freshly prepared and the outer shell was crispy but not overly greasy. They weren’t mind blowing but still were very satisfying. Alli and I really enjoyed our meals and I’m looking forward to heading back to Kaydara to try more items off their menu and dine in the actual restaurant. I know it’s only one meal, but I feel pretty confident in where Chef 2-2 and Kaydara are headed. I can’t tell you how excited I am at the idea of walking down on a fall day to grab a bowl of pho and grabbing a pint of McSorely’s at Founding Fathers on my way home.