Asian Food Week is returning to Greater Cincinnati Jan. 31-Feb. 6. And this time, it coincides with the Lunar New Year, ushering in of the Year of the Tiger.
Organizers, the Asian American Cultural Association of Cincinnati, say the goal of the week is to support "local Asian businesses in light of the continued challenges with COVID-19 and staffing shortage in the restaurant industry."
"Asian Food Week, to me, promotes the diverse amount of Asian food we have in Cincinnati. The Asian food scene has had immense growth over the years," the AACAC's Lam Dang tells CityBeat. "There used to be the Vietnamese place, the Thai place and the Chinese place. Now there are plenty of places with many different varieties of Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese food."
During Asian Food Week, more than 50 participating Greater Cincinnati restaurants will be offering either a $20 or $30 three-course prix fixe meal, and/or a secret menu item. "The secret menu special is a nod to the unlisted menu often found at many Asian restaurants in America that include traditional dishes that may not conform to mainstream American tastes," reads a release from the AACAC.
While you can view full menu offerings online at asianati.com, here's a sampling of the different secret menu items various restaurants are offering.
- Arawan Thai Sushi — Drunken Lo Mein: lo mein noodles, Thai basil, onions, mushrooms and bell peppers (with choice of protein)
- Boba Cha — Black sesame milk tea, caramel matcha milk tea, rose matcha milk tea, lavender milk tea or white peach tea
- Chako Bakery Cafe — Two salmon onigiri, chicken karaage, korokke, potato salad and nitamago
- China Gourmet — Lunar New Year special
- Citrus & Sago — Six-course Lunar New Year dinner
- Dean's Mediterranean Imports — Ful mdemes, or stewed fava beans with garlic and olive oil
- Decibel Korean Fried Chicken — A platter with a three-pieces of chicken tenders, wings, drumstricks or cauliflower; half a Korean corn dog; half a mozzarella stick; and two sides
- Kampuchea Kitchen — Nom plai ai, a sticky-sweet glutinous rice dumpling with ginger syrup that is sered in a banana leaf cone
- Kiki College Hill —
Asari clam ramen
Maki Express Ramen House — Choose from one of two bento box options or a ramen set
- Milk Jar Cafe (Hyde Park, Mason, West Chester) — Dirty matcha latte or kiwi jasmine tea
- Cafe Mochiko — Filipino spaghetti (add fried chicken for upcharge)
- Nittha Siam Kitchen — Fried shrimp with sugarcane
- Olive Tree — A vegetarian/vegan sample plate, Syrian shawarma plate or mashawi mushkila
- Oriental Wok (Hyde Park) — Lunar New Year special
- Pho Lang Thang — Thit kho trung, or caramelized pork and egg
- Queen's Bakery — “Fortune Bag” cake with red velvet brûlée milk tea
- Swagat India House — A secret meal with veggie samosas, chicken tikka masala, chicken biryani, naan and mango custard
- Thai Express — A full secret menu with salmon curry noodles garnished with fresh bean sprout, shredded green cabbage and pickle mustard green ; vegetable chicken nuggets ; and Thai custard
- Tsao Cha Bubble Tea + Meeting Bakery — Grab either a drink of choice and bread, a drink of choice and a steamed bun or any drink of choice and a slice of cake