Driving through Kittery, Maine on our way up to Sunday River Ski Resort, Bry and I were fortunate enough to stumble upon Anju, a noodle bar serving up delicious Asian cuisine from steamed pork buns to, of course, noodles. Whether you live in Maine or plan on driving through, I highly recommend stopping by for a bite to eat (and a beer 😉 ).
Disclaimer: all opinions are my own. I was not invited or compensated by Anju Noodle Bar for this review.
While I didn’t have any specific expectations for restaurants we would find in Kittery, I was shocked to find such a hip, Portland-esque place. We were lucky that when we showed up there were a few window bar spots open, as within 15 minutes of us sitting down they got a rush of diners looking to escape the cold with a local beer and warm bowl of noodles.
If you’re a beer person, chances are you’re familiar with all the craft breweries popping up in the Portland area, many of which were on tap at Anju. Bry went with a Bissell Brother’s beer (I’m clearly not a beer person as I can’t remember which one he got), while I went with a hard cider from Bantam Cider Company – one of my favorite ciders made in Massachusetts. In addition to a great drink selection, I really liked that they gave us our own personal lemon water carafe for the table.
Food-wise our server recommended getting two to three appetizers and one entrée to split between the two of us. We asked him to just pick his two favorite apps and best entrée for splitting and were overall happy with his selection.
To start, we shared the Pork Bun, which was served with cucumber, pickled red onion, hoisin sauce, and kimchi mayo. Oh my word. This was the fluffiest, juiciest steamed pork bun I’ve ever had. And the kimchi mayo was addicting. Looking back I wish we each had gotten our own pork bun then split just one other appetizer – guess we’ll have to go back 😉
Next up was the main entrée, as the kitchen was a bit backed up for the other app. For the entrée our server selected the Duck Yakisoba: duck confit with bean sprouts, cabbage, roasted cashews, yakisoba noodles, and ponzu sauce. Bry loved this dish, as it was so rich and savory with multiple textures. For me, I enjoyed my first few bites, but I quickly got tired of the flavor and was wishing there was more of a vinegar/acidic component to give my taste buds a break. Worth sharing, but I wouldn’t recommend getting one all to yourself.
Our final dish was the Tahini Crusted Roast Cauliflower: roasted cauliflower covered with miso-tahini, raw ginger emulsion, and roasted chestnuts. Bry was not a huge fan of this appetizer, as the pieces that were completely covered in sauce were quite salty. However, I loved how soft and buttery the cauliflower was, and I found that if you just scrapped a bit of the sauce off it was the right amount of flavor and saltiness.
We were so stuffed after the three dishes, but next time I want to be sure to save room for their Matcha Tiramisu: green tea, sponge cake, mascarpone cream, and charteuse.
So here’s a toast to finding hidden gems along the way!