Explore Asian Restaurants in Fort Wayne

One often does not think of Fort Wayne (or Indiana in general) as a hotbed for Asian cuisine. However, the Hoosier State’s second-largest city has a growing multicultural and sophisticated population that successfully supports three excellent choices beyond standard-fare Chinese:

Baan Thai is a small and tastefully decorated establishment in an excellent location in Northeast Fort Wayne. It features a large menu of entrees and appetizers, however newbies to Thai cuisine might want to begin with their pud thai (a mild-to-spicy noodle dish with bean sprouts, green onions, and your choice of meat or tofu). Newbies should also be advised that Thai food skews spicier than its Mexican or Chinese counterparts. When selecting an item to be served hot or extra-hot, your server will often pointedly ask if this is what you really want. This is one of many ways the ever-pleasant Baan Thai staff caters to its often novice clientele. Their knowledge of the menu is what you would expect at such an intimate local establishment and they do an excellent job of ensuring your satisfaction without being intrusive. The food quality is excellent, the appetizer sampler and their pud kee mao are highly recommended. Prices are imminently reasonable for such quality (nearly all entrees are under $10). Their Thai Iced Tea is an excellent way to cool off during the muggy summers Fort Wayne so often experiences. 4634 Coldwater Road (inside The Shoppes at Coldwater) – (260) 471-2929 – Closed on Mondays

Chef’s Hut is a sparsely decorated Indian buffet in a mostly unimpressive strip mall off of Coldwater Rd. However, the ambience is in no way indicative of the quality of the food. The tandoori chicken, breads, and wide array of vegetarian choices make it an excellent lunch spot. The staff is often working hard keeping glasses full and refilling trays at the buffet, so newbies should be advised to go with someone fairly well versed in Indian cuisine to get a full experience. Very little of the food is spicy, so tepid taste buds need not fear. And as with most Fort Wayne buffets, value is abundant at Chef’s Hut at a more-than-reasonable cost (always under $10). 5462 Coldwater Road (inside Coldwater Plaza) – (260) 483-1025 – Closed on Mondays and off-peak dining hours – www.chefshut.com

Asakusa is by far Fort Wayne’s most authentic Asian experience. While this Japanese restaurant and sushi bar has no exterior windows, uses very little artificial light, and is often deafeningly quiet, this serves to transport the diner. With some willing suspension of disbelief, Asakusa is one of the few places in Fort Wayne where one can feel fully disconnected with Indiana and imagine the unagi in front of them was caught fresh off nearby docks. The sushi is the best you’ll find in town, however it comes at a price. One can easily spend $25 for a full meal; however, feel free to skip the miso and salad. The miso is average at best, and the limp iceberg lettuce with thousand-island dressing isn’t worth the investment. Much like Baan Thai, the staff is knowledgeable and excellent at recommendations and descriptions for newbies. Novices and single diners may also wish to sit at their small sushi bar for what can be a fascinating show and an opportunity to socialize with both the staff and nearby customers. 6224 Lima Road (at Washington Center Road, across from Meijer) – Closed during off-peak dining hours – (260) 490-6888 – www.asakusajapan.com

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