Feb. 29, 2016 By Michael Florio
Two restaurants offering different flavors from Japanese cuisine opened in Astoria this month.
Shuya Café de Ramen opened at 42-13 Broadway on Feb. 3, according to owner and chef Shuya Miyawaki.
The restaurant, which specializes in ramen, has a unique menu, according to Miyawaki.
“Most ramen restaurants serve ramen in a pork broth,” he said. “Pork broth is good but it is very heavy and has a lot of calories.”
“People don’t eat it very often because of this,” he added.
Miyawaki’s ramen is served in a chicken and fish broth or in a clam soup. His specialty, the Shuya ramen, combines the two. It has been the restaurant’s most popular item.
Miyawaki, 37, has been a ramen chef for the past 20 years. He cooked with pork broth in the past, but decided to make the change so that his customers would come more often.
“Our broth is healthy,” he said. “People feel good after they eat it.”
The restaurant has a variety of vegetarian items such as the “Asazuke” which is Japanese style assorted vegetable pickles, as well as brussel sprout tempura, salads and a vegetable ramen, which is made in a vegan broth.
During the week the restaurant is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., but it is closed on Tuesdays. On the weekend, it is open for lunch from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Miyawaki is interested in opening for lunch on weekdays in the future.
The restaurant can seat 23 people. Miyawaki is in the process of applying for a wine and beer liquor license.
Miyawaki, who lives in Forest Hills, decided to open at this location after searching in Manhattan and Brooklyn for a year and a half.
“Rent was too high in Manhattan and we didn’t like the neighborhoods in Brooklyn,” he said. “Astoria was the best of both worlds.”
Miyawaki grew up in Japan. He moved to Los Angeles 10 years ago and has lived in New York for the past three years. This is the first restaurant that he owns.
His restaurant is not the only Japanese eatery to open in the neighborhood this month.
T-Swirl Crepe opened at 36-16 30th Ave. on Feb. 15, according to a store employee.
The shop serves crepes that are made from 100 percent gluten free rice flour batter. The crepes, which are hand rolled in the shop, are prepared similarly to a cone, to allow customers to eat them on the go.
The menu is made up of both sweet crepes, such as the blueberry NY cheesecake, banana chocolate and wild berry crepes and savory crepes, such as the chicken teriyaki, shrimp avocado and smoked salmon crepe.
T-Swirl Crepe has a number of shops around the country, including a shop in Texas, California and eight that are either open or coming soon in New York, including in Flushing, White Plains, Brooklyn and several in Manhattan.
The 30th Avenue location is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.