Mikura Asian Cuisine and Sushi Bar, 840 North Park Rd., Suite #8, Wyomissing, PA 19610, Phone:610-373-5851/8805, 610-927-5555

Mikura is a new Pan-Asian restaurant at the site of the former China King in Wyomissing.  China King was one of our favorite take-out restaurants, but I must admit the dining area was tiny and decor minimal, so we didn’t eat there often. Since Mikura has taken over this location the changes have been dramatic: The restaurant has doubled in size, and they have done major remodeling. It is now decorated in a sophisticated modern Asian theme, dark wood, colorful dimmed pendant lighting, and “stone” wall.  Everything is new, clean and inviting, and the staff goes out of their way to satisfy every request.

I am happy to say the food is still delicious, and the menu has expanded to include many new dishes!  The sushi bar is brand new, and they also offer party trays for office and home catering. They have kept their famous, very reasonably priced ($5.99/person or $5.45 for senior citizens) lunch buffet, although there is not much on the buffet for vegetarians.  We have found that ordering from the menu is a better option for those wanting non-meat dishes.  If you see something you’d like on the regular menu they will do their best to make it vegetarian for you. The menu also includes many vegetarian entrees ( I counted 17, but as stated, they will make any substitutions for meat if you ask).  Some items on the menu are listed as gluten-free and brown rice is available on request if you prefer that to white (yes!).

Mikura is a classy, moderately priced restaurant for lunch, dinner, business, or pleasure. Service is excellent, food is delicious, decor lovely.  Highly recommend!

 

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Franchia Vegan Cafe, 12 Park Ave. (between 34th & 35th St.) New York, NY 10016, (212) 213-1001.

Franchia is another healthy restaurant in the heart of Manhattan. They specialize in vegan Korean and Thai cuisine.  Bibimbap is a popular traditional Korean health staple consisting of rice (your choice white or brown) with various toppings including vegetarian “chicken” or “duck.”  A variety of Asian noodles and toppings are also available along with vegetarian sushi (all chicken, shrimp, crab meat, and tuna are vegetarian versions based on soy gluten and seaweed).

At Franchia I counted no fewer than 50 different hot and iced tea flavors.  They’re sure to have your favorite or a new favorite you haven’t tried yet!  You can linger over the Royal Tea Tray (26.95) or Prix Fixe lunch (26.95) or dinner (29.95) which includes everything from appetizers to dessert, or choose from one of the many lunch specials (12.95). The decor at Franchia is tranquil, modern, and upscale — a quiet haven in the middle of the bustling city.  You will love it!  The website is: http://www.franchia.com.

THAIWAT: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Thaiwat Restaurant, 1145 Berkshire Blvd. (between Redners and Walmart), Wyomissing, PA, (610) 898-9191

   Thaiwat is a small family-owned Thai restaurant, less than a year old. The casual decor is done in a lovely oriental motif, and everything looks very clean and orderly. I must mention their lovely jade green china — very unusual to see dishes this nice in most restaurants. The menus themselves are classy heavy black book-type things which hold an extensive offering of traditional Thai appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, and desserts. There is a vegetarian section on the menu, but any dish may be altered to be vegetarian or to meet any diet or allergy requirements.

   The vegetarian Tom Kha (coconut soup) is outstanding. If you don’t order it with your dinner, then I would suggest taking some home with you. (This restaurant also has take-out service available for those nights when you just don’t feel like cooking).  The Pad Thai is a favorite of mine — the vegetarian version (without egg) is excellent served with  sides of fresh crunchy bean sprouts, sliced lemon, and peanuts. An unusual dish on the menu is called “Jack and Sue,” a spicy heart-shaped vegetable pattie served on a bed of rice and vegetables. (I bet you won’t find that anywhere else!)

   If you still have room, several desserts are available for your sweet tooth. As long as you’re eating Thai try something traditional like the Mango Sticky Rice or Fried Banana — both are yummy, and you can have ice cream any day, right?

   Prices are moderate. Sometimes this restaurant is very crowded and there is a wait, and at others it is almost empty, so to be safe call ahead for reservations. Convenient location and plenty of parking. Closed on Mondays.