I’m so excited for this to open, I just can’t stop saying the name.
If you’re active on Facebook, then you’ve likely seen people “liking” Noodlecat over the past few months. And this week, the proverbial cat was let out of the bag so to speak as to what this secretive restaurant is exactly and who was the masked man, er chef, er, duo, behind it. It’s Team Sawyer of course!
Noodlecat, slated to open later this summer, will be in the former Theresa’s Pizza locale on Public Square near the soon-to-open Pura Vida. According to Amelia Sawyer, the restaurant, “will be a mash-up of Japanese and American cooking. It will be both modern and traditional.”
Added chef Jonathon Sawyer, “We wanted to do noodles for a long time now. We think this will translate really well to Ohio, like what we did at [Bar] Cento with Roman food. We can tell a similar story here and showcase what’s unique to Ohio.”
With the opening of Noodlecat, the goal for the Sawyers was to have clarity of concept. “Noodles tend to be lumped together in Cleveland. Really muddled in fact and you don’t get to see what authentic Japanese noodles are,” explained the chef.
“The main point is for us to have fun, and be the second certified green restaurant in Ohio,” he added. “We’ll be casual, really fast, a lot of fun and all under $15.”
Just like their flagship Greenhouse Tavern, a lot of staples will be made by the chefs, like rice wine vinegar and a local fish sauce he’s currently working on. He’s also excited to embrace more healthy and veggie-based options, and of course, sourcing a ton of local, quality ingredients.
A sneak peek at the lunch and dinner menu is enough to make you want to relocate downtown. While it’s still a work in progress, some of the items include:
- Slow Soy Cooked Eggs n Soldiers w/ Japanese white bread, crispy snap peas & tempura potato
- Broiled Rice Balls w/ seasonal ingredients
- BBQ Pork Belly Steam Bun
- Ohio Beef Burger Steam Bun
- Veggie Miso Steam Bun
- BBQ Blue Fish Steam Bun
- Pork and Clam Soba w/ BBQ smoked pork country sausage, salted cured chili paste, burnt citrus fruit, toasted garlic, young shallot & bottarga
- Crispy Veggie Tempura Soba w/ seasonal vegetables, miso paste, tofu, peas, scallion & shitake mushrooms
- Spicy She Crab Udon w/ ginger, garlic, young shallot, crab paste, spinach, house made surimi & soft boiled egg
- San Fransisco Surf n’ Turf Ramen w/ poached scallop, wild mushrooms, pasture raised ohio chicken, young shallot & sliced radishes
- Chilled Ohio Soba w/ ponzu, crispy peas, shredded nori, scallion & wasabi
- Su Tofu Udon w/ wakame seaweed, warm dashi, shitake mushrooms & soft boiled tofu
- Whole Roasted Suckling Pig w/ oysters, BBQ, buns, horseradish vodka & condiments
- Very Spicey Whole Crab w/ rice cakes, lots of Garlic, Fish Sauce & Chili customers are advised to wear a bibb
- Salt Grill Sustainable Himachi w/ oysters, pickled veggies, chilled unfiltered sweet sake, buns & condiments
- Sustainable Sashimi Style Plate w/ pickled veggie, salt cured chili paste & calamansi
“A noodle place like this will make people happy,” concluded Sawyer. I concur.