Anju Noodle Bar, Kittery, Maine

Another ridiculously good lunch at Anju yesterday (continued from a Chowhound thread). The always-awesome wait person coined our day trip as a “daycation” - brilliant! We started with the green beans - good, but I missed the thin-ness of haricots verts in previous versions, which really adds something wonderful to the dish. Spicy miso ramen with beef brisket for me (redolent with kimchee/fermented, deep flavors) and Thai chicken noodle soup for B. Man, as good as the spicy miso broth was, the Thai broth was nuanced and delicate and, oxymoronically, still punch-you-in-the-face good. I was surprised how well tempranillo accompanied kimchee and B loved his Maine Beer Co. on draft (I can’t remember which). Thanks again guys for another lunch well worth packing up the chow pup and the hour drive for (he had plenty of tastes from both of our bowls and of the green beans…he is half-Korean, after all!).

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did you go next door to Maine MEat?

Nope we did not.

i’m going to sound like a broken record. We decided to drive up to Kittery this past glorious Sunday to lunch at
Anju. We arrived around 1 pm and it was packed. We’ve never seen it so full before. After walking around a bit, we got a call to come on down. Took longer than usual to get drink order in but we were sympathetic. Unagi bun was quite tasty and the cured salmon with furikake refreshing. My veggie ramen was richly flavored, while B swooned over his kimchee yakisoba (I concurred). Glasses of Substance IPA and rose hit the spot, while friendly neighbors were amused with our spring onion/cippolini’s tableside antics. He chowed down on salmon, kimchee, and noodles. Who says babies have to eat non-spicy foods?!

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Aw, well done to the Little One! I’ve only been once but my wife and I both loved Anju, and (relatedly) I would crawl over broken glass for a cocktail from Missy at the Wallingford. Ah, to dream.

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Went to the Anju Noodle Bar for the 1st time last night. There were 4 of us at 5:00-5:15 and we waited about 10-15 minutes for a table. Well worth the wait. The food was excellent, so well seasoned and presented. The spice levels really worked, I’m tired of “spicy” dishes that just drown out any other taste.

On the table: Roasted Cauliflower, Spicy Brussels Sprouts and Tofu, pork buns, Korean style St. Louis Ribs, Okonomiyaki and a bowl of Khoa Soi. Too much for the 4 of us but we wanted to try everything. Leftovers for lunch today.
The ramen was so really well balanced, the pancake was probably the least favorite but we did manage to eat most of it.
A friend behind the bar sent over a kimchi sampler and I am so sorry we didn’t bring it home for my eggs this morning.
They have a great beer selection and probably Sake too, but we did not really check it out. A great meal on a blustery February day. Looking forward to returning.
http://www.anjunoodlebar.com/

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Anju is one of our favorite “daycation” destinations (many thanks, digga, for the initial post and passing along that term). I like both the variety in the menu and the atmosphere of the place.

For us the okonomiyaki is a must-order, so that plus some smaller items means we don’t usually make it to the mains. I’ve recently had both the brussels sprouts and cauliflower and enjoyed them. Also loved the seared scallops and the rice cakes.

Our last visit (on Superbowl Sunday, they were rushing to close early) did include one miss, which was the recently-added khao soi. I was pleased to see chicken thighs instead of white meat in the mix, but the base curry was all wrong with very strong cardamom (including shredded pods) and cumin notes, as if they’d used an Indian spice mix instead of a Thai/Burmese one. But that’s really been the only off note in many visits. I’ll ask about that next time we go, since there will definitely be a next time.

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Intersting. I had the Khoa Soi. No cardamom in mine.
At least not an over powering amount.
We enjoyed it very much. Too much cilantro for me but that was easy to remove.
We are looking forward to our next trip as well. I do want to try the scallops.

That’s good to hear about your khao soi. Ours may have just been a one-time error.

My youngest chose ramen for his birthday dinner and at our house that means Anju Noodle Bar in Kittery. Our household has expanded to 5 since our last trip so more food. Win-Win!
We did take out, there is only outside dining at this point. Its about a 90 minute round trip but their packaging for food travel works well.
We ordered
2 orders of Pork Bun

  • 1 order of Gochujang Wings
  • 1 order of Rice Cakes
  • 1 order of Thai Ribs & Green Papaya Salad
  • 1 order of Jiro Ramen
  • 1 order of Duck Yakisoba
  • 1 order of Paitan Shio Ramen
  • 1 order of Khao Poon (Spicy)
  • 1 order of Shoyu Ramen
    All the ramen and the yakisoba got rave reviews. I had the Khao Poon which I really liked. The chicken was excellent, I would love to have the marinade recipe.
    The apps were all good with the exception of the ribs, I did not really like them They were better when we slathered the rice cake sauce on them. The papaya salad that came with the ribs was really good, almost a slaw. Bright and sweet and salty. The rice cakes were very spicy (hot spicy) and with a different ramen I would of enjoyed them more but they conflicted with my dish.
    Plenty of food left for today’s lunch, with additional noodles.
    Keep them on your radar for a daycation, they are really are good!
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Will do. Thank you for this detailed report, @grumpyspatient!

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