First Look: Takaya New Asian Rolls Out Modernly Plated Sushi and Fusion Dishes
On a moderately busy Friday evening about a month after its opening, general manager Simon Rhim of Takaya New Asian (634 Washington Avenue; 314-241-5721) explains that owner Eric Heckman just rolled some sushi himself before heading out to tend to his other businesses. Heckman lends a hand filling in for his wife, executive chef Jenny Eun Kyung Heckman, while she spends some time in her home city of Seoul visiting, researching and drawing inspiration for her fusion-style cooking.
Mabel Suen The Chrystal Roll with tuna, yellowtail, cilantro, jalapeno and cucumber rolled in rice paper with eel sauce, sweet chili sauce and avocado sauce.
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Gyu-Negima: Asparagus rolled in thin slices of premium beef, grilled and infused with a sweet garlic soy
"We visit different cities all the time between Seoul and Tokyo to see what's cutting edge," says Eric Heckman. "Our menu definitely has some Korean influence as well as Chinese influence. We're working on a few Thai dishes now and intend to branch out some more to different regions."
Eric and Eun Kyung Heckman are what you might refer to as one of those "power couples" in the hospitality industry. Together, they've developed the concepts and menus for two sushi-centric restaurants in Clayton that draw heavy influence from the latest trends in Asian dining - Tani Sushi Bistro and Area 14 Lounge and Sushi. In early January, they debuted their latest endeavor, Takaya New Asian in the up-and-coming downtown Mercantile Exchange, joining an impressive roster of neighboring establishments including MX Movies, Pi Pizzeria and Robust.