People in the Stillwater community now have the opportunity to eat authentic Asian noodle dishes from Japan, Vietnam and other countries.
For months, many residents of Stillwater have been anticipating the opening of Main Street Noodle, a restaurant located downtown that specializes in Japanese ramen, Vietnamese pho and other authentic Asian noodle dishes. It will open its doors today at 11:30 a.m.
Weeks prior to the grand opening of the restaurant, Dean Setiawan, the owner of the restaurant, hosted soft openings on a first come, first served basis for certain people who made reservations to test some of the food and give feedback before it officially opened.
“The soft opening went so well and so many people came,” Setiawan said. “We had a lot of curious people since it is one of the few places in this part of Oklahoma that specializes in Asian noodles. People came in with an open mind and an open palate, and wanted to try something different and were open to the concept.”
For Setiawan, who has been in the restaurant industry for five years, starting a business isn’t anything new to him. He owns Tokyo Pot, a Japanese-based restaurant also located in downtown, which he started four years ago when he moved to Stillwater.
“I started my very first restaurant in California after I graduated college,” Setiawan said. “Unfortunately, I opened a restaurant in a part of town where people care more about volume and price and less about service so I got tired of it. Luckily, my friend who owned a sushi business in Oklahoma contacted me and invited me over so I came and we realized how limited the options for Asian cuisine was in the state so we decided to open Tokyo Pot in Stillwater and from there on, everything just kept snowballing and more and more people joined in and started coming here.”
As for Main Street Noodle, Setiawan said he came up with the idea to start the business with his partner Wes, who used to own the Chinese restaurant Panda.
“After he sold his business, he wanted to start something to that he could be more passionate about,” Setiwian said. “Panda was a cool restaurant in terms of generating money, but the recognition wasn’t there so we decided to start this noodle restaurant which will be the first in the state of Oklahoma to serve Japanese ramen.”
Other than Japanese and Vietnamese-based noodle dishes, Setiawan said people can also expect to see food from Korea and Taiwan on the menu.
“The price range for the food will start at $6,” Setiawan said. “We will be serving half bowls for the price of $5.99 and from there on, we won’t have any item that costs any more than $10.”
Setiawan said along with Main Street Noodle, he will continue to manage Tokyo Pot.
“Now that I’m running two businesses, I’m busy as the president of the United States,” Setiawan joked. “The only difference is I’m not as powerful as him.”
Setiawan said his favorite part of owning a restaurant is being able to give people the chance to try something they’ve never tried before.
“It’s kind of a cliché and you’ll get this answer all the time, but it’s really true.” Setiawan said. “You serve something and people eat it and you like to see your response, and I enjoy feeding off the reaction of people and obviously the reaction I strive for is a good reaction.”