Sui Bian, a Korean barbeque and Chinese hot pot restaurant, opened its doors on 27 Temple St. on Wednesday night, just three weeks after its popular predecessor Chengdu Food Trail shuttered its doors.
Sui Bian, the Chinese word for “as one pleases,” launched its soft opening with an all-you-can-eat menu, which will remain until the restaurant’s grand opening at a later, to-be-determined date. The space was acquired by Miao Pian and Charlene Dong, who owns a Hibachi restaurant in Orange.
“Sui Bian is unique because it combines so many different types of Asian cuisine that so many people like,” Pian said.
In June, Chengdu Food Trail removed the function that enables customers to order online from their website and removed its address from their Facebook page.
Pian and Dong have been redecorating the interior and reinventing the menu since they acquired the space. Pian, who lives in New York but is helping operate the restaurant right now, said he and Dong are assisted by only three other employees, so they are still uncertain about Sui Bian’s grand opening.
A filmmaker, Pian said he decided to open the restaurant with Dong because he wanted to combine his love of Chinese hot pot and Korean barbeque into one restaurant.
Alexandra Bremnor, a New Haven resident, said she is “thrilled” that Sui Bian is replacing Chengdu Food Trail.
“I can’t wait for Sui Bian to open because I feel like everyone enjoys all of the types of cuisine they’re offering,” Bremnor said. “I don’t know anyone who was really into Chengdu Food Trail’s menu, and I think I only went twice … I’m excited to try out Sui Bian and see how it matches up.”
Kate Tewksbury ’20, a member of Pi Beta Phi, said that her sorority is hosting their crush event at Sui Bian this Saturday. She praised the venue’s environment, noting that it was different from any other place in the area.
Although many students and New Haven residents are excited to welcome Sui Bian to the Elm City, the closing of Chengdu Food Trail has left others dejected
“I just feel like Chengdu Food Trail was one of those places that screamed ‘Yale,’” Noah Shapiro ’21 said. “Whether it was random parties like ‘Ibiza’ or residential college screws, Chengdu Food Trail always felt like such a warm and familiar place.”
Shapiro said that although he is sad to see the old restaurant go, he thinks that Sui Bian is a good addition to the city and noted that he is particularly excited about the Korean barbeque on the menu. He said that while many Elm City restaurants have offerings similar to Chengdu Food Trail’s, he hopes Sui Bian will have a unique menu.
Sui Bian is still undergoing renovation, but the restaurant possesses the same nightclub-esque atmosphere that made Chengdu Food Trail such a popular place for events. Customers are surrounded by wall fountains, dim lighting and scattered red lanterns, and lounge music echoes through the dining room and separate bar area.
Pian said that they will still rent out the space for various events and will hire police officers and outside security anytime they host an event.
Caroline Moore | email@example.com