FARMINGTON — When Dr. Milad Bozorgnia was in the mood for a bowl of Pho, a Vietnamese beef noodle soup, he would travel to Portland to get it.
But, he doesn’t have to do that any longer.
A new downtown restaurant, Sweet Ginger, at 112 Marceau Court, recently opened and offers “authentic Thai, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese cuisine,” according to the menu.
“I couldn’t get (Pho) anywhere here,” he said as he enjoyed lunch Tuesday. “Sweet Ginger has their own interpretation of the beef and noodles in broth, but it is very good.”
Owners Wichai and Thisa Korn Tatiyanunthaporn are no strangers to owning and running a restaurant. This is their fourth venture in Maine, said niece Narisara Lamb, who is a waitress at the restaurant.
They started in Boston and ran restaurants in Brunswick, Winslow and Waterville. After selling the last restaurant prior to this venture, they were semi-retired and cooked in other restaurants, but they grew tired of it, she said.
They visited Lamb and her mother, who live in Farmington, and decided it was a nice college town with potential for a new restaurant.
The couple originally came to the states from Thailand. The proximity of Vietnam and Korea to their homeland influences their cooking. Wichai, while deftly rolling a sushi roll in the kitchen, said he has cooked 21 years. Every dish, including sushi, is made at the restaurant.
Some popular dishes Lamb recommends include Pad Thai; Okdol Bibimbap, a rice and marinated vegetable dish from Korea; and Vietnamese rolls with pork, vegetables and noodles, wrapped in rice paper and fried.
Sushi is a popular Japanese dish, she said.
There are other chef specialties from the four countries, including seaweed salad with Japanese green seaweed and Thai curry dishes.
“The hospitality and service found at the new restaurant is second to none,” Bozorgnia said as he was served a spicy salmon roll.
The restaurant, which can serve 60, was packed Saturday night, but they handled it in stride, he said.
Renovations took longer than expected, resulting in a soft-opening mid-November, Lamb said. Business has picked up every day since, she said of the grand opening celebration.
The restaurant is open seven days a week, with luncheon specials available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is available from 4 to 9:30 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.