Ninja City, the Asian fusion bistro on Euclid Avenue, closed on Feb. 24. After months of preparation, the restaurant that would be replacing it, NuJoy, opened in August.
NuJoy is co-owned by two Case Western Reserve University alumni from the Class of 2012. The owners, Bowen Sun and Xiwen Kang, named the restaurant after Nuwa, a goddess from traditional Chinese mythology who created humans, mended the broken sky and invented the marriage system.
The restaurant has undergone many renovations both outside and inside but retained its predecessor’s contemporary, industrial look. NuJoy now offers changing menus featuring a variety of Chinese dishes.
“One day you walk into NuJoy and try the Beijing style noodles, but you might find something different on the menu if you visit NuJoy two days later,” said Kang, who finished her Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Finance at CWRU before marrying Sun. “We want to find out what kind of food our customers prefer so that we can tailor our menu during the trial operation.”
The couple wants to focus on opening full-menu locations near CWRU with Uptown as the perfect place for their first restaurant.
Now, the menu features baos, kebabs and the special milk tea. The milk tea, with fruit chunks, iced tea and toppings infused with cream cheese and heavy cream, is a popular item on the menu.
“Try our soy milk if you have a chance,” Kang said.
NuJoy serves noodle bowls and healthy sides which are mostly vegetarian-friendly. The restaurant kept many of Ninja City’s original features, including the bar. There’s even a “drink of the month,” a discounted cocktail that changes on a monthly basis. The restaurant features savory pork belly in baked buns, a famous street food in northwestern China.
“Our menu includes the ingredients of every dish,” said Kang. “We truly want our customers with special needs to feel safe before ordering anything.”
Kang said that as a young entrepreneur, she made some early mistakes in human resource management, resulting in undertrained and unorganized servers.
“Luckily everything’s getting better, and we will have a fixed menu before our grand opening on Sept. 23,” said Kang. “Customers can express their opinions by sending us an email or leave their comments on our Facebook page. We will listen to their thoughts carefully. We will also set up a series of online questionnaires as well as poll questions on our Facebook.”