FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Allen Chen figures he and his new restaurant, Jinn’s Fresh Noodle House and Cafe in Fairfield, were three times lucky at his official ribbon-cutting Monday.
“Today is Lunar New Year and snow brings good luck, so we have double the good fortune today,” Chen said through translator Cindy Pan.
Then someone reminded Chen that the ceremony took place on the 8th.
“And eight translates to the word which means ‘to get rich,’ so we have triple good fortune,” Pan said, laughing.
Though Jinn’s Fresh opened about nine months ago, the restaurant had never had a true ribbon-cutting, said Beverly Balaz, president of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce. Balaz decided to offer an event to coincide with the first day of the Year of the Monkey.
“To bring good fortune to all,” Balaz said.
Originally from the Fujian province of mainland China, Chen has 18 years of experience in the restaurant business.
“Since he was a teenager, he had a passion for cooking,” Pan said.
He opened his first restaurant in Mississippi in 2003 and then moved to an Old Saybrook location in 2007.
“As you can tell from the name, Jinn’s Fresh, everything here is fresh — the noodles, the oil, the seafood, the vegetables,” said Pan. “The noodles are made fresh daily.”
The menu features a wide selection of soups and entrees, including basil chicken, Mongolian beef, Thai curry shrimp and red braised pork.
Chen said his dishes contain no MSG and have lower sugar and salt content.
In November, the Chinese Olympic swim team came to Norwalk for a month of intensive training. The team has strict food standards, and they appointed Jinn’s Fresh as their restaurant, eating all meals there every day, Chen said.
Chen is also committed to the community. He has opened the restaurant to children’s groups, sports teams and others.
“He is a very generous owner,” said Dora Sung of Greenwich. “He provides space and delicious food for our community.”
First Selectman Michael Tetreau spoke with Chen and his wife, Anny, before the ribbon cutting to learn more about how the restaurant might partner with local schools.
“I love your focus on the community, which is really important,” he said.
Jinn’s Fresh, 923 Post Road, is open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and from noon to 9:30 p.m. Sundays.
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