A very special thank you to Andrew from International Metropolis for the photo.
I’m not quite sure why I was feeling so adventurous in my restaurant choice the other night; I am, after all, one of the pickiest eaters around. However, since Naysa was added to the WindsorEats site a month or so ago, I wanted to give it a try. It may have had something to do with the fact that I heard they give you a BBQ to cook food at your table (turns out this is actually true if you order the all you can eat BBQ lunch or dinner).For some reason the idea of cooking my own meal at the table sounded like great entertainment to me. Some believe that’s what you pay the chef to do, but they have not experienced Korean BBQ and have no idea what they are missing out on. I defy you to go and not have a good time!
On a Friday night Adriano and I headed down to Naysa, located on Wyandotte Street West, just east of the University of Windsor. The outside sign is unassuming, and if you weren’t looking for it you might even miss it. I was surprised to see that the restaurant was full of customers at 9:30 on a Friday night, and there was even another group arriving at the same time we did.
The interior of Naysa is super cute. The walls are painted a crisp white, with the bottom half in white wainscoting. The furniture is simple and modern, with pictures hung in black frames. It felt like I was in Montreal or Toronto at some trendy little dinner place. Of course, when I saw the transport truck driving down Wyandotte I was immediately reminded of my true location.
I’m not going to lie. I didn’t recognize much on the menu. Although the alternative titles given to some of the dishes amused me greatly. My personal favourites included Beauty and the Beef and Spicy Chicken Run. So witty.
I went about my usual routine when at a new restaurant: casually look at what people around me are eating and then try to figure out what item it is on the menu. But once I saw that we got to use the BBQ at our table if we ordered the all you can eat, the choice was easy.
At this point I wish I could write how Adriano and I were naturals at using the chop sticks and we cooked the meat to perfection, nothing left in the pan. Truth is, we were rookies and it showed. The good news is it didn’t matter. The staff was really good about teaching us what to do, and even brought us a new pan to cook on when ours got a little, um, burnt.
The food tasted delicious and kept on coming. There was chicken, pork, something that resembled ribs (which I may or may not have dropped on the table), pulled pork, spicy chicken, and tofu. You go up to the buffet to pick out your veggies and sauces to cook with the meat , and the staff brings rice to your table (think Mongolian BBQ, except simpler and you’re in charge).
Instead of using flat bread , large lettuce leaves are used to wrap your dinner in. I, the picky eater, who considers trying a blush sauce a risky dinner move, actually enjoyed everything . While the chicken and tofu was more my style, Adriano spoke highly of the beef and pork .
By the end of the night we were both comfortably stuffed. The prices are very reasonable, and the servers were polite and prompt. I think I will be taking my out of town friends by Naysa this holiday season to show them that Windsor can compete with the big cities for trendy, yet comfortable dining experiences.
And for those of you looking for a great date place, I couldn’t help but think that Naysa would have been a perfect location to film one of those blind date episodes! The task of cooking your own meal lends itself to conversation, and it’s something different here in Windsor. Thank goodness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A lifelong Windsorite, Jillian’s passion for teaching has brought her into the kitchen at one of Windsor’s community centres teaching children simple recipes even they can do. Jill also loves her white wine. Pelee Island Late Harvest Vidal anyone?