Three Denver Hidden Gem Restaurants Crossing National Borders

If you are looking for multiethnic Asian restaurants in the Denver area, you can easily find one since there is no shortage of such restaurants in the region. You may have already been to such a restaurant that offers a tantalizing menu of Japanese sushi rolls, Chinese dumplings, and Thai curries – where you are able to traverse three Asian countries in a single meal. While the cultural status of Pan-Asian restaurants is contentious, most Asian restauranteurs in the U.S. are quite happy to provide a wide variety of food preparations regardless of their authenticity. Here are three of the best Asian restaurants in the Denver region.

1. Jaya Asian Grill

Jaya Asian Grill is operated by a Vietnamese family in Denver and specializes in Malaysian, Singaporean, and Indonesian cuisine. The father of the family – Leo Tran – is the head chef, and he just enjoys cooking Asian dishes – especially Malaysian, Indonesian, and Singaporean. Tran’s son Kent says that his dad never enjoyed cooking Vietnamese food. Another factor that influenced Tran to prepare dishes from these countries is the restaurant was co-owned with a family friend from Singapore. Hence, Singaporean dishes shine brightly among the restaurant’s many menu options.

The Hainanese chicken rice is a top item on their menu. It’s a classic combination of seasoned coconut rice, juicy poached chicken, and crunchy cucumber. The menu is tailored to meet your tastebuds with a green onion-ginger & chili-tomato sauce. You can wash it all down with a sip of the delicious chicken broth that comes with the meal.

2. Taw Win

Matriarch Halen Lwin owns this restaurant. The restaurant offers a half Thai-Burmese menu with many other favorite dishes found elsewhere in Denver. Lwin is from Southern Myanmar. She was born near the Thai border, where she became familiar with the cuisines of both countries. Lwin participated in a 1988 protest called the 8888 Uprising against the military junta in power at that time. She was a college student during those days. The government cracked down on protestors, and Lwin escaped into the jungle for three years before she came to a Thailand refugee camp.

Taw Win offers classic Thai dishes like pad see ew & papaya salad. In fact, you can best taste Lwin’s cuisine in the mohinga—Myanmar’s national dish, which represents her roots. This bowl of savory fish broth is usually filled with flakes of tilapia and slippery rice noodles – deeply flavored in garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and banana stem.

3. Sushi Kai and Mongolian Cuisine

This restaurant brings Japanese and Mongolian foods together and also caters to diners with dietary restrictions since Mongolian cuisine mostly uses red meat. Chef Wangberg experiments with chicken and vegetarian versions of Mongolian food items for this purpose. Khuushuur—fried pastries filled with organic ground beef & vegetables is a novel dish that you should definitely try out if you visit this restaurant. The seasoned meat first goes into the dough raw to make the pastries juicier in the process. In fact, Mongolian food is heavily spiced for you to savor the rich taste of the meat all on its own.

Mongolian-born Tsegi Wangberg took ownership of this restaurant last December. Her main goal is to bring Mongolian cuisine to Denver. But she plans to add her own flair on top of it