The Oriental Cafe in Willimantic is a true gem. In a converted old Arby's or something, it looks sketchy from the outside, but inside it is warm, nicely decorated, and even intimate. A bar with a couple of tv's lines one wall, separated by traditional rice-paper screens and very tasteful woodwork and decor. The small dining room is overlooked by the sushi bar, which offers seating for six or eight people. The dining room is dark and cozy. Seating is close, but not so much as to be uncomfortable.
The real star here is the food. This is not, per se, a sushi bar. It's not Japanese or Thai or Chinese. It's a bit of each, and they do all of it very well. It's great for a group, because one can order a Bento Box of tempura and sushi, while another can order some spicy Thai food, while yet another gets noodle soup. Sushi and sashimi are available a la carte. There is a variety of soups and appetizers (nothing unusual; some great dumplings, a tempura veggie plate, but the selection is good).
The best deal in town, as of this writing: every afternoon, up until 6:00, any of their house Special sushi and rolls are half price. This is a great deal. They have a full bar with some very good special martinis.
The service is usually friendly, but you can find yourself having to flag down your server for attention. That's not usually a problem, because the place is pretty small. Oh, and about my reference to "giant killer." We have long relied upon another well known Asian, uh...bistro...in the area, which has a few locations. Never been overly impressed, but we had no other choices. Oriental Cafe changes the game. They don't have showy hibachis or fancy dining rooms. But they offer a variety of wonderful Asian food at good prices. Highly recommended.
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