LOWER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. - There are a lot of smiles and good vibes happening at Notch Modern Kitchen and Bar in Lower Macungie. The restaurant is a spinoff from White Orchids in Saucon Valley, but the food is something very different than traditional Thai.
The restaurant has "modern American food with a really nice creative Asian twist to it," said owner Jeff Virojanapa.
Food that goes along with signature cocktails and the freedom to try new ideas when it comes to the front and back of the house.
"The ability to have the free reign, to say this is who we are and this is the food we want to produce, this is the stuff that we stand behind," said Tyler Baxter, the restaurant's executive chef.
Virojanapa and Baxter are no strangers to the restaurant game in the Lehigh Valley.
The collaboration has led to dishes like the pork dumplings, a dumpling filled with ground pork, ground lemongrass, and herbs, served in a mushroom ponzu broth with red chili threads and fried ginger.
The kitchen is controlled chaos with everything working its way up to Baxter for the final touch.
The signature dish is growing in popularity. The Notch Duck à l'Orange is a beautifully seared duck breast served with a duck confit fried rice, pineapple sauce, and a sour orange gastrique.
"It is nice and acidic, so it will help balance out the richness of the duck breast itself," Baxter said.
The owner encourages groups to order several things and share them. Like the brisket chow mein. Smoked and shredded brisket, with red onions, broccoli, garlic and a sauce that started as a mistake, but stayed in the recipe to make it top notch.
Virojanapa says growing up his family always had Sunday dinners together, and that's why opening Notch was so important to him. The creativity, the laughter, and good food to make memories to last a lifetime.
"Every person comes to a restaurant for a reason, to celebrate something, or have a good time so it's kind of live that moment everyday being here," Virojanapa. said.