Seraphim Asian Grill offers authentic taste of Asia in the heart of Broad Ripple

In Your Neighborhood

INDIANAPOLIS — What do you get when you combine authentic Asian cuisine with a classically European trained chef who has lived and even taught at a cooking school in Asia?

The answer is a unique fusion of authentic comfort food from places like Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan — with a bit of a twist.

Photo credit: Seraphim Asian Grill Facebook page

You can experience it at Seraphim Asian Grill and Noodle Bar, which opened last month in the heart of Broad Ripple Village (at 921 Broad Ripple Avenue).

We’re taking our taste buds on a culinary tour halfway around the world on this trip In Your Neighborhood.

“If you look around, all of the tables were made by hand by us, all of the benches were made by hand,” explained Seraphim co-owner and chef, Richard Blanke. “Every single piece from the front to the back we actually made ourselves.”

A labor of love is how Blanke describes the lengthy process of tearing out the interior of this space and transforming it into Seraphim Asian Grill and Noodle Bar.

Now, when you enter, you’ll find an open-concept restaurant full of natural light and decorated with colorful cartoon-inspired art highlighting the different foods and architecture of various Asian countries, topped off with handcrafted woodwork from the bar to the table-tops.

Photo credit: Seraphim Asian Grill Facebook page

All of it is meant to set the mood for what they consider a “modern izakaya” setting.

“[It’s] really geared towards an upbeat kind of atmosphere and environment where you can interact with your friends, let off steam after work, eat some really cool and different foods and flavors and drink beer, sake and kind of relax after work,” Blanke said.

The word “seraphim” has a spiritual meaning, defined as the angels who surround god’s throne and sing his praises.

For Blanke and his business partner, Andy Hsu, the seraphim are also friends and loved ones.

So the restaurant was an opportunity to sing their praises by offering the authentic foods they missed from Asia.

“You get homesick for different dishes so my wife would say I want Taiwanese beef noodle soup or I really want curry laksa,” said Blanke.

Photo credit: Seraphim Asian Grill Facebook page

The curry laksa is also a customer favorite.

“It’s more of a Malaysian coconut curry that’s really kind of a fire burned kind of flavor… mussels and scallops and shrimp, rice noodles and vegetables,” he said.

Other menu highlights include their top-selling chili won-tons, bao buns, refreshing cocktails and teas and Blanke’s personal favorite— a selection of grilled meats called yakitori and robatayaki, which they make using a traditional Kosei charcoal yakitori grill. 

Photo credit: Seraphim Asian Grill Facebook page

“Those tend to be my favorite because I don’t do a lot of carbs, so I’m more of a paleo-diet,” he explained. “So, for me, eating pickles and grilled meats is awesome if you’re paleo.”

Everything is made from scratch, including their kimchi.

“We have a big fermenting cabinet in the kitchen where we ferment out own peppers to make our own chili garlic sauce, peppers to make sriracha sauce, to make our own kimchi,”  Blanke explained. “We make all our own tsukemono, which are Japanese pickles.”

Blanke’s desire to create from-scratch dishes is not only based on being able to offer authentic Asian food but also to ensure his dishes were healthier, with less preservatives and MSG than commercial sauces. 

They pay such close attention to detail that they actually source some of their equipment from Asia, included their ramen machine, which is special in itself because Blanke says Seraphim is the only restaurant in the Midwest that has one.

Photo credit: Seraphim Asian Grill Facebook page

“The only other places I’m aware of that the machines exist are on the east coast in bigger cities and the west coast like California,” he noted.

Plus, almost every dish can be modified to suit vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free diets.

“Our menu is designed also to appeal to people that have allergies or people that have specific dietary concerns because Asian food really does well with that,” he said.

Four Things You Need to Know About Seraphim Asian Grill and Noodle Bar:

  • Co-owner and chef, Richard Blanke, and his business partner, Andy Hsu, officially opened Seraphim Asian Grill and Noodle Bar in June. Located in the heart of Broad Ripple (at 921 Broad Ripple Avenue), Seraphim offers authentic Asian comfort foods with a bit of a fusion twist (thanks to Blanke’s experience as a classically European trained chef). They are so dedicated to providing an authentic experience that they even brought in equipment from Asia— including a ramen machine which Blanke says is the only one of its kind in the Midwest.
  • Everything here is made from scratch, which gives them the ability to customize their dishes and adapt almost every item on their menu to suit various dietary needs. “We can do gluten-free with rice noodles..most of our preparations are without peanuts or known allergens other than the wheat and the noodles… we don’t use a lot of dairy, we don’t use a lot of eggs,” Blanke said. “{So] if people come in with an allergy, it’s very easy for us to mix and match and substitute things.” 
  • Right now, Seraphim is open Tuesdays- Saturdays for lunch and dinner—with both indoor and patio seating options. But going forward, they say hours could change based on demand as they try to gauge what will eventually become their “normal” during these very abnormal times. 
  • CBS4 recently spoke to local restaurant owners about the impact the Broad Ripple Avenue street closure has had on business Unfortunately for Seraphim, Blanke says it’s not been to their benefit due to the lack of through-traffic. So, as your traffic authority, we are sharing a custom map to help you navigate right to their back parking lot if you’d like to check them out for yourself! (Scroll to the end of the article for maps).

So far, Blanke says Seraphim has received positive and enthusiastic reviews from customers but opening a new business in the middle of a pandemic has admittedly been a daunting experience. 

“I’ve opened over 100 restaurants in my career in various places all over the world… This is the most difficult restaurant opening I have ever done,” he said.

One challenge for them stems from the closure of Broad Ripple Avenue, implemented by the city to facilitate more outdoor dining. Some local businesses have found success with the new system, but Blanke says Seraphim has not been so lucky due to the lack of through-traffic.

Photo credit: Seraphim Asian Grill Facebook page

“We have great reception, we have great reviews, people are very happy with what we’re doing but there’s just not enough people coming to Broad Ripple to really support what we’re doing so I would say that would be our biggest ongoing concern and challenge…. it makes it really hard not just for us but for our guests,” he shared.

Now, with the recent extension of the street closures (and as your Traffic Authority), we wanted to make it as easy as possible to navigate the closure if you are looking to check out Seraphim Asian Grill for yourself. Check out the route maps below, which will guide you directly to Seraphim’s parking lot.

For more information about Seraphim, check out their website by clicking here. To see more photos and reviews by local Yelpers, check out their Yelp profile. You can also connect with them on social media via Facebook and Instagram.

While in Broad Ripple, check out these other local hot spots located within walking distance of Seraphim Asian Grill and Noodle Bar:

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