Home Features Asian restaurant "Red 8" opens near Fat Cats

Asian restaurant “Red 8” opens near Fat Cats

Rexburg residents driving past Fat Cats on North Second East may have noticed that the location, formerly occupied by Wingers, has a new owner. Red 8 Asian Cuisine & Sushi Bar is Rexburg’s latest Asian restaurant, offering a variety of specialty sushi and traditional Chinese dishes.

Red 8’s Rexburg location is the small chain’s first foray into Idaho, according to its manager and chef, who goes by Momo. Her uncle began Red 8 with a restaurant in Salt Lake City and grew the business to a total of five locations. Momo came from China and worked at the Salt Lake City location for four years before moving to Idaho to help launch the Rexburg restaurant.

The name of the restaurant is based on color and number symbolism for Chinese people, according to Momo.

“For Chinese, red has a lucky meaning,” Momo said. “And for the number eight, for Chinese, it means more money comes in.”

According to Travel China Guide, the number eight sounds similar to the word for wealth in Chinese, creating an association between the number and prosperity.

Red 8's grand opening has drawn interest from Rexburg residents.
Red 8's grand opening has drawn interest from Rexburg residents. Photo credit: Kaedon Apezteguia

While the menu remains largely the same between Salt Lake City and Rexburg, there are a few local additions. One of them is the Yellowstone Roll, an emerging favorite.

“The Yellowstone roll is really good,” said Andie Brown, a sophomore studying English who visited with her mother and her fiancé. “I liked the sweet elements in it. There’s mango in it and a mango sauce on top, and my mom doesn’t like seaweed, so it also just came made with soy paper instead.”

Momo’s favorite is also the Yellowstone roll. She continues to innovate based on customer preference and says that because people in Idaho request chicken in their sushi so often, she will be crafting a chicken-based sushi roll.

After Rexburg, Momo believes the chain might try expanding to Boise.

You can find Red 8 at 469 N 2nd E. They are open every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. with the exception of Sundays, when they open at noon and close at 9 p.m.

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