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Waves, pan-Asian restaurant with high-tech twist, opening downtown

A high-tech restaurant offering all-you can-eat Asian cuisines with table service and cocktails is coming to the corner of Elmwood and Chippewa.

Waves restaurant will replace Papaya at 118 W. Chippewa Street, on the first floor of the Hampton Inn building.

It's a project by Michael Nguyen, owner of Niagara Street's Pho Lantern, and Philip Vu, Nguyen's uncle.

"This is a new restaurant concept for Buffalo, with all of the latest restaurant technology," Nguyen said.

Popular Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese dishes will be listed on digital tablets given to each table. Customers can scroll through pictures and descriptions, then click on the dishes they want, sending the order to the kitchen.

Servers will bring the dishes to the table, along with drinks and other needs. There will be a full bar.

Food will be available by dish, like most restaurants. It will also be available with all-you-can-eat options, priced at about $19 for lunch and $29 for dinner, Nguyen said. "This is not a buffet-style restaurant," he said, "but a fine-dining, all-you-can-eat restaurant."

Pad Thai, sushi and pho Vietnamese beef noodle soup will be on offer, as part of a best-hits menu from Thailand, Japan and Vietnam.

The 120-seat restaurant is being extensively remodeled, adding an ocean theme, Nguyen said. "We're repainting, redoing the floors, walls and carpet," he said. "It's going to be a brand new restaurant."

The partners are planning on a soft opening in May.

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