- 111 Knox Way, Ste. 100, Chapel Hill
ZiYan Sit moved to New York City from Fujian, China, when he was 14.
“The first day I came here, I stayed home,” he says. “Second day, my father brought me to the restaurant. I started to learn how to clean, check out, but I go to high school, too. I helped him on the weekends.”
After moving to northern Chatham County to join family, he couldn’t find a decent sit-down Asian restaurant within 10 miles of Pittsboro. So he opened Moon Asian Bistro in Polks Village in 2016.
He wanted his restaurant to be more than takeout. In New York, he says, “it was a Chinese restaurant. They only do Chinese. But when I moved here, I tried to make it a little bit different. Make an Asian restaurant.”
Moon Asian’s menu offers dishes with roots in China, Thailand and Vietnam, along with a sushi bar that includes one of ZiYan’s favorites: the vegetarian Green Dragon Roll ($13). Avocado covers the top of the tightly packed roll, and a thin layer of rice binds the sweet potato, asparagus and kampyo shavings within, topped with a drizzle of eel sauce.
“It’s very healthy,” ZiYan says.
Moon Asian is the only restaurant in Chatham with a sushi bar and has a loyal following of lunch diners and takeout customers. But one recent positive review meant a little more to ZiYan.
“[My father] came here last month and said, ‘Oh, it’s much better than what I did,’” ZiYan laughs.