What’s With All the Asian Restaurants?

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I went to Haiku in Mamaroneck the other night. There seem to be a ton of Asian restaurants either already open and a lot more on the way. My colleague Linda Lombroso is working on a story about all the new places. Here’s what she’s found so far.

In Mamaroneck: Peter Chen, owner of Toyo, will be opening a new Asian bistro right next door on Mamaroneck Ave. He’ll be running the new place with two partners. Name is Red Plum. Opening date is tentatively very late November/early December.
Chen says it will have a full bar/lounge and menu that includes sushi plus Malaysian, Thai and Japanese fusion.

Also in Mamaroneck: Umami, also on Mamaroneck Ave., rumored to be coming from Andy Lin, who runs Asian Temptation and Temptation Tea House.

Coming to White Plains in Spring 2009: a new high-end Nobu-style sushi restaurant from Louis Cappelli and Lou Ceruzzi, who co-own Via Quadronno in White Plains.

Here’s a link to all the Asian restaurants in our listings.
Here’s a link to all the Japanese restaurants in our listings.
Here’s a link to all the Chinese restaurants in our listings.

And, after the jump, a round-up of Pan Asian places in LoHud.

Judith Hausman wrote a round-up of some of the new Asian places for the JN in 2007. Since we did that story, I can think of a few more:

Blue, to open soon in Mount Kisco.
Duke Ocean Grill in Tappan. (No 411 yet; I’m working on that.)
Spoon Asian Fusion in Chappaqua.
Hito Asian Bistro in White Plains.

Anything else I’m missing? Here’s the story:

Dine around the Pacific without leaving New York

First, sushi bars showed up in Chinese restaurants, then Korean specialties surfaced on Japanese menus. Next thing you know, Pan-Asian has become the full-fledged Next Big Thing. The menus – with Malaysian curries, Thai peanut sauces and Chinese sweet-and-sours – are not exactly fusion, rather, they’re a “best of” approach and, curiously, often dosed with sleek lighting, techno back music and a hopping bar

There’s something about those bolder flavors and creative sauces that diners just can’t get enough of, and lighter Asian food, with its emphasis on seafood and vegetables, presents healthier dining choices as well. In fact, the National Restaurant Association is predicting “massive growth” nationally in this restaurant style.

Pan-Asian menus balance the new and the familiar, they’re appealing to kids, teens and seniors, and the dim sum style snacks or appetizers go perfectly with exotic cocktails for 20-somethings.

It’s nice to have a place where you can have your General Tsao’s and eat your uni, too.

Here are a few of our favorites.

Even with the front patio dining in season, Ace Cuisine has a setting much more humble than its ambitious menu, which adds France to the mix. Start with Vietnamese pho (noodles in rich beef broth); then choose from French-influenced skirt steak or bouillabaisse or chirashi sushi, entrée-sized fire dragon or fuzzy tuna rolls instead. The yuzu cheesecake is a cross-cultural inspiration. The 411 on Ace Cuisine.

Asian Temptation is bi-level space, perfect for people-watching. A plum wine cocktail and an order of shark fin dumplings or puffy pork buns from the “special snacks” menu will start you off; then pick up your chopsticks for the house-designed special rolls (the Pink Lady or the Red Head), or prawns with spicy mango sauce. The 411 on Asian Temptation.

Euro Asian is going for Asian appeal near the waterfront. It’s all flashy colors and the busy bar is thoughtfully separated from the dining room and sushi bar. Green wasabi-shrimp dumplings cleanse your palate with potent mustard. Now you are ready for a brilliant mandarin duck salad, inventive sushi rolls or satisfying shrimp pad Thai. The 411 on Euro Asian.

Haiku Asian Bistro cruises diners through the Pacific Rim. Hop off in Japan for freshest hand rolls, Indonesia for skewered chicken satay, Thailand for jicama and mango salad, topped with crunchy peanuts, or China for fluffy, cooked-to-order sesame chicken. The 411 on Haiku in <a href=”http://calendar.lohud.com/foodvenue.php?query=Venue&amp;site=ESD&amp;tpl=VenueFoodFind&amp;ID=5206″ target=”_blank”>Bronxville</a> and <a href=”http://calendar.lohud.com/foodvenue.php?query=Venue&amp;site=ESD&amp;tpl=VenueFoodFind&amp;ID=7159″ target=”_blank”>Cross River.</a>

At Koo black stones, green walls and birch log panels calm diners while they enjoy broiled black cod, slow-cooked salmon, crabmeat or lobster rolls. Seafood is the forte. The 411 on Koo.

Spring Asian Cuisine brings the popular concept to the Fleetwood neighborhood, with a chef for each region on the menu. Slurp the hot and sour Thai shrimp soup, crunch the Peking duck and take heed of the spicy dipping sauce with the Sichuan wontons. The 411 on Spring Asian.

Temptation Teahouse is the smaller but older sister Asian Temptation in White Plains. The dark Hollywood-Oriental decor is over-the-top, and teens especially love the exotic fruit smoothies and Southeast Asian bubble teas. Sip the coconut milk, sesame or almond-flavored black or green tea; then suck up the chewy, tapioca pearls with an extra-wide straw. Green veggie dumplings and other dim-sum style little dishes provide savory balance. The 411 on Temptation Teahouse.

Tengda Asian Bistro, right in the center of Katonah, attracts families with its bustle – so it’s noisy early and then clears out. Kids like the shumai and housemade pork dumplings. Adults go for blackened tuna roll with asparagus or the Tengda curry with chicken, shrimp and scallops. The 411 on Tengda.

Wasabi in Nyack launches beautiful wooden boats of sashimi and novel sushi pieces, East-West ceviche and grilled seafood salads in a glowing, green room. Lots of seafood, lots of internationally influenced small plates and a choice of good sake make for an always-interesting meal. The 411 on Wasabi.

Water Moon, the upscale cafe in downtown Rye, is already a veteran of this style. French doors open onto the sidewalks and silk lanterns and a cool waterfall invite you in for coconut-flecked satay, seafood hot pots, string beans with garlic sauce or Sichuan peppercorn shrimp. The 411 on Water Moon.

How to face a lengthy Pan-Asian menu without going insane

You open the menu and the whole Pacific Rim spreads out before you. What to eat? Don’t panic; most of it is more familiar than you think.

Usually Pan-Asian restaurants have a separate sushi bar so you can stick to California roll or assorted sashimi or sushi combos. A few a la carte pieces of sushi also go nicely with sake, or as warm-ups for Thai-style noodle dishes, often with a choice of pork, scallops and so on.

But maybe tonight you were thinking Chinese? Begin with dumplings instead. Shrimp shu mai or pan-fried pork dumplings keep good company with sweet, exotic cocktails or a cold beer. Then you can move on to various crispy duck entrees, chicken or shrimp simmered in spicier Southeast Asian sauces, steamed sensibly with vegetables or in a flavorful Malaysian “hot pot” broth.

Pick and choose as you like (remember Column A and Column B?) but don’t forget, your eyes are probably bigger than your tummy.

– Judith Hausman

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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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