East meets West
Part 2 of a roundup of selected Asian restaurants in metro Detroit
Published: January 16, 2013
$=$5-$10; $$=$10-$25; $$$=$25-$50; $$$$=$50+
Lotus Pond 28747 Hoover Rd., Warren; 586-751-4020; $$: When it comes to Chinese for our Metro Times readers in Macomb County, they chose Lotus Pond, naming it as an exceptional choice for classic American-friendly fare. What’s more, given the restaurant’s generous portions, you’ll have plenty of leftovers to warm up the next day — or perhaps an hour later.
Mene Sushi 6239 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield; 248-538-7081; $$: At first look, one of the most intriguing things on the menu looks like it’s a $60 choice. But look again. The multi-course “Bento Box for Two” is an unbelievable bargain. The $30 tab is for both dinners. The menu is long and complex, and it includes Korean specialties, such as bimbimbap and bulgogi.
Middle Kingdom 332 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-668-6638; annarbormiddlekingdom.net; $$: Middle Kingdom serves up quite a lot of the classic, Americanized fare that’s like a national comfort food to diners of a certain generation. It tied in our readers’ poll with Kai Garden, suggesting that Ann Arborites are sophisticated enough for the real thing, but not snooty about digging in when it comes to Cantonese-American food.
Mon Jin Lau 1515 E. Maple Rd., Troy; 248-689-2332; monjinlau.com; $$: One only needs to visit Mon Jin Lau on a Saturday night — when it is invariably bustling with vitality — to catch a glimpse of the widespread love it has garnered. This is no doubt due in part to the exhaustive “Nu Asian” menu. Try the ginger garlic eggplant (eggplant rolled with wood ear mushrooms, pesto, pine nuts, red pepper and rice noodles) or the Thai lemongrass chicken (cooked with peapods, asparagus, straw and shitake mushrooms, onion, red pepper and baby corn) or the Mongolian beef or the Maine lobster or ... you get the idea.
New Lutong Pinoy 31101 Dequindre Rd., Ste. A, Madison Heights; 248-565-8360; $$: Aiming for authentic Filipino cuisine in a full-service restaurant, much of the food at New Lutong Pinoy does not taste like generic pan-Asian. Many Filipino dishes are earthy, slow-cooked stews. This is best illustrated in the popular dish adobong — meat simmered in a tangy vinegar sauce and called the quintessential Philippine stew. Dive into the tasty deep-fried goodies from the appetizer menu, then explore the pork dishes, including pata, a mound of crispy fried pork shank with skin included, or beef cooked all different ways, including caldareta na baka, a hearty dish of tender beef chunks and vegetables in a tomato sauce and not too far off from a simple chili con carne. To wash it all down, you can’t go wrong with a simple sweetened coconut juice with bits of pulp.
New Peking 29105 Ford Rd., Garden City; 734-425-2230; newpeking.us; $: Throwback little Chinese joint with a loyal local following that has kept it going for more than 20 years. We canvassed the New Peking fan club’s opinions, and they all agree on dishes with plenty of garlic. One fan said he loves their garlic sauce. Another fan praised the $9.25 garlic chicken, which comes with boneless chicken chunks, green peppers, onion, diced bamboo shoots and mushrooms in a house brown sauce, calling it “more addictive than crack!” Hear that, garlic lovers? For those who shy away from the “stinking rose,” there is a full line of Chinese-American classics on offer, from Mo Shu pork to Peking duck.
Noble Fish 45 E. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson; 248-585-2314; noblefish.com; $$: The insular Japanese keep things intensely focused, whether it be decor or food customs or table manners, which is what makes Noble Fish an experience. Out front are isles of packaged foodstuffs. But in back is a magnificently serene sushi bar, staffed by iron chefs of the first order: a no-nonsense, inexpensive, delicious alternative to too-Westernized sushi madness.
Pho Viet 3854 E. 13 Mile Rd., Warren; 586-558-8115: There are nearly 20 ways to order pho at Pho Viet. Most are some combination of proteins — rare beef, well-done flank, brisket, tendon, tripe, beef meatballs, or all of the above. The Bun cha gio thit nuong is wholly satisfying — a combination of rice vermicelli and vegetables under grilled pork and a crispy roll. With tall ceilings and a wide, open floor plan, the dining area feels enormous. It’s quiet on weekday nights, but the lunch hour on a Sunday was busy. The service was superior.
Ronin 326 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-546-0888; roninsushi.com; $$$: In a stylish setting, bandana-clad sushi chefs vigorously chop and slice at the sushi bar, turning out first-rate sushi and sashimi. But for the sushi-shy, there’s also an interesting array of other Japanese standards. Not surprisingly, the bar is well stocked
with sake, more than 20 different beers, including Kirin Ichiban, and a diverse selection of wine.
Royal Kubo 27 E. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson; 248-588-2300; $: Consistently voted “Best Place for Karaoke” by Metro Times readers, Royal Kubo is metro-Detroit’s top destination for kitschy glamour. Few places really meet the challenge of a fun, alternative place to hang out with friends like the Royal Kubo. This place gets four stars simply for being something really different — a Filipino karaoke bar and restaurant. As for the Filipino fare, a good place to start is with the combo dinner.
Sakana Sushi Lounge 22914 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-336-2555; sakanasushilounge.com; $$: As a “sushi lounge,” Sakana aims to smooth the erratic pace of living through stylish drinks, lush electro-acoustic lounge beats and raw fish artfully prepared. Expect an assortment of cocktails, a half-dozen salads, and several lunch and dinner specials consisting of varied mixtures of nigiri sushi, sashimi and hand rolls
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