Billions can't be wrong
Places serving Asian (or Asian-influenced) fare
Published: February 23, 2011
Hong Hua Fine Chinese Dining 27925 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-489-2280; $$: This Zagat-honored restaurant's decor has more of a fine-dining than a Chinese feel, elegant to look at, with its curving lines of cherry wood and tasteful paintings of flowers. For a starter, the mushroom soup comes highly recommended. The Szechuan hot and sour soup is another winner, more complex and flavorful than hot, it actually seems a bit sweet. An excellent entrée is eggplant in chili sauce. The moo-shu pork is tasty if not overly interesting, slightly sweet and crisped-up by the shredded cabbage that's used. Dessert can be peppermint or ginger ice cream, or translucent lychees served on ice.
Inyo Restaurant & Lounge 22871 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-543-9500; $$$: With a wide-ranging menu, striking presentations and quality cocktails, Inyo has sparked a buzz in Ferndale's dining scene. The dishes have not just flavor, but pleasing texture contrasts within a dish. The sushi menu is the standard makimono (rolls), sashimi and nigiri ranges from ordinary maki to specialties, such as the Inyo roll, which is a marriage of king crab, strawberry, Japanese cucumber and mango sauce all topped with caviar. The space sports oversized, wraparound booths and a granite horseshoe bar, with a soundtrack of easygoing nu-disco and downbeat lounge tunes. Excellent specialty cocktails.
Kabuki 28972 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-538-0664; $$: Kabuki serves a variety of Japanese and Korean specialties, including shabu-shabu (a classic Japanese fondue-type dish with meat and vegetables self-cooked in boiling water, served with dipping sauces) and bibimbap (a Korean dish served in a stone bowl, with rice, meat, vegetables and egg). A wide assortment of sushi and sashimi is also offered — many of the sushi rolls are the inventions of chef and owner K.J. Lee.
Katana Nu-Asian Steakhouse 111 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-591-9900; $$$: Though its menu is Japanese — or perhaps "Japanese-inspired" — there's nothing subtle about Katana Steakhouse. For teppanyaki — "hibachi table cooking" — diners are seated around big cooking surfaces, each manned by an aproned and toqued Chinese chef. Each diner's selection is quickly sautéed, arranged on a plate with the vegetables and presented with three dipping sauces. In addition to the main-attraction grills, diners can also sit at regular tables and order from the small plates menu, which has more of a fusion bent.
Kitchen Hanzo 6073 Haggerty Rd., West Bloomfield; 248-624-8666; $$: This is the type of place where Japanese salarymen go out after work — and there's a large enough clientele to keep this izakaya (pub) thriving. It serves five Japanese beers, sake and hot sochu. Expect small plates of seafood, noodles, sashimi and more. Most of Hanzo's food follows the Japanese model of graceful arrangements, complementary tastes and colors, and light but satisfying food.
Kona Grill 30 E. Big Beaver Rd., Troy; 248-619-9060; $$: For a taste of Hawaiian cuisine, which, as on the Big Island itself, is more accurately described as pan-Asian, Kona offers moderately priced fare in an attractive dining environment. Choices range from sushi, noodles and pizza to beef and seafood, featuring ahi, Maui onions, and macadamia nuts as a genuflection to the islands' culinary culture. Most of their mains cost less than $20. The small and versatile wine list has some decent buys in the 20s and 30s.
Mene Sushi 6239 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield; 248-538-7081; $$: At first look, one of the most intriguing things on the menu looks like it's a $60 choice. But look again. The multi-course "Bento Box for Two" is an unbelievable bargain. The $30 tab is for both dinners. The menu is long and complex, and it includes Korean specialties, such as bimbimbap and bulgogi.
Mi Loc 23043 Beech Rd., Southfield; 248-356-2155; $$: Like many Korean restaurants in the area, Mi Loc also serves Japanese food, including sushi, sashimi, tempura and teriyaki. It's hard to figure the connection between the robust cooking of Korea and the artful, ethereal cuisine of Japan, but the two don't make as odd a couple as one might think. One of Mi Loc's specialties is Korean barbecue, where thin-sliced marinated beef is prepared on gas grills built into the tables, then eaten with sticky rice, lettuce and a variety of sauces. It's labor-intensive dining, but convivial.
New Peking 29105 Ford Rd., Garden City; 734-425-2230; $: 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 $8.95 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 moo-shu pork to Peking duck.
Nippon Grille 2959 W. 12 Mile Rd., Berkley; 248-544-6247; $$: An unusually homey setting for a Japanese restaurant. And the prices are a bargain. The $13.50 combination dinner includes a bowl of miso soup, a salad (American-style), a California roll, chicken teriyaki made with breast meat, two shrimp tempura and an assortment of vegetable tempura, rice and dessert. Offers half a dozen noodle soups, including udon, rice noodles and egg noodles (ramen).
Oslo 1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-962-7200; $$$: Oslo patrons can choose between sushi and a long list of superior Thai dishes; the sushi is sliced and rolled by Korean-born John Riney. Tom kha, the soup with coconut milk and chicken, is both creamy and salty, with generous chunks of chicken. Drunken noodles are peppery yet luscious, the noodles fat and slippery, with a fold-in garnish of fresh basil leaves. Equally delicious was a "signature" dish called simply "Oslo Udon Noodles."
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