Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Eastern Palace

Anyone who knows us can tell you that our very most favorite Asian restaurant in the world is Eastern Palace. It is located in Reynoldsburg (Ohio) at 6078 East Livingston Ave. (614) 755-8880
Owner Tony Quach and his family make you feel like one of their own. In fact, everyone there treats you like family. We fell in love with the restaurant about 3-4 years ago and are definitely regulars. It's kind of like Cheers...we walk in and Tony or one of the staff literally call out our names! Usually if it is just the two of us we will sit at the sushi bar so we can talk to them during dinner.

It is also a great place to have dinner with friends. The atmosphere is comfortable and makes it very easy to have conversations. Family friendly and date friendly alike. There just isn't much to not like about this place.

But the star attraction is the food. Oh-my-gosh! If you are a sushi fan, you'll be hard pressed to find fresher sushi than at EP. Tony hand selects the seafood himself. And while he employs a sushi chef, you will often find Tony rolling sushi for his customers. When I was a sushi virgin, Bob and Tony nurtured my curiosity and led me slowly along the path to what I like to call "big girl sushi". You know, the raw stuff! I could never see myself eating raw fish. No way. No how. But by taking baby steps along the way with California rolls, dragon rolls, and other cooked items I began to become more adventurous. It wasn't long before I discovered the joys of spicy salmon roll, albacore, yellow tuna, fatty tuna, spicy scallop roll , and even unagi (bbq eel, which I have to admit is not my favorite). He does a volcano roll that rocks - no pun intended! The sheets of nori (seaweed) and rice are rolled with lobster salad and have crab and shrimp (all cooked to perfection) coming out of them. It is then stacked with a spicy sauce drizzled over it. A flavor explosion! So if sushi is your thing, prepare to be dazzled.

The rest of the menu is your basic Asian menu divided into the beef, pork, chicken and seafood dishes. Also the vegetables, fried rice, pan fried noodles, lo mein noodles and chef's choices. And definitely do not forget about the appetizers. Egg rolls to die for, spring rolls that melt in your mouth, crab rangoon that will bring you to your knees, fried and steamed dumplings that simply defy description. And if you don't see something on the menu...ask! Tony says there is no way he could ever list everything! For instance, I am a complete fool for egg foo yung. For the longest time I just thought he didn't make it. Well, it came up in conversation and I am here to tell you that Tony's chicken egg foo yung is the best I have ever, and I mean EVER eaten! (Just ask Meow. She'll tell you.)

So a few weeks ago we had an evening out with our friends Curt and Sandy (yes, that would be Sandy of the chocolate and mint cookie post). We had a feast! We started with egg rolls, fried dumplings, crab rangoon, and a volcano roll. Oh my....

Did I mention that Tony makes his own soy sauce and his own sweet and sour sauce? He also has the red version we are all familiar with, but his own is a clean, crisp sauce of orange and ginger and magic (because I don't know what else is in it :-) And the hot mustard...well, let me just say that when Bob eats it I sweat!

Moving on to our entrees, we decided we would choose four different and share. So we tried to make the selection well rounded. Entrees are served with your choice of steamed rice or fried rice. Portions are more than generous. And this is not fast food. It is asian food lovingly prepared with respect to top ingredients. Let me show you...
Golden Almond Chicken was the perfect poultry dish. (This, by the way is my new favorite!) The tender pieces of chicken are lightly breaded and then rolled in sliced almonds. They are then deep fried and served with a dark brown sauce with a hint of spice from the red chili flakes in it. A little heat, but not too much for this self described sissy :-)
For the seafood choice we selected Pad Thai. The succulent shrimp were complimented by the tangy fish sauce and fresh lime juice. The chopped peanuts and bean sprouts gave it that fresh kick that just puts you over the edge into food heaven.
For the beef we did Mongolian Beef. The thinly sliced beef is cooked in a sweet plum sauce that renders the meat so tender. The crunchy white noodles that serve as the bed for the beef are a perfect accompaniement.

And for pork we ordered what we know as "Tony's Special". One night Bob couldn't decide what to order so Tony said he would fix him up. He tied on an apron and disappeared into the kitchen. He returned with a pork dish that was absolutely wonderful! Strips of marinated pork, vegetables, green peppers, green onions and a dark sauce with enough spice to make Bob a happy man.

Oh! I would be remiss if I did not tell you about the perfect ending to one of Tony's perfect meals. His ice cream is really good ice cream. Coconut, mango, plum wine, red bean, and my very favorite, green tea. But please don't eat all of the green tea ice cream. It makes me very sad when there isn't any for me. *sniff* And afterall, I am the one who is turning you on to this gem!

When you go see Tony, tell him you're visiting because you read about him on this blog. Pretty soon he'll be calling your name when you walk in the door. Tony's customers are his friends.

Eastern Palace. Just west on Livingston Avenue off of Brice Road; north of 70. It is so worth the trip! And I suspect you'll be finding yourself there time and time again:-) Enjoy!

Eastern Palace on Urbanspoon

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