Ethnic Restaurant Guide Features Asian Favorites
Learn more about quality spots such as Masamoto Asian Grill & Sushi Bar, Mikimotos, Potstickers and more.
There are so many good ethnic restaurants in Delaware that a comprehensive guide would fill an issue, so we’re offering it online. Here are some old and new favorites to consider the next time you get a yen for global flavor. Installment 2 of dining writer Pam George’s epic roundup fro the February issue of DT is Asian, Part II.
Masamoto Asian Grill & Sushi Bar
Known for: Being a BYO right over the Delaware-Pennsylvania line and featuring the talent of sushi chef and owner Johnny Cai. Insider tip: Bring your own corkscrew so you can pop your top without waiting. The pepper tuna tataki is one of the best versions in the area. The cucumber around the Masamoto roll, which includes tuna, salmon and avocado, is a refreshing change from the usual nori. Those in the know ask if the monkfish liver, a terrine, is available. 1810 Wilmington Pike, Chadds Ford, Pa., (610) 358-5538, masamotosushi.com
Mikimotos Asian Grill & Sushi Bar
Known for: High energy, background music with a beat, cocktails and some of the best sushi in Delaware since maverick Darius Mansoory opened the stylish restaurant in 2000. Insider tip: Don’t be afraid to mix it up in more ways than one. Start with Kobe beef sliders or beef tataki, a novel alternative to the usual tuna tataki. Add some pop beans—warm or chilled. Consider the Thai “paella,” made with lobster, shrimp and scallops in a green curry-coconut sauce. Rolls offer creative names and ingredients. The Kraken contains crispy Chilean sea bass, avocado and a Hawaiian crawfish salad, all studded with sesame seeds. 1212 Washington St., Wilmington, 656-8638, mikimotos.com
Pinang Asian Cuisine
Known for: Creating a warm welcome with hot tea on every table to start the meal, and offering a variety of Malaysian specialties you won’t find elsewhere—for a reasonable price. Insider tip: Order roti canai for the table—light, chewy flatbread that you’ll dip in the curried dipping sauce. Adventurous eaters will zero in on any part of the menu that says: “Please ask server for advice before you order.” Note that the Pinang curry fish head dish is made with actual fish heads. Squeamish? The lengthy menu has options for everyone, including the deliciously simple Hainanese chicken. 218 Louviers Drive, Newark; 368-2298, pinangcuisine.com
Potstickers Asian Grill & Sushi Bar
Known for: Euro-Asian cuisine. Chef Li Shih, who opened Potstickers with wife Elizabeth in 2006, studied at the Sushi Chef Institute, as well as the Culinary Institute of America. Insider tip: Potstickers, pan-fried or steamed, come five different ways. Chilean bass with balsamic-red wine reduction is a menu mainstay. At the request of Chinese students and UD faculty, the restaurant introduced a traditional Chinese menu featuring 11 dishes, including beef tendon and tripe with anise and peppercorns. Centre Point Plaza II, 1247 New Churchmans Road, Newark, 731-0188, potstickersasiangrill.com
Known for: Adding Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine to what’s become an ethnic hub in Independence Mall in North Wilmington. Insider tip: Some like it hot? You’re at the right place. There’s a red dot for “hot” next to many dishes on the menu. Take the stir-fried noodles with shrimp and calamari or mee goring, stir-fried egg noodles in a dried squid sauce with tofu, potatoes, shrimp, eggs and ground peanuts. (The kitchen can adjust the heat.) Cool off with coconut pudding or fried ice cream. 1601 Concord Pike, No. 73, Wilmington, 543-5286, rasasayangusa.com
Known for: Putting a twist on Chinese and Japanese cuisine in the state capital. Insider tip: The newly created Peking-style roasted duck eggroll is a pancake packed with duck, onion, scallion and lettuce. The kitchen uses sushi-grade salmon for the teriyaki. Lunch specials are offered Monday through Saturday. With seating for 45, it’s an intimate experience. 45 Greentree Drive, Dover, 678-1328
Known for: Giving Rehoboth a fashionable sushi bar and chic lounge. (Saketumi is Jasmine’s sibling in a larger space. Insider tip: Newbies should try the Sunday brunch, which offers a sampler of the menu for $18.95. On Wednesdays, themed bento boxes are $15. Roast duck and Korean barbecue are a tasty break for those experiencing sushi overload. 18814 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 645-2818, mysaketumi.com
Satsuma Kitchen + Bar
Known for: Occupying the old Del Rose Café location, a landmark since 1962. (The restaurant’s big sister is Moro.) Insider tip: Expect the untraditional. The Cubano roll is a marriage of tuna, crisped pork belly and crispy onions. Ramen noodles tumble around pork belly, not chicken. Satsuma opened in September, but the duck fries with pulled duck and black truffle gravy are already the shared nibble of choice for the happening Trolley Square crowd. 1707 Delaware Ave., Trolley Square, Wilmington, satsumakitchen.com
Known for: Offering cuisine from such Southeast Asian countries as Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. Insider tip: Banh mi (Vietnamese hoagies) and pho (beef noodle soup) are the stars. Others love larp, a minced meat salad from Laos. The list of daily specials and eat-in-only dishes are on the chalkboard near the register. (They’re not on the takeout menu.) Take bo luc lac, Vietnamese “shaking beef,” which is seared and tossed around in a wok. 1901 Delaware Ave., Wilmington, 691-7728, southeastkitchen.net
Stingray Sushi Bar + Asian Latino Gril
l Known for: Mixing two popular but very dissimilar concepts. Where else can you get teriyaki with a side of guacamole? Insider tip: Stingray is also owned by Darius Mansoory of Mikimotos fame, so the sushi is stellar. But why not go with the flow and also try empanadas with a teriyaki dipping sauce or a trio of ahi tuna tacos? This is one of the few spots where you can have Vietnamese pho and your dining partner can dig into a New York strip with chimichurri sauce and kimchi fried rice. 59 Lake Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6476, stingrayrestaurant.com
Known for: Being far more than its popular lunchtime buffet would suggest (though if you’re in the mood for that, get the crispy chicken with peanuts and hot and sour soup). Insider tip: Yep, there’s an authentic Chinese menu, with items drawn primarily from northern Chinese cuisines. There’s nothing like their authentic weekend dim sum brunches, where carts of food roam around the dining room and you can choose among the dumplings, spare ribs, pork buns and (for the adventurous) shredded pork stomach. Don’t miss the youtiao (Chinese crullers). 3615 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington, 999-0286, szechuanwilmington.com
Known for: Good food at decent prices. Locals or nearby workers in the know make it a lunchtime destination. Insider tip: Lunch specials come with crispy spring rolls that become addictive. Hungry? Upgrade to the entrée size portion of some meals (like the ka prow chicken, spicy but set off with the fresh flavor of basil), or the thick and filling noodles of the pad see ew. 287 Christiana Road, New Castle, 322-1306, tastithai.com
Known for: The culinary collaboration between Head Chef Hideyuki Okubo, who is from Japan, and wife Jessie, who is Chinese. The couple met while working at Utage, which once occupied the same corner space in Independence Mall. Insider tip: The chicken teriyaki is the best in Wilmington, especially when it’s part of a lunchtime bento box. You could say the same about the tempura; the batter is made in-house and not prepackaged. As for sushi, try the orange blossom, spicy tuna, crab stick and avocado draped with salmon and accented with spicy roe and eel sauce. On the Chinese menu, share the sautéed string beans happily strewn with finely minced pork. 1601 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 658-8887, besttakumi.com
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