RED BANK: MIXED ASIAN AMID ROMANCE

122314 oriental3Thick Japanese style udon noodles and a tender steak entree served on a fun, wonky-shaped plate. Below, waitress Yuki explained not only the vast menu offerings but the story of the wall mural. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

122314 oriental1An ancient Chinese myth full of romance and heartbreak is the theme of murals gracing two walls at Oriental Empire, a recent addition to the Red Bank dining scene in English Plaza.

Found amid the murals of the Seven Sisters and the glowing stars, there are earthy wooden tables, stools at a counter with a view of the parking lot, a flat screen TV in one corner and a large hibachi grill.

Like the contradictory decor, the menu also offers choices to suit a myriad of tastes. True to the restaurant name, the food – while decidedly Asian –  is not specific to one country or ethnicity. Chinese, Thai, Japanese, and Indian influences can all be found here, and some of the dishes seem to be a fusion of the different styles and cultures, like the starter of samosas that we shared.

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RED BANK: SUSHI PLACE TAKES PRIMO CORNER

80 broad 092713The large space formerly home to the Broadway Grille is to become Taka, a sushi restaurant. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Amid a proliferation of new restaurants, downtown Red Bank is taking on a decidedly Asian flavor.

Two weeks ago, Oriental Empire opened at 54 English Plaza, joining five other purveyors of Asian cuisine in the heart of town – most of them of recent vintage.

Now, a sushi restaurant has signed a lease at the high-profile corner of Broad and Monmouth streets., in the former home of the Broadway Grille.

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RED BANK: THE HEAT IS ON AT TEMPLE

temple spring roll1Hot, crunchy, spring rolls at Temple Gourmet. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

morsels smallSerious crunch found at dinner this week.

Temple Gourmet Chinese in Red Bank makes terrific spring rolls that are vegetarian friendly.

Dragging the spring roll through a bit of duck sauce and then dipping it into the mustard sauce, my daughter (a vegetarian) and I were surprised by the flavorful but strong mustard.

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TEAK CHANGES HANDS

teak-042111Restaurateur George Lyristis, below, says he and others bought the restaurant to keep it from going under. (Click to enlarge)

An investment group led by Bistro at Red Bank owner Lyristis_george_2George Lyristis has acquired the Monmouth Street “Asian fusion” restaurant Teak.

The restaurateur, who with his brothers Taso and Charlie also owns Zoe in Little Silver, said he and two partners bought Teak because they were concerned that the restaurant would fail, leaving another gaping hole in the downtown streetscape in the way Ashes Cigar Bar did on Broad Street with its collapse under the weight of litigation did last summer.

“I didn’t want to see another domino fall,” Lyristis tells redbankgreen.

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