Friday, Apr 12th

A Taste of Asia at Ku Asian Bistro

ku4Are you indecisive about whether to dine on Chinese, Japanese or Thai cuisine? I suggest you visit one of the newest Asian bistros in the area, Ku Asian Bistro is in the Chester Heights section of Bronxville. It recently opened in the space that was Oriental Palace and before that, A Taste of China. The space has been completely renovated and the interior has a sushi bar, a regular bar and a private dining room in addition to the large main dining room. Soft multicolored lighting adds atmosphere to the 100 seat space.

Ku is owned by Eason Wang, Nathan Qiu and Kelvin Chen. The general manager is Sean Wu. Wu explained that Chef Wang specializes in the Chinese dishes and Chef Qiu is the Japanese area of the menu. Wang learned his craft from his father, Wei Cai Wang, a master chef in China and The United States, who is in Ku's kitchen, as well. Manager Wu indicated," Our dishes range from classic to creative, from traditional to fusion. Our goal is to cater to our customer's tastes and be a family friendly neighborhood restaurant. Many of our guests allow us to design their meal and leave the ordering to us."

Nicely salted warm edamame were offered as we decidedku5 upon our choices. Thai flavored hoisin sauce enveloped diced chicken, long beans, bell peppers, jicama and pine nuts, lending a crunchy texture to the chicken lettuce wraps. The warm tangy filling contrasted with the crisp chilled iceberg lettuce for a fine dish. Sushi pizza has become a popular item on Asian menus. Here a rice cake is the base for very fresh sliced tuna, salmon, yellowtail and white fish. Guacamole was the finishing touch on this tasty starter. From the innovative to the classic, we tried some exceptional barbecued spareribs. Meaty and marinated in a honey infused sauce, all fat removed, they were finger licking good. The hefty ribs were served on a fresh flower garnished plate for a lovely effect. I look forward to trying curry glazed rock shrimp and boneless short rib with a spicy tangerine miso glaze.

Of the many signature rolls, we chose "hot girl". Lobster tempura, lobster salad, jalapeno, avocado were among the treats wrapped in soy bean paper, which resulted in a fine mingling of flavors. A wine glass filled with fresh flowers added some visual beauty to this dish. The Post Roll wrapped in seaweed paper with salmon, eel. sweet shrimp, blackened tuna and mango was excellent, as well. The large selection of signature rolls brought out the creative talent of the chef. Ku Asian tartar of tuna and salmon arrived on a sectional dish with avocado and fried wonton chips and each was delicious in its simplicity. Among the starters, don't miss the pepper salmon carpaccio. Thinly sliced salmon is wrapped around a julienne of cucumber and crabmeat for a light and refreshing dish.

ku3A very special entrée, which appeared on both the regular and Chinese New Year menus was the Crispy Duck. Here the boned duck breast and leg on the bone, were perfectly cooked for a tender result. Accompanied by baby bok choy and carrots and dressed with a hoisin flavored sauce it was truly elegant. From the Thai offerings, jumbo shrimp with the tail on in a mango sauce with green and red bell peppers, and fresh mango, perfectly ripened, was a nicely spiced choice, as well. Singapore rice vermicelli chock full of shrimp and Szechwan crispy beef were a couple of other favorites. Yet to be tried are wok basil chicken, Ku duck Asian fajitas, seafood curried hot pot and surf and turf bird's nest. The diet conscious diner in not overlooked with several steamed dishes offered.

Lunch here offers Japanese lunch boxes, sushi, sashimi and rolls, and entrees from Southeast Asia and China. A fine feature at Ku is their Sunday Brunch. It includes many dishes from the regular menu. They are prepared to order {no steam table here} and you can have as many portions as you wish at a reasonable price. It is a great value and a nice choice for a family outing.

Not to be forgotten is the parking area next to Ku, no need to concern yourself with meters.

Enjoy this nice new addition to the Asian dining scene soon.

100 square 3 by 5 inch dumpling wrappers*

1 pound finely ground porkku
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 Tbsps. finely sliced green onion
4 Tbsps. soy sauce
2 Tbsps. sesame oil*
2 eggs
½ pound Chinese cabbage, finely shredded *

For the sauce
1 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsps. black vinegar*
Canola oil for frying
*Available in Asian markets

In a large bowl, place the ground pork, ginger, garlic, green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil one egg and shredded cabbage. Mix all very well. Place a teaspoon of the filling onto each dumpling skin. Moisten the edges with the second egg, beaten. Fold edges to form a triangle. Roll edges slightly to seal the dumplings. Place dumplings on a lightly floured pan until ready to cook. Fill a large pot with water. When it boils add the dumplings. As it boils add cold water. Repeat this process 3 times to be sure the filling is well cooked. Place cooked dumplings on a tray and let them rest until they are totally cold and dry. When they are cold and completely dry, fry them in canola oil for about 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Serve with sauce.

In a small pot, reduce the vinegar by half. Swirl in the cream and butter and simmer until smooth. Serve with the dumplings

If this sounds too labor intensive, take a trip to Ku Asian Bistro and allow the master chefs prepare them for you to enjoy.

Ku Asian Bistro
480 New Rochelle Road
Bronxville (Chester Heights Area)
(914) 668 8877

JudieJudie Dweck has been writing about restaurants and food for many publications. She teaches creative cooking to children at Scarsdale elementary schools. Through the years, her articles have appeared in Jack and Jill Magazine, Spotlight, The Pleasure of Cooking and The Scarsdale Inquirer. She balances her restaurant tastings with daily ballet classes.

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