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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Good Chinese in Cincinnati? Um yeah!!!!

There's a spot in East Walnut Hills that has been a revolving door for restaurants - you know - right on Madison by the big church. Well I finally got on the upswing and hit the place BEFORE it closed - and I think this place might beat the curse! Last week a group of us went to Suzie Wong's on Madison...let's eat some Chinese!!!

Sorry the picture is bad - it was night and I'm short...but it's on the corner - go through O'Bryonville on Madison and you're there.

Fire Cracker Calamari - $5.95

Okay - I can confidently say - this is the best calamari I've ever had! Normally it's got a thick ass breading and is served with marinara and is just like fried balls of breading with some chewy stuff inside. Not this calamari. It was excellent. The breading was light and flavorful and the spicy Thai pomegranate dipping sauce was delicious and a perfect light compliment. I offered to share this dish but I think my growling anytime they put a fork near it might have deterred them.

Laub Gai (basically lettuce wraps with minced chicken) - $6.95

I didn't get to try this and sorry for pic - sometimes flash is too bright sometimes no flash is too dark - I do the best I can. My friends enjoyed and I think Ron growled a little as I did with my calamari!

Bi Bim Bap - $10.95

For those of you not familiar - Bi Bim Bap (see Foodista link at bottom) is just awesome. It's actually a Korean dish with rice, beef, veggies, egg and chili paste - often times in a stone bowl. The stone bowl makes the rice crispy. You break the fried egg on top - pour the chili paste in - mix mix mix!!!! Above is the "before" of how it's served and below is the "after" it's mixed.

This was really really good. Sunny Deli downtown has a great non-stone bowl version on Wednesdays for lunch...but for a stone bowl version - this is tops! The rice got crispy and everything mixed together so well. The chili paste wasn't too spicy either. I enjoyed this dish very much...and the price isn't too bad either!

Korean Kalbi - beef ribs marinated in soy sesame with onions & mushrooms - $15.95

The one disappointment of the evening. Onions and mushrooms aren't that great - maybe throw some more veggies in. Also - the beef ribs were sort of cut the odd way so each piece had very little meat on it and it seemed a bit fatty. Disappointing especially since it was priciest thing we ordered.

Malaysian Chicken in a Clay Pot - $12.95

I'm not a fan of curry - (this is chicken & veggies in a Malaysian yellow curry) but I tried a bite and it was good. I was actually pretty impressed and so was my friend - he polished off the whole bowl!

Thai Pomegranate Grilled Chicken - $12.95

This dish is pretty self-explanatory - seems it has the same sauce as I had with my calamari. I tried a bite and it was okay - chicken was a bit dry but my friend enjoyed it very much and the Kalbi friend wished he'd gotten this instead!

Why Should You Go? Overall - what a great meal and at around $35 for two (1 appetizer, 2 entrees) - it's a good deal! They do not have their liquor license so bring your wine ($5 corking fee). The prices are moderate and the decor and atmosphere is great. Service was a little slow but the server let us know someone called in sick and she was sort of on her own that night. I just love that it's real Chinese for an affordable price (with some Korean/Thai thrown in for good measure). I have to say - I liked it better than the other, more traditional Chinese place just up the street...

Final note - I think Suzie Wong's might beat the curse and actually stay open in this spot. Sorry Seny - I really wanted to try you!

Suzie Wong's on Madison on Urbanspoon

Bi Bim Bap on FoodistaBi Bim Bap
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