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John Batchelor’s recommendations for takeout: Part VIII

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This week, we’re having Asian, including a long time favorite that has recently reopened.

I’ve been a longtime regular at Imperial Koi (imperialkoigso.com, 1941 New Garden Rd., 336-286-3000), my place of choice for sushi, and I’ve enjoyed takeout selections here often. They are open Monday-Saturday, noon-8:30 p.m., for pick up.

My favorite item is Dragon’s Nest- a half avocado, filled with tuna enhanced with sesame oil. Spicy mayonnaise and ponzu sauce add the flavor profile. Steamed Edamame- soy beans in pods, salted- is both flavorful and healthy. Rocky Shrimp are tempura fried, presented over a bed of greens with yuzu mayonnaise. For a wide ranging taste adventure, get Dim Sum Platter- small servings of vegetable spring rolls, shrimp shumai (shrimp and water chestnuts in steamed dumplings), lobster dumplings, and pork wontons, with spicy mustard.

Asian Pear and Beet Salad with feta cheese and lemongrass vinaigrette is a delight.

The sushi and sashimi list is extensive. In particular, I like Angry Dragon- shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, papaya, and spicy imitation crab with eel and rutta sauces. Crazy Tuna combines spicy tuna, black pepper tuna, mango, avocado, asparagus, and radish sprouts with spicy mayonnaise and wasabi mayonnaise.

If you yearn for upscale Chinese, get Roasted Peking Duck with lotus leaf buns and sesame infused hoisin barbecue sauce. Day Boat Scallops are exceptional, served over mushroom and spinach risotto with vanilla buttermilk. Sea Bass is glazed with miso, served with orzo, spinach, and oyster mushrooms. Thai Spiced Lamb Chops are pan-seared, combined with lavender jus, and presented over mashed potatoes and sugar snow peas. Crispy Flounder is battered and deep fried, scattered with diced bell peppers, onions, and pineapple, dressed in a sweet and sour chili sauce.

Phoenix Asian (phoenixasiancuisine.com, 1641 New Garden Rd., 336-855-5158) reopened May 5 for takeout, 4-8 p.m. This place has a separate entrance for pickup.

The Sushi and Sashimi list ranges from eel to shrimp to snapper to tuna and salmon, with octopus to boot.

My personal inclinations lean more toward the regular appetizer and entrée section. I like Firecracker Shrimp, wok-fried and served with a spicy-hot sauce. BBQ Spare Ribs are hearty. Lettuce Wraps are chilled and filled with shiitake mushrooms, crunchy water chestnuts, plus chicken if you want. Pot Stickers are another favorite, minced pork in dumplings, steamed or fried. Ahi Tuna is seared, presented over seaweed salad.

Wok Stirred Flounder is blended with ginger, garlic, red onions, basil, and bell pepper slices. Cantonese Shrimp or Scallops are fairly mild, lightly fried with snow peas, scallions, and garlic. In Sweet and Spicy Walnut Shrimp, candied walnuts join sweet-spicy plum sauce. Kung Pao Shrimp or Scallops occupy the hotter end of the spectrum, stir-fried with dried hot chili peppers and peanuts.

Mu Shu Pork is classic, tenderloin wok-seared with cabbage, bamboo shoots, scallions, eggs, and mushrooms, served with hoisin sauce and thin pancakes. Beef with Basil is stir-fried with hot peppers and sweet onions.

Thai Square (thaisquaregso.com, 3361 Battleground Ave., 336-907-7845) opened in 2019.

In a full review, I complemented Fresh Rolls of soft rice paper rolled around crisp shredded lettuce, celery, fresh basil, carrot slivers, and large shrimp, decorated with Thai basil. Thai Dumplings are available steamed or fried, enclosing ground and blended chicken, pork, and shrimp, redolent of Thai spices.

Salad entrees here make an especially good, light dinner. Som Tom, for example, joins shrimp with shredded papaya, ground peanuts and diced tomatoes, along with carrots, with a spicy Thai chili dressing.

The longest section of the entrée menu offers a choice of proteins or vegetarian ingredients in various preparations, all accompanied by multiple fresh vegetables. My favorite is Red Thai Curry, bathed in coconut milk with bamboo shoots, green peppers, fresh green beans, carrots, and lots of Thai basil. Cilantro Shrimp are sautéed in white wine and garlic butter, the deep green colors of cilantro leaves and broccoli contrasting with bright orange carrot slices. Ginger Salmon is plated with stir-fried onions, green peppers, carrots, mushrooms, and fresh ginger, ladled with house made soy sauce.

For other restaurants to consider, access my previous takeout series at issuu.com/yesweekly.

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