A reception desk lined in shimmery green tiles welcomes diners to the earth-toned dining room of MJ China Bistro, where ambitious stalks of bamboo stretch upwards around the perimeter of the seating area. Reflecting the contemporary decor of the room, the kitchen crafts a menu of traditional Chinese-American cuisine with a modern spin. Diners can wrap spoonfuls of mu shu pork in pancakes made by hand. Tea and sugar coat the browning skin of duck as it slowly smokes, its five-spice marinade growing more complex in flavor. The Chin Yuan pork chop, a classic Taiwanese street food, soaks in a secret blend of spices before being fried until just crispy on the outside but still tender on the inside, just like the best customer-service operators.
The restaurant also houses a sushi bar, where chefs whip up the TNT Roll, a combination of crawfish, tuna, and salmon drizzled in a chipotle mayo spicier than that time Charo put wasabi and Sriracha sauce in her tea.
Chinese-American fusion stars on the menus served at Taipei Restaurants, located in both Stone Oak and Castle Hills. Both locations specialize in wok-seared moo shu pork served with housemade pancakes, salt-and-pepper shrimp, and triple delight—a tasty trifecta of chicken, beef, and shrimp in a spicy housemade sauce. Sizzling firecracker chicken sets tongues aflame with jalapenos at the Castle Hills dining room, and in Stone Oak, knives glide through tender osso bucco, a bone-in pork shank poached in a traditional sauce of rice wine and soy. At the Stone Oak location, sushi chefs carefully craft maki rolls or assemble plates of precisely sliced sashimi and nigiri from fresh seafood fished by the staff's resident mermaid. The Castle Hills location cultivates serenity with muted tan walls, rows of tall windows, and mounted Chinese paintings that depict subjects from a horse to a parade.
China Garden was founded with a passion for sharing home cooking with the community, and to that end they present an all-encompassing scope of Chinese, Thai, Korean, and Hunan cuisines. With that wide spectrum of dishes on hand, the menu bulges with an expansive selection, tempting guests with simple, elegant choices such as pork lo mein, egg drop soup, and general tso's chicken. The chefs prepare each dish made-fresh-to-order, unlike the cooks at fast-food restaurants. For convenience, China Garden offers both lunch and dinner for sit-down dining, carryout and specialize in delivering while providing easy ordering through its website.
The culinary couriers at Fire Wok dispatch delicious parcels of fresh, made-to-order pan-Asian provisions in a comfy, casual setting. The diverse menu takes tongues on a tasty tour through all fourteen levels of the USDA food pyramid, from the savory veggies of the Singapore rice noodles ($5.99, $6.99 with chicken or beef) to the exotic coconuts, pineapple, and raisins of the Malaysian curry ($7.29 vegetables or tofu) and the fresh-squeezed flavor of the lemon chicken ($7.29). Crush peanuts and hunger pangs with the savory pad Thai ($5.99, $6.99 with chicken or beef, $7.99 with shrimp or scallops), or set maws delectably ablaze with the Peking Fire ($7.29–$8.59).
At Texas Seafood Grill, stoves crackle beneath pots and pans of hearty seafood dinners, toeing the lines of myriad styles of cuisine. The chefs pair fried catfish, oysters, and scallops with salads, fries, and baked potatoes, and grill up steaks and call upon Cajun recipes to simmer crayfish étouffée and seafood gumbos. The versatile chefs extend their culinary expertise to whip up a range of Vietnamese seafood specialties, ranging from fried rice to vermicelli dishes. In the restaurant's comfortable lounge area, patrons sip beer, wine, and cocktails as they gaze at an array of TVs to cheer on their favorite team or full-contact-tiddlywinks player.
Lucky Sailor's Lakeside Grill blends jaw-dropping views of the water and jaw-shutting meat and seafood dishes to scenically savory effect. While you wait for your life's first mate to park the boat on top of the parking lot's dirtiest car, nibble on Nearly Famous Diamondbacks, bacon-wrapped jalapeños stuffed with shrimp and jack cheese ($8), before deep-sea dining on a plate of fiesta-fried gulf-shrimp, crispy morsels fried and served in a spicy cocktail sauce ($17). People born with the heads—and bodies—of parrots, meanwhile, will relish every bite of the Cheeseburger in Paradise, a half-pound of Angus beef lounging on a jalapeno-bun cushion with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles that's best when paired with Lucky Sailor's locally made beers and wines ($8). When the summer weather returns from its vacation in a warmer climate, dine in open-air style on Canyon Lake or dollop a dessert of fried cheesecake and raspberry sauce ($7) with a spot of live music on Sundays and Thursdays.