Zen Fusion’s knack for finding culinary kinship between Asian- and Spanish-inspired tapas seems to have resonated with diners, because enough of them took the time to vote the bistro into the top spot as Best Fusion Restaurant in Charlotte Magazine. The eclectic menu springs all kinds of surprises on diners, with fusion dishes such as fettuccini pasta topped with chicken in a mild curry sauce, and an upscale broccoli and beef dish made with tenderloin, string beans, and black pepper sauce. That spirit of fusion carries over to the drink menu, which contains both sake and sangria. There’s also slew of innovative cocktails, such as the Budina—a take on the mojito that swaps rum for vodka— and the Sake-2-Me, a blend of sake, Malibu rum, pineapple, and cranberry.
Using recipes passed down from generation to generation, chef Maneejun Sihavong, aka “Mom,” introduces palates to traditional Thai cuisine for lunch and dinner. At Deejai Thai Restaurant, her menu encapsulates a wide range of flavors that span from pork-stuffed dumplings in a light, sweet curry sauce to spicy crab and avocado salads. The kitchen team gladly modifies the spice level of each dish to meet guests’ personal preferences, whether they’d like mild bites or the intense heat of fresh chilies.
During the day, light pours in through the large windows in the dining room, where a light yellow accent wall adds to the sunny atmosphere. On the outdoor patio, diners polish off their plates while taking in fresh breezes and watching Wienermobiles in their natural habitat. Deejai’s bar keeps the good times flowing with wine, beer, sake, and specialty cocktails that pair harmoniously with meals.
The chefs at Ginbu 401 prepare Chinese-food favorites such as mongolian beef, salt-n-pepper shrimp, and sweet-and-sour chicken. But their reach isn't restricted to China; they also incorporate food from other cultures. They whip together pad thai, make a mean miso soup, and assemble more than 60 sushi rolls, including the 401 maki roll with tempura shrimp, salmon, and tuna.
Behind a sushi counter at Fujo Bistro, skilled chefs roll fresh fish into traditional rolls as cooks in the kitchen douse chicken and shrimp with sauces to create traditional Chinese dishes. Specialty rolls from the sushi bar blend the flavors of steamed lobster, soft-shell crab, and spicy vinaigrettes with seaweed powder, barbecue eel, and avocado, all then artfully arranged on plates.
Everybody pictures the American dream differently. For the sushi chefs at Red Ginger, it's a combo of shrimp tempura and lobster salad topped with seared tuna, spicy mayo, and eel sauce. The American Dream roll is one of the Japanese steakhouse's 20 specialty rolls, whose other ingredients range from barbecue eel to wasabi-ketchup sauce.
While the sushi chefs focus on their rolling, Red Ginger's hibachi chefs inject some showmanship into feasts as they cook meals such as filet mignon and scallops right before diners' eyes. In the kitchen, Red Ginger's remaining chefs craft dinner entrees such as beef teriyaki and the restaurant's namesake, a medley of steak, lobster, and shrimp with truffle mushroom sauce.
In 2012, Enso Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar won two OpenTable Diner's Choice awards for its chic decor and the vibrant mood set by DJs spinning modern electronic music. Chefs sate crowds with creative pan-Asian cuisine such as Asian yellowtail ceviche with wonton chips, sushi rolls that pair blue crab with sliced strawberries or microgreens, and entrees of seared Chilean sea bass served with dollops of edamame mashed potatoes. Bartenders mix top-shelf cocktails at a glittering bar lined with black pebbles.