Ornately wooden screens with curlicues of carved vines and leaves free the aromas of spices, sweet basil, and coconut milk to drift between booths. Beneath lavender walls and intricate woodcarvings, diners slip chopsticks into noodle-tangled bowls of chicken, shrimp, stir-fried vegetables, and curry. As the clatter of plates and conversation gives way to happy sighs, Thai Hut's dessert roster parades out thai custard and fried bananas, which work well as punishment for children who do too much homework.
As hungry customers approach the flat-top grill after which the restaurant is named, they'll find it a sizzling island surrounded by a sea of rice, noodles, fresh vegetables, and colorful sauces. Disenfranchised by the undemocratic menus of all other restaurants, Flat Top diners are empowered with the right to vote for the ingredients of their choice. Start the process by choosing rice or noodles. Then fill your bowl with fresh, seasonal vegetables (such as tomatoes, snap peas, and carrots), mix and match three or four ladles of sauces to create a sweet, spicy Asian-inspired flavor or your own personal concoction. Finally, add a hearty protein (including white fish, chicken, beef sirloin, tofu, or a host of vegetarian and vegan options). Add the finishing touches with clever customizations like hot and sour soup, mu shu wraps, skewered shrimp, or roti prata bread. Lunch bowls are $8.99, and dinner bowls are $12.99. Once your dream dish is assembled, let Flat Top's experienced chefs bring it to life on the grill while you treat your taste buds to an appetizer, such as the kung pao prata ($3.99) or a chilled summer shrimp roll ($5.99). Flat Top rookies needn't fear: Knowledgeable staff are happy to offer advice, popular recipes are perched atop tables, and tips are available on oversized chalkboards around the dining room. For an extra $2 (or $1 at lunch), diners can enjoy unlimited trips through the line, allowing them to try a wide variety of stir-fry combinations.
Named for the famous city on the island of Java, Bandung is the only Indonesian restaurant in Madison—and only one of a handful in the Midwest. Specializing in traditional Indonesian recipes as well as fusion dishes, Bandung offers vegetarian- and carnivore-friendly menu items to perk up mouth bungalows with flavorful furnishings. Start off with appetizers such as the krupuk bawang putih (garlic chips made with tapioca flour, $1.25) and pangsit goreng, which combines green onions and water chestnuts in a crispy wonton wrap with your choice of tofu ($4.25) or chicken and shrimp ($5.25). Main dishes include opor ayam, which bathes taste buds in a silky coconut broth containing bamboo shoots, lemon grass, and marinated chicken ($7.95 for lunch, $10.95 for dinner), and nasi goreng super, a super-powered fried rice that mixes garlic, candlenut, and shallots with sambal (a chili-based paste), veggies, and the meat of your choice ($7.95 for lunch, $10.95 for dinner). Nearly all dishes can be changed to accommodate allergy needs or vegan requests. During or after dinner, crack open your miniature party umbrellas to celebrate Bandung's new touch-screen cocktail menu and try the Long Island Thai tea ($6), which packs the same punch as a Long Island but is wrapped in creamy Thai tea for a bruise-free wallop.
Egg rolls. Sweet and sour shrimp. Chicken Szechuan. JC's Sunnyside Restaurant has all the staple foods of Chinese cuisine covered. But the chefs also prepare dishes inspired by other countries in Southeast Asia, from Mongolian beef to Thai spring rolls and bubble tea. Tiny globes of tapioca rest at the bottom of the brightly colored beverage, floating there until someone slurps them up with a straw or rescues them by throwing a miniature life preserver.
Kuma’s serves the tastiest collection of Asian dishes including Korean, Japanese, Thai, Chinese, and other South East Asian cuisines. Kuma’s makes its own sauce recipes in order to enhance authentic Asian dishes, thus creating a contemporary – new Asian flair.
Growing up in his parent’s Chinese restaurant in South Korea, Bruce Liou learned to craft noodles by hand at the age of 12. A decade after moving to the US, he and his wife Marsha opened Singapore Grill, building a menu inspired by his travels to Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, and the space station owned by Nicolas Cage. Diners seated next to a potted palm tree can sample 12 types of steak, dig into beef stir-fry and pineapple fried rice, pick from a roster of 11 specialty sushi rolls, and play slot and poker machines.