It has long been a hateful stereotype that all Asian cuisine tastes the same. Today’s Groupon definitively refutes this culinary bigotry with $25 worth of Pan-Asian cuisine and drinks at Hunt Valley's Jesse Wong’s Kitchen for $10. While you can only use one Groupon per table, there’s no maximum to the number you can buy; you and your friends can enjoy a tour of the world's largest continent without being led astray by your uncle's woefully outdated Lonely Planet for Siam.
The Kitchen is a sister restaurant to chef Wong’s renowned ASEAN Bistro in Columbia, Maryland (because there’s no “I” in multyculturalesm, the Bistro goes by “ASEAN,” an acronym for “Associated South East Asian Nations”). Like the Bistro, Jesse Wong's Kitchen serves a menu of lunch and dinner entrees from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Singapore, and Japan, as well as all your Chinese favorites; it’s like visiting an Asian Four Corners, only your father won’t get arrested for snapping the family photo from the North Korea corner. Try the beef in hot garlic sauce ($10) while your friend from PETA opts for the vegetable fried rice ($7), and you'll still have enough left over for crabstick nigiri ($4). Or for the same price, head to Hong Kong with Cantonese chow fun ($9.95) while your backpacking buddy strikes out for the southeast with Malaysian chicken chow fun ($9.95).
The restaurant’s friendly staff and tranquil, tropical décor add to the comfortable social experience of a shared meal. Perhaps the best part of dinner at Jesse Wong’s is the moment when the first brave soul breaks the can-I-try-some-of-yours food barrier and the table erupts into a cacophony of clattering plates, scraping chop sticks, spilled rice, and sighs of content and food jealousy.
- If you like upscale Chinese food in an upscale environment, this is a good place. Very unique dishes... good sushi bar. – huntvalleylad, TripAdvisor
- Today was my first time there, but not for my son or my niece. I heard so many good things about it I had to find out for myself. I LOVED IT, What I had ordered nothing could top it. – Ibeasman, Urbanspoon
- I’ve had two wonderful lunches at Jesse Wong’s Kitchen. This is a very pretty and relaxing restaurant. I especially enjoyed the hot vegetable buffet that comes with lunch. The food was tasty, served hot and the service was not rushed. – BarbaraK4441, Zagat Reviews
Jesse Wong’s Kitchen
Light glints off chrome-plated woks in a glass-enclosed kitchen at the eatery’s center. Patrons look on from a semi-circular sushi bar or the surrounding tiered seats as chefs handcraft Asian dishes ranging from marinated nigiri sushi to the house specialty—vegetarian sweet-and-sour fried chicken. Japanese seaweed salads also emanate from the kitchen alongside Chinese classics such as peking duck and kung pao beef, which warms diners’ insides as effectively as spicy tuna rolls swaddled in tiny afghans. To end meals in style, coconut flan or Chocolate Duo Mocesse trip lightly across the tastebuds.