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Margaret Kuo's New Wayne Restaurant

  • j
  • jaime Sep 2, 2003 03:09 AM

I have never been to any of her restaurants, but I read the review in the new Philadelphia magazine and it sounds promising(although akin to another mainline asian giant, Yangming). Anyone have any reviews?

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  1. We have been to her restaurant in the mall outside Media (is it called Peking), and have found it to be quite good, especially with the Shanghai specialties.
    I have had a lamb dish served with pancakes and the shanghai specialty of braised pork shoulder served with baby bok choy, and both were very good in extremely large servings, really designed for sharing by a group as in a banquet situation rather than for an individual. That is how I would view that restaurant - as predominantly a special restaurant for a group ordering a family style meal. Obviously a lot of care is taken by Margaret Kuo with the cuisine, so would think the Wayne restaurant would also be excellent. (the Japanese food at Peking is also good, my husband tells me)

    1. My husband and I had a very large, very expensive sushi dinner there in April. I found the sushi to be only average; the fish was no better or fresher than what's served at Mikado or other Main Line Japanese places. I didn't find the sushi itself or the presentation of the sushi to be innovative or any more interesting than any other sushi place, so I assumed that the higher prices were because we were paying for Kuo's name on the place. We won't be having sushi there again, but I'd consider trying the Chinese half of the restaurant.

      1. Been there several times and it's the most consistent Asain on Main Line. I would rate it better than Yang Ming because Ming is pricier and the food is not quite as good. You might try Nectar in Berwyn which is also good.

        1. Based on a recent visit, I'm comfortable in saying that Margaret Kuo's in Wayne is turning out some of the best Chinese food on the Main Line. I'm not sure it's actually any less expensive than Yang Ming but the menu hits more traditional sweet spots and gets creative without straying into fusion techniques. The atmosphere is a bit sterile but the food more than compensates. I've posted a full write-up and photos at:
          http://mcduffwine.blogspot.com/2008/0...

          3 Replies
          1. re: David McDuff

            Nectar is far and away above the other two IMO.
            Second is Yangming, my neighborhood hangout where we do take-out once a week there. They are consistent if not innovative.
            Margaret Kuo is a lovely dining spot but their food is also not particularly distinctive. (I cannot speak for the sushi upstairs)
            It is certainly well worth going to if you are in the neighborhood and don't want to spend Nectar prices.

            1. re: idia

              I'm overdue for revisits at both Nectar and Yangming, Idia. Thanks for the feedback. I don't really think of Nectar in the same context as Kuo's, as their style is more pan-Asian/modern American. But I suppose the comparison, given the locale, is inevitable. Any thoughts on Suzanna Foo's outpost in Radnor?

              1. re: David McDuff

                Hi David: Aftere the original kinks were worked out at Susannah Foo's, I have found that their place is definitely worth going to.
                I went twice at the opening with friends and we vowed never to return -- and didn't until friends of ours recently asked us to go there with them so we did. And lo! It was transformed to such a fine degree that we went back with the original couple again and all agreed that it had finally found its own!
                And yes, of course you are entirely right that Nectar is not the same type of restaurant as Kuo and Yangming.

          2. We had the "hot food" there once (the Chinese restaurant on the ground floor) and had a very good meal. We've eaten in the sushi room twice (ordered a dragon boat both times in order to leave it up to the chef to impress us) and we not impressed either time. The boats were nothing special, just average sushi for above average prices. Stick with the Chinese food.

            2 Replies
            1. re: nevets

              I can't tell you how disappointed we were to have gone to this restaurant last Saturday night after canceling our reservations at the Kimberton Inn. My brother, visiting from NY City had read the Zagot review and picked Margaret Kuo in Wayne because that's where we live. So I said ooooooooooooookay.
              We were seated promptly for our 8PM reservation on the first floor for Chinese food. And yes the atmosphere is sterile, nothing to block your view or the noise from bouncing around the room. Our waiter came right away to give us our menus and then the waiting game began. This restaurant is definitely not able to handle such a large seating in a timely fashion. The service is not consistent and the staff not well trained. My brothers' food actually came out cold, but by that time we were vamished from the long wait since the appetizers. the shrimp, sushi, squid and chicken dishes can be had at the other well named restaurants.
              And it was not just a bad night. For the life of me I don't know why but my son went back with his friends the following week and he said they went upstairs for sushi and the service was not any better.
              The Mandarin restaurant in Frazer is better than this restaurant in Wayne, but I much prefer Yang Ming or Shangra La even.

              1. re: Schinamama

                So sorry that you had two bad experiences at Margaret Kuo's but mine of late have been excellent. Recently, our party of 14 reserved the private dining room, had exquisite service with hot food that was promptly served and prepared to perfection. The wait staff was young and took direction well from an older gentleman who seemed to be in charge. I later found out that Suzanna Foo had lured at least six of Margaret's staff away with unfounded promises of advancement if they would come to her Radnor location. They are regretting it now. One sampling of lunch-hour Foo food had me regretting my visit as well. Very bland and such a small portion for $12.

            2. I'm sorry to report that the service problems persist, and not just for large tables. Two of us (who have enjoyed this restaurant in the past) had a terrible experience there last night. The service was so bad, it was almost comical. We had to ask several times for ice water and menus. There was a long delay before a waiter appeared to take our order. Then the real waiting began. I believe that our starters came almost an hour after we were seated, and our main dishes another forty-five minutes later. During these long waiting periods, no wait staff, other than a bus boy with water refills, approached our table to offer any information or apologies. The food was okay, but not as good as past visits. Hard to imagine that we'll ever return.