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Jul 24, 2006 03:06 AM

Ponzu in Waltham

Just went to Ponzu for dinner with four. New restaurant over on Moody St. in Waltham that, by my accounts, deserves some patronage.

The best way to describe it is as they do, "Asian Taps". They have small plates that range from like $4 to $10, and large plates from about $11 to $20. One should definitely think more along the lines of Tapas ordering schemes rather than traditional Asian cuisine.

The wait staff was speaking Mandarin Chinese, but the food is definitely of the "Pan Asian" ilk. Smatterings of Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Indian are all there -- with their own little twists.

We ordered (from memory) hot ribs, beef l'orange, gyozas, several rolls, tuna lollipops, chicken curry, and probably some more stuff.

All of it was very quickly prepared, brought out hot, and extremely satisfying. Each dish was well presented and very tasty and unique.

I don't know what else to say except try it out if you are in the mood for pan-Asian or little bits of everything, Tapas-style.

If anyone has questions, fire away!

(Bill was ~$88 before tip for four, no drinks.)

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  1. I got the impression from a recent Globe write-up that this place is not just pan-Asian, but also rather fusion-y, offering dishes like "Tuna Quesadillas" and "Tempura-Fried California Rolls". Is that the case? That would explain the term "Asian tapas" rather than cartless dim sum (which wouldn't be quite right either, I guess, since it's not just Chinese).

    1 Reply
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      I didn't write a very good review, but yes, it is not only Pan Asian, but *definitely* fusion-y. It is certainly not cartless dim sum, which is what I was thinking it was going to be. Now, I like my dim sum -- this is something wholly different.

    2. Tried Ponzu a week ago. Didn't opt for tapas, due to time. A friend had an amazing catepillar roll. I chose the roll assortment under that on the menu- very lackluster.
      Staff seemed to push drinks, desserts, appetizers- unusual for a Japanese restaurant. We were served an unusual dessert: a sweet soup with yams. Really interesting, and nice, light way to end a meal. I'd go back for a second try.

      1. Went to Ponzu with a group of 6 for lunch today. The restaurant is bright and clean, and new looking. There is a sushi bar section on the left when you walk in, and I think a small prep kitchen. We had the basic lunch specials, which were a great deal. For between $7.25-8.00 you could pick selections like mango chicken, cashew nut chicken, beef with mushrooms & veggies, salmon, duck, and tofu and veggies. Included was miso soup, white or brown rice, and a side salad.

        I got the cashew chicken and the serving was huge- the dish was very good and the cashews were plentiful and crunchy. I did not care for the side salad- it was a coleslaw, which I do not like. Everyone in my party seemed pleased with their selections and finished most of our meals.

        I looked around the restaurant and it seemed like many people were getting sushi- I don't eat sushi, but it did look pretty. The have lunch specials for sushi too- with 8 pieces starting around $8?

        I thought the waitstaff was very nice and efficient. When we walked out they all said goodbye, including the sushi chefs and the manager, it was a nice way to end a good meal.

        1. sounds like a place to try. wonder if anyone would like to do a chowhound night out there so we could try lots of things?

          1 Reply
          1. If the Chowhound night at Ponzu hasn't happened yet I'd love to as well.