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Asian Temptation- White Plains

p
petezee Dec 28, 2006 10:04 PM

I went last week. I was impressed by the interior. It looked quite narrow from the street, but once you enter, it opens up into a two level space with a fish pond and a long sushi bar in the main dining room.

If only they applied the same care to the quality of the food. We ordered a standard appetizer, Tuna Tartar. What usually follows nowadays is a small mound of cubed or diced sushi-grade tuna, mixed with some combination of onions, avocado, scallion, sesame oil and vinegar.

The best way to describe the "Tuna Tartar" at Asian Temptation was a puree of tuna in a pineapple juice puddle. No contrasting flavors. Now "sour" to counteract the "sweet." No trace, discernable to the eye or the palate, of any other ingredient other than whipped tuna and pineapple juice. We couldn't bring ourselves to finish even half of it. A maki roll was standard, but not spectacular.

On to the entrees. A pad thai was serviceable, but nothing special. I got the Walnut Shrimp and Chicken combination upon a server's reccomendation. The tempura-battered shrimp was tasty, light and perfectly cooked. The accompanying crispy chicken, however, tasted like it was battered with the bottom of the previous day's greasetrap. And overdone to boot. Which is peculiar, because the tempura-style shrimp, which were also deep-fried, had no taste of rancid or old frying oil. My only guess is that the shrimp was freshly prepared, but they had the chicken left over from the end of the previous night's service and re-fried it the next day. Drizzled over both the chicken and the shrimp was a cloyingly sweet sauce.

We had one glass of house wine each and no dessert. The bill came to around $82.00 with tax and tip. I realize it's early, and that it just opened. We want to give it another chance, but not anytime soon.

Has anybody else given this place a try?

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  1. adamclyde Dec 29, 2006 02:25 PM

    thanks for the report. I'm not sure I've ever found a pan-asian place that actually does individual asian cuisines very well. Sounds like this place is no exception.

    BTW, where in White Plains is it?

    1 Reply
    1. re: adamclyde
      p
      petezee Dec 29, 2006 04:44 PM

      On Mamaroneck Road, on ground level in the City Center Complex at Main Street.

    2. w
      wplady Jan 9, 2007 06:19 AM

      Actually, I know about ten people that have been to Asian Temptation, and have ran back, as they have nothing but raves about it. I plan on going this week.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wplady
        p
        petezee Jan 9, 2007 03:23 PM

        Great! I hope it was just a bad night. The more good places the better, and it was a wonderful space. Maybe I'll give it another try.

      2. h
        harrisonmom Jan 10, 2007 05:11 PM

        Thanks for the posting. I won't have the tuna tartar...however I did have the lunch special of chicken in spicy mango sauce one day and it was wonderful. I went back and had it again, and it was still good - but the chicken was in oddly-shaped flat pieces and I couldn't figure out what part of the chicken it could have come from! The shrimp dumplings were pretty good and the sesame chicken was delicious. Reminds me of PF Changs without the long wait.

        I was very spoiled living in Manhattan for 13 years, but for White Plains, Asian Temptations is not bad.

        -Julie

        1. p
          petezee Jan 17, 2007 03:55 PM

          Tried it a second time- whole new ball game. Pork Bun (singular) for $4 was overpriced but excellent. Shu Mai was juicy, shrimpy, porky and delicious. Shark fin dumplings had a nice taste and texture, if a little dry.

          Here's the thing: I asked the waitress if they had a seperate dim sum chef - expecting a blank stare in return- but instead I got an enthusiastic "yes." A-ha.

          Nevertheless, looking forward to giving the entrees (if not the tuna tartare) a second try.

          1. w
            wplady Feb 5, 2007 09:45 AM

            Finally got there for dinner this weekend and it was excellent. I called ahead to see if they have the wine I drink on their win list....they did not and told me no problem to bring my own bottle. They were great and didn't even charge a corking fee...a nice tip was in order.

            We had a sampling of three appetizers...chicken satay, pork bun and shrimp dumplings....all were excellent. I had the chilean sea bass entre and it was amazing.

            1. j
              jeanki Feb 6, 2007 08:37 AM

              I thought this place was just OK. The decor is wonderful, with a high ceilinged loft space, a placid koi pool and pretty modern furniture.

              The pan-Asian menu made me a little concerned because I wasn't sure how good each genre would be (I think the original proprietors are Chinese). The tom yoong soup I had was just ok but tasted reasonably authentic. I ordered some sushi rolls which were actually great. Not necessarily traditional, but still the fish was fresh and the flavors were light and original (we had the mango roll and another one with spicy tuna and tempura flakes). I also had the Chilean sea bass entree, and I actually found it disappointing. The fish itself was perfectly cooked, but the accompanying sauce was poorly conceived (it was supposedly sake-miso, but tasted more like sweet mustard, as in Gulden's mustard. blechhh.) There was a small dallop of mango-onion salsa on top which was great but way too little. The accompanying veggies were just ok (I don't think asparagus goes with the item too well.) Portions overall were on the small side and accordingly overpriced to some degree, although I guess you are paying some for the nice ambience.

              Service was efficient, but way too rushed. The servers literally rushed us out the door and brought our check out without asking, which I thought was unprofessional. They need to keep the efficiency but learn how to give the appearance of being unflappable and calm while doing so.

              Overall, the place is a nice addition to the area, but the cuisine and service need to be tightened up some if they want to live up to their pricing and decor.

              1. a
                attnysteve Feb 19, 2007 06:27 PM

                Went there with party of 6. Service was horrible. One of our party got her meal 20 minutes after the rest of us. When I complained to the waitress her reply was "I can poor the water but I can't cook the shrimp". I actually had asked for water three times. She couldn't do that right either. When I complained to the manager he sent over some ice cream. That doesn't really solve the problem. The noise level was deafening. The food was good but not great. Expected more for the price. When one of our party asked for green tea she was told they don't have any. Overall, not a very enjoyable experience.

                1. d
                  Dim Sum Diva Feb 20, 2007 04:43 AM

                  I was there with my significant other about a week ago. Our entrees were served several minutes apart, it was uncomfortable. The food was good, we had the Chilean sea bass, and a chicken & shrimp dish. Very similar to Water Moon in Rye, just as expensive.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Dim Sum Diva
                    engarcon Feb 20, 2007 04:22 PM

                    We went on Saturday as a late Valentines dinner (due to snow)...they asked if we had a reservation ..the place was empty....I said no....then they quickly seated us????

                    Any way the drinks were excellent...and strong...they must not make much money at the bar..one drink was enough....the appetizers were not bad...we had several dim sum...can't really ruin that...the sushi rolls were excellent...however my wife's roll came after her dinner....then they brought me the wrong meal.......very apologetic staff......they gave us dessert on the house...which we took to go..the bill with tip was $115.00 ...pricey for an okay meal..

                    Photos of the place:

                    http://lizjohnson.lohudblogs.com/2007...

                    1. re: engarcon
                      c
                      craiger1ny Feb 20, 2007 07:07 PM

                      It sounds like inconsistant service has been a popular experience there. We went hesitantly the first time, as Asian Fusion rarely seems to work well, and were pleasantly surprised. Service was attentive and excellent, food was very good, and the manager was a presence in the dining room and connecting with everyone.

                      We took friends there on a weekend a few weeks later and had an entirely different night. The service was downright awful. At one point, two of the waiters got in an argument over my friend's food. She is a vegetarian and they brought her a dish with chicken on it. Our waiter kept trying to insist that it wasn't chicken, while another waiter kept trying to take the food back. They went back and forth with the dish several times--bringing it, taking it away...Then I had to ask the waiter to bring the menu to me because the fish I ordered did not seem correct--very different from how it was described on the menu.

                      I might go back again eventually to see if they can pull things together, but my friends had a terrible time.

                  2. d
                    dolores Feb 20, 2007 06:04 AM

                    And you even had to pay to park, right Dim Sum Diva???

                    1. a
                      alexr Feb 20, 2007 12:21 PM

                      Do you think Water Moon is expensive?

                      1. d
                        Dim Sum Diva Feb 21, 2007 05:11 AM

                        Water Moon is one of those places where you order and you think you know how much your check is going to be, and then it's handed to you and it's a LOT more than you ever thought.

                        A couple of months ago, we tried to go to Asian Temptation for lunch on a Saturday. They were supposed to open at noon and we were there at like 11:59. The place was an utter mess and they told us to come back in 20 minutes, but we bailed and ate elsewhere. Even when we ate there on a Saturday night at 6pm, they were standing on ladders working on the liquor bottle display. Couldn't they do the prep work in their down time??

                        I think it's a tough spot for a new restaurant because their rent must be outrageous. But to charge those prices (when I told my significant other about the $4 pork buns, he couldn't believe it) they really need to get it together BUT QUICK or it's going to go out of business like so many before it.

                        1. b
                          berrydawnmarie Mar 14, 2007 08:22 PM

                          I was at Asian Temptation with friends tonight. I was amazed by the service and the quality of the sushi We had the tri sushi (tuna, yellowtail, salmon) and the tri sashimi. A few orders of toro, the pink lady (fantastic) and the toro rolls. I would go back in a heartbeat. As I kept eating with a great bottle of sake, I kept saying "Am i in White Plains?"

                          My list: Blue Fin, Hatsuhana, Sushi Yasuda, Blue Ribbon, Jewel Bako, Nobu, Nobu 57, Sushi of Gari -- to name a few (in no order)

                          1. k
                            karyn325 Mar 19, 2007 01:18 PM

                            I've been to Asia Temptation once about 6 weeks ago - The interior is beautifully decorated and overall I was impressed enough to return - I had a fantastic Vietnamese Salad and my California rolls were fine - However, I do agree with the comments about the tuna tartar - it was very mushy and although it didn't taste like pineapple juice, there was little flavor other than tuna. I couldn't finish it either, and it was a shame because it was fairly pricey - $12 as I recall. My dining partner was happy with her General Tso's Chicken too. Overall the place was slightly pricey - $80 for 2 of us, no alcohol, no dessert.

                            1. billyparsons Aug 11, 2007 07:09 AM

                              I think the fancy blue bar lures everyone in. Food was OK. I was rather impressed that you can actually order real ginseng tea. Funny thing though. As I sat at the bar, I felt abut 5 years old. Either the seats were designed too low or the bar too high. Either way, unless they fixed that issue, I don't recommend going for drinks and apps at the bar...

                               
                               
                              6 Replies
                              1. re: billyparsons
                                menton1 Aug 11, 2007 08:59 AM

                                Sounds like more and more reasons to stick to Haiku for Asian fusion. (Bronxville). I've never had a bad experience at Haiku! Great place!

                                1. re: menton1
                                  n
                                  ngimcm Mar 5, 2009 09:12 AM

                                  DId al you guys hear that Haiku is opening up 2 blocks from asian temptation in White Plains? beside Fedex kinkos. I can't wait!!!

                                  1. re: ngimcm
                                    k
                                    kaaaassss Mar 5, 2009 10:44 AM

                                    Haiku is opening next to the kinkos hopefully soon.

                                    Asian tempation is opening a hibachi restaurant across the street from itself.

                                2. re: billyparsons
                                  u
                                  uberkelly Dec 4, 2007 09:23 AM

                                  I went there this past sunday in a group of 4.

                                  We showed up at noon, when they open, and they were not open. Other people were standing around in the freezing cold also waiting to go in. They finally opened about 10 minutes late and all the employees were still wearing their coats.

                                  We were seated and a worker MOPPED the floors right next to us. Disgusting and unprofessional. WIth a big dirty bucket and everything. I couldn't believe it.

                                  It took us a long time to even get water. Bubble tea and pork buns were not on any of the menus. I ordered the almond bubble tea anyway and to my disappointment, he said they do not have pork buns (after I heard so much about them!).

                                  The waiter was not very friendly, but wasn't horrible. After the apps came I asked about my bubble tea and my said something about not having the tapioca yet.

                                  Finally my tea came with the meals. Everyone's food was good, but SO expensive. They do not have lunch specials on the weekend and I paid $16 for chicken and vegetables in rice. Tasty, but so overpriced.

                                  The only reason I would ever go back is with a big group for meals and drinks, to hang out. I wouldn't go again for a meal - too expensive and not that great.

                                  1. re: uberkelly
                                    d
                                    dolores Dec 4, 2007 09:51 AM

                                    Why not go to Fujinoya in Hartsdale, they even have their own parking lot?

                                    1. re: uberkelly
                                      Wizzapizza Dec 4, 2007 01:19 PM

                                      I gotta wonder- what were these guys thinking? They put so much money and effort into the decor, the rent, etc; but it seems the bad service and the high prices are just DRIVING repeat customers away! If they put a little less effort into getting people in the door and a little more effort into getting people to come back, I think it would be a big hit. Trust me, word gets around, as is evidenced by their empty dining room. I see the same mistake repeating itself down the road at Antipasti. It's as if restauranteurs are planting the flag in White Plains and just waiting for the Ritz Carlton yuppies and empty nesters to start giving them the prices their menus are demanding. Please, spend a little less on ponds in the middle of the dining room and a little more on training your staffers or maybe give me two mini pork buns(.59/ea in Chinatown) for $4.

                                  2. southlake Dec 4, 2007 06:00 PM

                                    1. for the quality of sushi (mediocre) it was overpriced
                                    2. service is nothing special
                                    3. drinks are overpriced(they've got to pay for that expensive rent somehow)
                                    4. i see this as a "sex and the city" type of place that attracts hords of bachelorette parties and "desparate housewives" night out

                                    1. p
                                      pors996 Mar 4, 2008 07:30 PM

                                      Gotta agree with the majority here, this place stinks and is way overpriced. Like others said they spent a ton of money there one of the nicer sushi joints I have seen but the food and service is just horrible. My waitress was rude, I asked here if they could put a little less rice on my roll and she responded that we do not do any special requests. All they have going is the location, anywhere else they are out of business already.

                                      1. i
                                        Ironwannabe Dec 14, 2008 07:13 AM

                                        My wife and I went for a second time a few nights ago. The first time we went we shared some apps and split the Sea Bass entree. The fish was cooked very well, which is always a nice surprise when eating out, as most places royally screw up fish!

                                        So we went again and it was a huge disappointment. I started with the Thai curry soup, which was all right, but was overwhelmed with the heat at the end. I like hot, really hot, but only when it's accompanied by flavor. For entrees I had the tamarind shrimp, which was nothing more than four shrimp stir-fried with a few veggies and douced in sickeningly sweet sauce. I swear the main ingredient was sugar, and it also had a strange chalky aftertaste. My wife had the Sambal seafood, which she was told was a signature dish of the house. We expected more than two overcooked shrimp and two rubbery scallops for the $20. There was also a lack of seasoning to everything on her plate. Overall I think the restaurant is suffering from an identity crisis. It knows it's Asian, it just doesn't know exactly from where. The result is manifest on the plate, where the food is muddled together with no distinction of character or flavor.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: Ironwannabe
                                          k
                                          kaaaassss Dec 14, 2008 10:23 AM

                                          They better do something to improve on the food and service quickly since two new Asian themed restaurants are due to open soon in White Plains. Soma 107 and Haiku.

                                          1. re: kaaaassss
                                            d
                                            dolores Dec 14, 2008 10:59 AM

                                            Haiku has opened in Mamaroneck AND is opening in WP?

                                            Just what the area needs.

                                            1. re: dolores
                                              k
                                              kaaaassss Dec 14, 2008 11:24 AM

                                              Yes, Mamaroneck has been open a while. They are waiting for their liquor license. White Plains won't be open for a few months. They are doing construciton. It's on Mamaroneck Avenue between Post Road and Maple.

                                              1. re: kaaaassss
                                                Wizzapizza Dec 14, 2008 04:15 PM

                                                I, for one, actually love these fusion restaurants- they fuse the bad food from take out restaurants with the high prices of fancy joints. At least my back doesn't hurt from a full wallet, and I lost 10 pounds because I can't stomach the food!

                                                1. re: Wizzapizza
                                                  k
                                                  kaaaassss Dec 14, 2008 04:47 PM

                                                  What I also find disturbing is the lack of comminication in these places. Asian Temptation started with Russian bar maids who barely spoke english and now they have Asians behind the bar and waiting tables and again the lack of english is appauling. I find this in other restaurants also. No one understands each other and makes for a frustrating experience when it should be a pleasureable one.

                                        2. billyparsons Dec 29, 2008 08:35 AM

                                          For those of you that have been to Haiku and Sushi Mikes, this board should be non-existent. I stopped in while waiting to see a movie next door and it was the first time in my life I've ever seen rolls cut unevenly.

                                          In Japan, a sushi chef spends 2 years just perfecting the art of making sushi rice. At Asian Temptation, I think the same guy that was moping the floor next to previous posters feet made the rolls. Then went on to clean the bathrooms.

                                          Too much rice and too cheap on the tuna and salmon. Asked for a ginseng tea and they gave me hot water and a ginseng root simply "dropped in".

                                          The experience was nuts. And no one understood anyone. The service staff couldn't even understand each other.

                                          And if one more place tries to serve me microwaved edamame, I'll go postal. There should be NO MICROWAVE in a Japanese themed restaurant!

                                          16 Replies
                                          1. re: billyparsons
                                            k
                                            kaaaassss Dec 29, 2008 09:58 AM

                                            I agree with you. Asian Temptation was the first new offering for Asain food in White Plains with the Renassaince (spelling). The service and food has steadily gone downhill. Most of the staff has extremely limited english. I have heard rumors that the owners are planning to open a hibachi style restaurant in White Plains. With the influx of newer Asian themed restaurants, Asian Temptation had better get their act together or they will be an empty storefront.

                                            1. re: kaaaassss
                                              d
                                              dolores Dec 29, 2008 10:04 AM

                                              Why would anyone have even gone in to a place that was so obviously geared towards the yuppies of White Plains? I never did, never will, and missed nothing. Peniche and 42 and BLT are cut from the same cloth. All flash, no substance.

                                              Come on billy, you should have known better. All you have to do is leave the silly mecca that is now WP and go to Sushi Nanase for the best sushi in the county.

                                              1. re: dolores
                                                k
                                                kaaaassss Dec 29, 2008 10:35 AM

                                                Dolores, not all of us that live in White Plains are yuppies. Sushi Nanase is by far the best sushi around but it is pricey and sometimes you want sushi that is less expensive and of an excellent quality..

                                                1. re: kaaaassss
                                                  d
                                                  dolores Dec 29, 2008 10:38 AM

                                                  I realize that, kaaaasss, but Capelli and co. didn't when they brought in the restaurants they did.

                                                  I go to Armonk or Mam'k. for reasonable, decent sushi.

                                                  1. re: dolores
                                                    k
                                                    kaaaassss Dec 29, 2008 11:15 AM

                                                    Dolores, with the economy the way it is, these high end restaurants are changing their pricing and policies, Antipasti, 42, BLT are offering specials to get people in.

                                                    1. re: kaaaassss
                                                      d
                                                      dolores Dec 29, 2008 11:55 AM

                                                      I can imagine, kaassss, and as pleased as I am to read that, I'd rather support the restaurants that didn't try to gouge people when times were good. So I'll continue to go to my favorites, and leave the 'struggling' glitterati restaurants to the condo owners.

                                                  2. re: kaaaassss
                                                    Wizzapizza Dec 29, 2008 11:04 AM

                                                    You don't have to travel outside White Plains- go to Seasons on Mam'k Ave. Especially for the lunch specials. Nobu it's not, but it is consistently good everyday Sushi.

                                                    And sorry everybody, they don't serve pad thai or pho, and they don't have a fish pond in the middle of the room.

                                                    1. re: Wizzapizza
                                                      d
                                                      dolores Dec 29, 2008 11:59 AM

                                                      Wizzapizza, where is Seasons? There used to be a Seasons in Harrison, but I doubt it is the same.

                                                      1. re: dolores
                                                        k
                                                        kaaaassss Dec 29, 2008 01:58 PM

                                                        Seasons is on Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains.

                                                        1. re: kaaaassss
                                                          d
                                                          dolores Dec 29, 2008 02:06 PM

                                                          Thanks, kaaassss.

                                                          1. re: dolores
                                                            k
                                                            kaaaassss Dec 30, 2008 06:43 AM

                                                            No problem.

                                                            1. re: kaaaassss
                                                              d
                                                              Dim Sum Diva Dec 30, 2008 03:40 PM

                                                              Tried Asian Temptation again a couple of weeks ago and it was alright. I had something called the pink lady roll and it was actually pretty good. That being said, they are way overpriced. What creeps me out the most about that place is that the wait staff gathers around the register at the end of the sushi bar and just turn around and stare at you or wait for you to finish so they can pounce and grab your dishes. It's most unsettling.

                                                              1. re: Dim Sum Diva
                                                                k
                                                                kaaaassss Dec 30, 2008 09:19 PM

                                                                I'm fairly new to Chowhound and don't know how to speak directly to the chowhound police... I have posted a few thoughts that have been deleted. I thought this was a free speech forum as long as you didn't abuse anyone you could view your opions and thoughts about various topics and restaurants. I am not sure what to post anymore.

                                                                1. re: kaaaassss
                                                                  The Chowhound Team Dec 30, 2008 09:23 PM

                                                                  Please check the email address you registered with, we emailed you about the deletions, as we have emailed you a number off times in the past. We do not discuss moderation on the local boards.

                                                2. re: kaaaassss
                                                  j
                                                  Jon1856 Mar 5, 2009 10:57 AM

                                                  I know that I am late to the dance on this thread.
                                                  My GF and I went there about a year ago and have zero reason to go back.
                                                  With empty seats on just about every floor, were where first excorted to the upper area where the host tried to literally shoe-horn us into a very small table between two large parties. When we said no, after a pause for a bit of thought, she gave us a little bigger table.
                                                  After that, service and food were, IMVHO, were nothing special at all.
                                                  Yet I know several people who have had good food and experiences there.
                                                  We on the other hand just have no reason to go back and enjoy finding new places to try out.

                                                  1. re: Jon1856
                                                    j
                                                    Jon1856 Mar 7, 2009 10:23 AM

                                                    Now have coupons in Clipper Magazine.

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