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Wild Rice - Metuchen

Has anyone been to this restaurant yet?

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  1. Yes, twice in the last week. Similarly disappointed, for many of the same reasons - mostly bland food, very little flavor, and extremely chintzy portions for the price. The service last night was abysmal, too, and only slightly better last week. On top of this, last week (their second week in business) they were out of two appetizers and three entrees, and last night, they were out of two more appeez and three entrees.
    I did speak to the manager and will give 'em one more try, but it appears that they don’t train their wait staff, and that they are just playing or experimenting with the menu...not a good way to start off business in a town that is already "restaurant-rich" and which has a history of putting restaurants out of business.
    As for the food:
    Shrimp fritters: Tasty but a bit greasy and not a fritter as I've ever understood (or cooked)
    Beef wontons: Savory, decent portion, nice.
    Crab cakes: It's “a” cake (one only) but was elegant, tasty, and perfectly browned, with just enough binder
    Monsoon lettuce cups: Who knows? They were out of these two weeks in a row.
    Saigon Crispy Crepe: Also out…again.
    Five-spice Mango Chicken: Decent, but I think they left out a spice or two. And a remarkably tiny portion. The rice was excellent, though.
    Fiery BBQd Beef Short Ribs: Nice flavor, perhaps a tad overcooked. But my first thought was "where's the beef?" More like an appetizer portion, and two of the pieces were mostly bone.
    Service: None to speak of. Long wait to order, spotty service, and no awareness of just how amateurish and unprofessional they are. Seems like well-meaning high school kids, which is fine...but train and teach them and set standards. And this isn't a bagel shop; I don’t care to be served by someone in a t-shirt.

    5 Replies
    1. re: EnophileNJ

      Thank you so much for your replies. I called to make a reservation previously and the staff (on two occasions) was definitely unprofessional. I think I'll stick to Pho Ahn Dao - no glitz, but the food is consistently good. Thanks again!

      1. re: deborahk

        My wife and I ate at Wild Rice recently with a few friends. I thought the place was nice, service was friendly, and although the menu seemed a bit limited and they were out of a fair number of dishes, we all liked what we saw. My food was great, we had the beef wontons and I had the spicy shrimp and noodle dish (sorry, I can't recall the name). The head chef came out to the table to speak with us after the meal which I thought was a nice touch. The menu didn't knock my socks off, and I thought the prices were a bit high, but we'll likely be going back sooner or later.

        1. re: flipu4reel

          I've come back twice and the service is much improved. I still think that it's a bit pricey for Metuchen - we're really a working/commuting town - and if you're taking the family, be prepared for this $$ hit. But the improvements are real and the owner seems sincere about keeping it that way. Will keep returning on occasion.

      2. re: EnophileNJ

        Have not tried it yet and after reading some earlier reviewsd, might not, but since reading the latest might give it a try. can someone tell me its not THAT bad!!

        1. re: dragonguy

          I would say its not that bad. It is simply not very good and you expect more for paying that much. Give it a try and let us know.

      3. We went to Wild Rice for lunch and noticed that the service was slow. Therefore, I would not recommend for lunch time plus it was pricey. It is definitely not authentic vietnamese food. The plus side, the ambiance was nice and the waiter was cordial/friendly.

        1. Been back at least 7 times since they've opened. A lot of issues have been addressed especially where the quality of the food is concerned. Service is still a little slow, but the food is greatly improved and impressive if not flashy.

          1. I've been eating at this place since they opened. In the beginning, it was frustrating to deal with the slow service. However, the food that I've had there was great enough to overlook the initial frustrations. Since then, they've seemed to work out the kinks and it makes eating there that much better. I am Vietnamese, and the food is half authentic and half fusion. If you're looking for a traditional authentic Vietnamese place (i.e. hole in the wall Pho place) this isn't it. But, if youre looking for a more "upscale" Asian fusion restaurant this place hits the nail on the head. In my experience, the portions are large (especially considering what the price is). Five spice chicken (viet fusion dish) was two large pieces with veggies and rice. Wok shaken beef (authentic Vietnamese) was enough to fill my belly, as well as my date. She didn't even get to finish 1/3 of her meal (She had the shrimp noodle salad, which is also authentic Vietnamese fair).

            That said, everyone I've taken to the restaurant has been pleased. I think my least favorite appetizer is the beef wontons (still good, though).

            My favorites:
            5 Spice Mango Chicken (viet fusion)
            Wok Shaken Beef (authentic)
            Papaya Salad (authentic viet, very tangy.)
            Imperial Rolls (authentic viet)

            3 Replies
                1. re: sfog

                  They are still in business, but they are only open Wed-Sat.

              1. re: shabbystorm

                Thank you shabby...I thought I saw it open the other day, then I was all confused!

                (Of course, I should have just walked over but I have not been stopping in that part of the street lately!)

                Nice website, I will pay them a visit soon


                1. re: dragonguy

                  They are open and very good, IMHO...also, what is key for me is that my multiple food allergic son can eat there...Beth the chef/owner prepares his food separate and safely...this is only the fourth restaurant he has ever eaten in, and he loves it!

                  1. re: njmominmet

                    Haven't seen any activity there at all for the last several months. I believe they've closed but there hasn't been any firm notice or even a "Space Available" sign on the door.

                    1. re: mukune

                      too bad :-(

                      they always seemed busy<?>