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Nov 28, 2007 01:01 PM

Feng Shui in Chelmsford

This place has been "opening soon" for about a year now, after it moved into the old Mama's Italian Grill on Rt. 110 near the Market Basket. It's finally looking inhabited now, and the sign says it's a "Sushi/Hibachi" restaurant, meaning, I guess, Asian Fusion (not fusion cuisine, but different cuisines under one roof). The word on the street is that they plan on offering $20+ entrees and other high-end options. I'm anxious to hear the early reports, but considering all the fantastic cheap Asian food I can get right down the street in Lowell, I question their game plan.

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  1. I dropped over there last night to pick up a menu. The place is very flashy and modern inside, fairly big, with a nice lounge area. They offer Japanese and "gourmet" Chinese. I noticed a Sushi for 3 entree for around $80 and some of the Japanese grilled items were over $20. I was just going to grab a drink in the lounge but the manager came over and bought me another drink, so I felt like I should order something. I got a "tuna pancake", which was a chunk of tuna fried with a light batter-still rare inside. It was served "Iron Chef" style on square plates with a fresh flower and multicolor sauce dollops and ponzu sauce on the side. It was tasty, but was about 4 good fork-fulls and cost 10 bucks. I guess my cost-consciousness is always in conflict with the notion of "fine dining", what can I say.

    I plan on ordering some takeout soon to learn whether a 12 dollar beef with mushroom dish is better than an 8 dollar beef with mushroom dish. They also have a lunch buffet Mon-Sat. that I will also try out.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dinsdale45

      Just had a great sushi lunch. I did not try anything else, but noticed they had a $10 lunch buffet, and at quick glance, it looked really good and very clean. The buffet also had three different sushi rolls. The lunch crowd completely packed the room the sushi bar is in. It was very busy for a Thursday after New Years!

      Had a couple of Maki (Salmon Avo and Spicy Tuna), an order of Nigiri (Yellowtail) and a couple of orders of Sashimi (Tuna and Salmon). To my surprise, I found all the fish to be just as good as, if not a notch better than any sushi restaurant nearby (Sakura, Bamboo). Two other local sushi lovers went with me and left as happy as I did.

      Excellent decor and lot of open space makes you feel really comfortable. They spared no expense setting this place up. Will be back soon.

      1. re: mjg0725

        Come to think of it, I probably should add that they had no Toro or Sea Urchin to speak of. However, they were listed on their regular menu.

    2. Hi Foodies!

      My wife and I had takeout from Feng Shui last night! It opened Monday, 11/26/07, I think. The Chelmsford Independent reported they spent $2 million on renovations and it looks it! I've been to Tokoyo and Takumi and Bamboo, so I've seen a local, elegant Asian restaurant before, but this place is a show stopper inside! I would go back just to eat in the dining room. All wood, earth tones, low walls to give the illusion of private eating spaces. I didn't get to see the hibachi room upstairs, but I assume it would be equally impressive.

      As for the food and prices: Prices were less than Bamboo by a dollar or two, and a few dollars above you ordinary takeout place. We kept it simple and diverse. Peking raviolis were extra crispy and came with an unusual sauce, not your typical soy/vinegar/rice wine thing. A bit thick and had a little heat, so up to you whether it works for you or not. Tasty, but the ones at Takuma in Nashua were to die for, very good though and a bit different from the norm which is always refreshing. I had the crazy Maki from the Japanese menu, as well for an app. I'd give the nod to Bamboo on this one, but better than the sushi at Takumi. I think it's tough to have great Chinese/Thai and also have fresh sushi. Good, beautiful presentation, I would go there for sushi if I was also having Chinese. For Sushi alone Bamboo or Sakura are great. We opted out of too much for leftovers and ordered Chicken with Spicy Eggplant and white rice for our main. The rice was the same as the kind they used for sushi, I think, had the same mouth feel. Really great for simple white rice, not as good for sushi. Under the eggplant, though, it really worked. Nice and fresh color in the eggplant, just the right amount of heat. Had some character...which I expect from this sort of place. Not just standard fare.

      All in all, 8 1/2 out of 10, I'd go back for the decor alone, but I want to try the hibachi-style upstairs.

      Bias: I love less than five blocks away. Bamboo might be a nudge better but not worth the gas when I've got this next door! Way better than the other two restaurants that preceded it. Hope it lasts!

      (BTW: No, I don't have any relationship with the restaurant, but I have worked in restaurants.)

      6 Replies
      1. re: drummerdave

        Do they have tableside hibachi? Still on my quest for decent Oriental/Chinese/Japanese...

        1. re: drummerdave

          I totally agree with you on the 8 1/2 out of 10... And I'll be bringing my
          family back there.

          Definitely go - and you'll be comfortable taking your children with you. Greet
          staff advised that in another 6-8 months the upstairs renovation will be
          complete, and that is where the hibachi tables will be.

          A group of 8 of us went last night and had a wonderful time - drinks, apps, meals, dessert - in the end we were there for 4 hours (we were having a great time, and
          would have been out much more quickly had we been there just to eat, not to relax and chat/eat/drink/laugh). The place was absolutely full, hard to get a parking
          spot... the food was hot, tasted great and presented very nicely!

          - Attentive service
          - Lovely decor
          - Convenient coat closet
          - Variety on menu
          - Great food
          - Very nice bar

          Needs improvement:
          - Entree order not taken until apps arrived (meal takes longer that way)
          - Bathroom stalls out of toilet paper
          - Lost our reservation (but did arrange a very comfortable table for us)
          - Need more tall chairs at tall tables in bar

          I did try some sushi (California Roll with Snow Crab instead of
          Crab sticks) and enjoyed it! We had appetizers that were tasty,
          and we had a wide variety of entree dishes. The dry Szechuan
          green beans were delicious, and I can't remember which beef
          and chicken dishes we ordered, but they were all great.

          The menu was varied - Chinese/Japanese/Sushi. This first
          visit placed Feng Shui into 2nd place on my list of favorite
          Asian restaurants in the area - Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica
          still takes 1st place, but the apps here are better, I think.
          I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

          1. re: Leos_Mom

            4 rating out of 10 - grade of D
            I checked out the restaraunt last week for dinner with some friends. I was told the wait for a table was 10 minutes which ended up being over a half hour. During that time, I ordered some drinks at the bar which I was told would be delivered to our table. An hour after being seated and the drinks never arrived. Upon notifying a member of management, I was challenged on my complaint and told that I had not waited as long as I had. The manager immediately asked a waiter to bring us water and rushed away with no apology. After waiting another 20 minutes, the water finally showed up! Our drink order finally arrived shortly after the water. During the time at our table, our waiter did not take our order until we asked if we could place it. He did not understand english and it was difficult to communicate with him. At this point, we contemplated even staying. I overheard the manager mention providing us with a free dessert. After the experience we had upon arrival, I called the manager over to inquire why the restaurant was not at least paying for the cocktails that they obviously forgot about. He tried to argue with me again and I just let it go in order to not embarass my friends. In the end, the food was very substandard, service was horrible, & the chinese cocktails were mostly fruit juice. The manager never did pick up the tab for our 1st round of cocktails. What a disappointment for a restaurant we've been waiting to open for so long. Feng Shui needs to understand the basic principle that the customer comes first. We value the service even more now that we get at Bamboo in Westford along with the consistently superb quality of their cocktails and food. We'll definitely remain loyal Bamboo customers!

            1. re: South Bedford

              It is illegal in Mass. to comp alcohlic drinks, even though many places do it.

              1. re: cap

                I grabbed lunch there the other day. It's a typical upscale suburban Americanized-Chinese and sushi place. Very similar to Bamboo in Wellesley or Bedford/Burlington. The buffet looks fine, much like Bamboo's. Nothing to sneer at, but with such good nearby Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian choices as Pho 88, Senmonoram and Phien's Kitchen, I don't think I'll be heading back soon. For sushi, I think I'd rather go to Ginger in Bedford, nice tiny shop, pleasant folks, fine fish.

                1. re: raddoc

                  I also went for the lunch buffet last week and had a similar impression. It's nice and very fancy inside, but it reminds me of a hotel restaurant. The food was good, but at $10.50 a bit more expensive than most other comparable buffets (you pay for the ambience, apparently). I think I'd rather go the the more authentic places myself, like Pho 88 (although that's recently gone more upscale also) or Southeast Asian (their buffet has got to be one of the best deals around).

        2. We went there for lunch last weekend and I won't be back. It's over priced and snooty which I don't really mind but the food isn't any better than a chinese takeout at half the price. We had the buffet which was your standard spread of chicken fingers, pork fried rice, egg rolls and other greasy chinese food plus 4 kinds of sushi, all of which looked sad and shriveled. One of our party accidentally dropped a noodle on the seat and a manager hustled over to berate him and tell him just how much the upholstery costs to clean.

          The buffet is $12.95 and there's a child rate (under age 5) for $5.95. There are much better options. My favorite chinese in this area is Szeuchan Chef up in Vinyl Sq; friendly service, good prices and very reasonable food.