Pan Asia - Forked River, NJ
Came across this great place this month, it located at 416 S. Main Street (Rt 9) Forked River, it is in the same new plaza as Applebees.
We stopped by for lunch and had to wait a few minutes for them to open asit was not 12 noon yet. We were a bit nervous being the first customers of the day. The decor is modern, with the main color being black. At first it seemed dark after coming in from outside, but once the eyes adjusted it was OK. The servers were very nice, with varying levels of English. As we looked at the menu, an offering of Chinese, Japanese and some Thai items, I went up to the sushi counter to ask the chef what was special that day but no answer so I asked again, at which point my server came up to me to see what I needed. I realized the sushi chef did not understand me. This could be interesting.
The server offered that the "amazing Tuna Roll' was a specialty of the house. (White tuna tempura and spicy tuna inside, ahi tuna, tobiko and crunch on top) $11.95 We ordered this as well as the special Summer Roll. (a take in the Vietnamese summer roll) 12.95. Both were artfully presented and SO GOOD! My Mom's eyes lit up and she commented thsi was the best sushi she every had. And it was pretty close to being the same for me.
We had also ordered bento box lunches 9.95. The miso soup was made with white miso and very delicate, just right for a hot summer's day. The salad was small with the typical ginger dressing tasting freshly made. The boxes themselves were very very good and generous.
Tea is not served gratis but offered as a menu item, 3.50 and it is seriously great. It is served in a cast iron pot which I would say holds about 20 oz. It is green tea and we ordered the ginger peach and tropical flavored ones. Excellent. It is too good to leave behind and all three times we have been back since we left with about 12 oz in a take out container.
Definitely also try the house special Tornado roll, lettuce wrap appetizer and the lemon grass soup. The fried Ice cream desert was very nice.
I was not a fan of the hot and sour soup. It was mediocre to me, missing both preserved vegatables and clouds ear fungi, two musts fro me in this soup.
Went today again for lunch, our 4th visit and we were just as delighted.
Today we ordered the appetizer sample platter (it came out pu pu platter, flame and all) for 10.95. 2 ea of potstckers, crab rangoon, egg rolls, beef on a stick, chicken yakitori and spare ribs. All were fresh and tasty, the sauces enhanced rather than hid flavors,
We then went to Mandarin Special soup, a seafood and chicken i homemake broth. It was excellent!!!!! Generous amounts of velvet chicken, shrimp, scallops, crab and lobster in a deeply flavorful clear broth with egg whites. It serves us 2 soup cups each. We finished with the Chow Fun, special (since we couldn't decide so we got all the proteins). It had thsat smoky wok char taste Mom and I so love in this dish with an abundance of the various proteins and veggies.
Happy again, and delighted to be there. Our servers are great and take pride. I do not think you would be disappointed with a trip here.
We LOVE this place! It's a wonderful addition to the area, which is somewhat lacking in good restaurants.
Although we haven't tried much of the Chinese food (yet), the sushi is excellent...the Tornado Roll is a definite favorite, as is the Pink Lady Roll (they roll it with soy paper instead of rice) and the Angel Roll.
The hot towels and segmented satsuma at the end of the meal are nice touches.
The servers are wonderful, which more than makes up for a bit of language difficulty...everyone is accommodating and super friendly. We're looking forward to a return visit very soon. :-)