Crawfish Asian Cuisine
Real Cantonese Cuisine and Asian Fusion Style Seafood
Proprietors: Ken Vong and Da Huang
Address: 1296 E. Plumb Lane
City/St/Zip: Reno, NV 89502
Type Dining: Fine Asian Dining
Open 6 days (closed Tuesdays)
M-W-Th: 11am - 9pm
F-Sa-Su: 11am - 9:30pm
Reservations: Optional, Not Required
Price Rating: $ $$ $$$ $$$$ $$$$$
Entrée Range (average): $11.00 - $24.00
Credit Cards: All major
To call Crawfish Asian Cuisine a Chinese restaurant is like calling Pavarotti a singer. As my guest and I sat down to dine, I first asked our host, Ken Vong, about some standard Asian dishes: beef with snow peas, friend rice and so on. Ken smiled and immediately shook his head. “No, no…. you can get that stuff anywhere. I will order for you.” What followed was an Asian cornucopia of sheer delight.
The atmosphere is deceptively simple but refined. From a plain storefront entrance, there is a warmth and friendliness as soon as you enter the restaurant. The kitchen has the clean and sanitary feel of a hospital (though the aromas of wonderful Asian delicacies permeates the air. Even the restrooms reflect a tasteful attention to detail and cleanliness with artistic bowl sinks and decorative fixtures. The ambiance of the simple setting takes on a glow as the patrons, many regulars, fill the room.
Crawfish Asian Cuisine is located just off Hwy 580/395 in the Airport Plaza Shopping Center (Mor Furniture and Costco to rear) on Plumb Lane, with easy access and plenty of parking. With the challenging state of the economy, there are more than desired vacancies in the center, though a steady stream of customers are parked in front of the restaurant! No doubt the presence of this appealing business will be an attraction to others seeking space nearby.
Ken and his partner, Da Huang have known each other for over ten years, with Ken arriving in the U.S. from Viet Nam and Da from China. They opened the restaurant in July 2014; Da handles the kitchen and Ken is the “front of the house” man. They picked the location for its proximity to the airport, freeway and Middletown Reno. They decided early on to make Crawfish, a popular new style among “foodies,” a centerpiece of their menu. They feature a wide variety of dishes, with numerous specialties, including a marvelous fresh Maine lobster, in a variety of preparations.
The Dinner of seven courses was nothing less than superb. The presentation was elegant, everything featured fresh quality products, and the service could not be better. With much of the style “finger food,” we followed Ken’s advice: “Don’t be shy.”
We began with an appetizer of Steamed Oyster on Half Shell (steamed with Ginger, Scallion and Homemade Soy Sauce). We were served four very large oysters on the half-shell, steamed to perfection and one so large, it required cutting into six pieces to be bite-size.
A bowl of Crawfish accompanied the oysters (boiled in Sweating Style Sauce with Beginner Spice – hotter is available for the more daring). A lesson on how to eat crawfish was provided for the less informed (me), with a picture guide as well. Welcome to Louisiana!
A generous serving of Won Ton Soup followed which was traditional – and excellent (Fresh Hand Made wonton with Shrimp and Ground Pork in the Wonton. Also with Shrimp, Chicken, BBQ Pork, Beef and mixed Vegetables)
Our entrees consisted of four wonderful dishes. The first was Salt and Pepper Spare Ribs (Seasoning with garlic Flavor Fried and Tossed with Garlic, Onion and Jalapeno). These were bite size nuggets of incredible flavor, very tender, and only a trace of oil. Next came a live Maine Lobster (Special $19.99 - Stir Fried in Cantonese-Chinese Style with Ginger Scallion Sauce). It was cut into small cubes for ease in eating – again finger style. The lobster meat was plentiful and cooked to perfection, the sauce adding an elegant look and taste. (Highly recommended with many ways to cook prepare; please ask Server for suggestions.)
A vegetable course complemented the meat and seafood and was a unique dish: Snow peas Tips with Garlic Sauce (Fresh Green Snow peas Leaves - Wok Stir Fried with Lightly Garlic). It had the texture and taste of a full stemmed spinach and, again, excellent in taste, texture and appearance. The other complement was a Garlic Noodle dish (Stir-Fried in garlic Sauce). Plump Chinese noodles, just the right tenderness with an exquisite sauce.
Dessert was a special treat, as I am a huge tapioca fan. This was a unique Mango Tapioca (Made from Mango, Tapioca and Milk). A perfect exclamation mark on a wonderful meal.
As to beverages, we started with a traditional House Saki (Gekkiko) which was served hot. The meal was matched with a wonderful Meiomi 2013 Pinot Noir, “a high style Pinot Noir that is shaped, more than anything else, by the fruit sources that lay the foundation of the blend.” It worked with everything, as well as a nice stand-alone model.
Ken and Da’s goal is to bring real Chinese Cantonese food and Asian Fusion Seafood Style to the dining patrons in the Biggest Little City in the World. They have succeeded beyond their best expectations. There are many good Chinese restaurants in the area, but if you want a most unique, elegant and special Chinese dining experience, I highly recommend Crawfish Asian Cuisine.