I haven't done a restaurant review in awhile, so I thought I'd talk about Pan Asia tonight. This is, hands down, my first choice for Asian food on the Northside unless I want something specific like sushi or mi goreng. We've been eating there for years and it's one I always recommend to friends and co workers looking for lunch or dinner out in Roswell.
I wish I could say that I've eaten through their entire menu by now, but I haven't. I've sample most of it and I've never had a bad meal yet. Our favorites are the steamed pork dumplings, filled with ground pork, ginger and scallions. I also love their Thai spring rolls, which are crisp basil, shredded pork, shrimp and rice noodles, wrapped in delicate rice paper and served with a side of hoisin sauce.
Their soups are great. I had a cup of the coconut chicken soup tonight, which was fragrant with lemongrass and chock full of velvety soft chicken and mushrooms. I also enjoy their tom yum soup on cold winter nights when I'm too exhausted to cook at home. That one is a very good mix of sweet and sour, with shrimp, tomatoes and bean sprouts floating in a savory broth.
I had intended to order my favorite salad there, the curried chicken. This is big chunks of white meat chicken, stir fried in a light curry sauce, then scattered on a bed of dressed romaine lettuce, drizzled with peanut sauce and topped with crunchy friend noodles.
I was tempted away, however, by their specials menu, so I ended up with a plate of teriyaki sesame chicken. This was chicken stir fried with bell peppers, onions, celery, carrots and broccoli, then smothered in a sweet teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds. It was good, but I should have had my salad. Oh well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
As you may have guessed, this is truly a "Pan asian" restaurant, with dishes being inspired by, but not particularly beholden to any one nationality. The owner/chef is white and his wife/hostess is Chinese. She reminds me slightly of my mother in law, in that they both have a tendancy to examine my plate after dinner and want to know why I didn't finish my bok choy (To avoid this, ask to substitute the veggies of your choice. They don't mind.) Some dishes reflect chef Bill Schroeder's southerner heritage, with a dash of cajun seasoning thrown in. Others, like the "Buford Highway" veggies over noodles, are pure Atlanta fusion.
The space itself is cheery and bright, with hardwood floors, and wall art that periodically rotates out. Sometimes its nature photographs. Today it was tapestries and wall scrolls.
This is definitely a place to stop by if you're in the mood for something different.