Shanghai Tokyo, one of Sarver's newest restaurants, will wow you with its ambiance, then wow you again with its delicious food.
The Lunch Bunch had no idea we were headed to such an upscale restaurant when we ventured out for what we thought woule be some quick takeout. Shanghai is in a new plaza along Route 356. It opened the day after Christmas, and we started hearing the buzz soon thereafter.
We were delighted to find a spacious and stylish interior and were so impressed that we decided to dine in. The hostess also assured us the service would be prompt.
Lunch specials are available from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and include an entree, choice of soup, choice of rice and an egg roll. They range in price from $5.25 to $6.95 -- a pretty good bargain for some quality food.
You can order from the Japanese Lunch Specials, featuring a fresh sushi bar. We opted for the Shrimp Tempura ($7.95) that came with miso soup, a side salad and a California roll. We shared the eight pieces of rice-rolled seaweed containing crab, avocado and cucumber. With its pickled ginger and sharp wasabi (a Japanese horseradish) on the side, you can tame or spice up your sushi as you wish.
The long, butterflied, jumbo shrimp was lightly battered and fried and served with a sweet potato slice and eggplant slice. A fresh side salad came with the meal, as well.
The Sesame Chicken ($6.25) exceeded expectations. The crispy glazed chicken -- all white meat -- was covered with a delicious sweet, mildly spicy glaze and topped with tiny sesame seeds. A generous portion is served with your choice of rice, choice of soup and an egg roll.
We also ordered the General Tso's chicken ($6.25), and we're happy to report that it tasted like it's supposed to. Too often, this dish is mishandled by well-meaning chefs who err on the side of caution. It's supposed to be sweet and spicy, but usually is prepared with no kick whatsoever.
Not Tso here. The dish had a wonderful zing.
Cutting the sugar allows the flavor of the sauteed chili peppers to come through and won't have you gulping down water to quench your thirst.
The slightly crispy chicken chunks were just the right size, as well. It's considered bad form to ask for a knife at a Chinese restaurant, but, often, their size requires cutting.
Our egg roll had a lot of meat in it. It was crunchy but not too greasy.
The Shrimp With Mixed Vegetables ($6.25) featured five ample shrimp in a white sauce with firm veggies that included straw mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts, zucchini and baby corn ears. Add rice, wonton soup and an egg roll, and you've got one super lunch.
The Chicken With Mixed Vegetable ($5.75) featured moist, tender chunks of chicken among a fresh and crisp medley of veggies: snow peas, mushrooms, broccoli, water chestnuts, onions, slivered carrots, baby corns and zucchini. All of these goodies were bathed in a delicious brown sauce that had just a touch of zip.
The entire crew also thoroughly enjoyed the Wonton Soup that came with the lunch special. The wonderfully rich broth was darker in color than most, as though the base were from a roasted chicken.