Why You Should Go
It’s new, it’s hip, and it may just have the best Chinese food in town. Add to that it’s interesting design, bar availability, and outside dining area. It’s a nice addition to the Florence restaurant scene.
Why We Will Go (Again)
As this review is an initial one, meaning that it’s based upon a single visit and on only the second day of operation no less, we’d like to get a better taste for the menu. See what I just did there? I said “taste” for the menu. OK. Let’s move on.
We’ll also go back because the Spicy Tangerine Chicken that I had today represented the best Chinese dish that I’ve found in Florence. Let me add that I ordered it on the recommendation of a Facebook friend after her experience yesterday. Also, we truly enjoyed the appetizer platter. It was without exception delicious and looked great as well. It’s served with the option of steamed or fried dumplings. We got the steamed. Remember, I’m Watching My Weight. It’s nice to see the focus on presentation that the platter and our entrees reflected, as well. Finally, we’ll go back because the meals represent a great value. Read on to find out about the pricing of what we ordered.
Dining Experience & Selected Menu Items
I arrived first because I’m usually the early bird in any group. The rest of our party arrived shortly thereafter. We were not seated until they arrived, however, which is a pet peeve of mine, especially when going out for lunch during the work day. It burns valuable daylight, if you know what I mean. At that point, we were escorted to a separate room near the bar, facing David McLeod Boulevard. We were the only people in the room, as it was about 11:10 AM and they had just opened for the day. One of us remarked that we were probably the first people to use the silverware on the table. I think Howie Mandel would have been proud to have these utensils, they were sparkling clean.
The atmosphere of the restaurant varies depending upon where you are seated. The main dining room has a darker feel, a more cozy booth-filled area. The sushi bar is a bit more open and you can’t miss it. Look for the big sign that says “Bang Bang Sushi Bar.” That will be my destination on returning. The background music wasn’t so much in the background as it was the foreground. It was louder than it should have been, but then again maybe I’m just getting old. The radio station played everything from Adele to One Republic. The seats and booths are dark wood and comfortably padded. There seemed to be an excess of wait staff and managers on duty, but again it was only day two. I would guess there was a lot of training going on.
The lunch menu is large in scope. I would imagine that the dinner menu would be a bit larger and a tad pricier, as is customary. We’ll need to check that out later as well. From an assortment of appetizers you could choose spring rolls, egg rolls, and Vietnamese Summer Rolls, as well as lettuce wraps, potstickers, soups, seaweed salad, crab meat salad, and much more. They ranged in price from $3.50 to $6.25. Oh, and don’t forget the combo platter ($8.95) that we have pictured in this post.
Entrees start with a “Stir Fry Bar” where you choose the ingredients and it’s prepared fresh to order ($6.75 to $8.25). The lunch sushi special is only $6.95 and includes your choice of two rolls among twelve options. The standby California Roll is available for the meek, but they also have eel, yellowtail, and spicy tuna. The selection for this lunch special is not as broad as you would get at the sushi bar, but it’s a great value. Other entrees included over a dozen preparations of chicken from Spicy Tangerine ($5.75, my choice) to Spicy Thai Red Curry Chicken; same price. Lunch entrees come with your choice of a spring roll or egg roll. I had the spring roll and it was crispy and loaded. Other full entree options include various styles of beef, pork, steamed vegetables, and noodles, like Pad Thai. Finally, the Bento Box lunch is something that, while most expensive ($10.95), packs a big punch. You simply follow the four directions for making your selections to create your own combo. Mrs. ordered this and had the Hibachi Chicken, Seaweed Salad, Red Bowl Roll, and steamed rice. The presentation is traditional in an actual bento box, which is a nice touch. For the kids, there is a special menu section that make it easy to find something they’ll be willing to try and probably truly enjoy.
As to drinks, as I mentioned earlier, they have a full bar for those so inclined. They also have traditional soft drinks (Pepsi products), as well as cold and hot tea.
The service we received was prompt and attentive. Even over my picture-taking, our waiter was patient and helpful. Glasses were kept full and the table kept tidy. Who could ask for anything more?
Room for Improvement
Well, we would ask for a few things if we could. First, the music was a bit loud, especially when you’re meeting friends or coworkers for lunch to chat. Second, just let people sit down when the first of their party arrives. I would have put in my appetizer order in sooner and would not have had to leave prior to receiving the check. Don’t worry, Mrs. paid my bill. Finally, and this is probably to be expected with a newly-construced building, some dust and debris remained in the restrooms, as well as a few loose ends elsewhere that will undoubtedly come together in the next few days. All in all, we were very pleased with our experience, so these RFIs are nothing that would keep us away.
Thanks for reading PeeDeeFoodie.com™. Now go over and read Flossip’s Red Bowl Asian Bistro review. We almost ran into each other over lunch. Alas, maybe next time!
Category: Restaurant Reviews
About the AuthorKevin Barron is a husband, father, self-described geek, and enthusiastic founder of PeeDeeFoodie.com. He also hosts its companion podcast, the Pee Dee Food Show, which can be found on iTunes and the blog. Learn more about Kevin under the Contributors tab above.
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Had the most amazing appetizer - 'bang bang shrimp' - fried shrimp in a special yum yum sauce, over lettuce and rice noodles. The entree wasn't quite up to par with that app, but only because it was the most delicious food I have had in a long while. I will have to have come back soon (maybe again before this week is over).
My husband and I went on my birthday last week and we both thought it was very good !!We got the calamari and it melted in my mouth!! The seaweed salad and the spring rolls were also very good!! For our entrees we got sushi.. one of our rolls was the wrong one ( i ordered the Danielle roll and got the summer roll) but the summer roll was good..I told the waiter and he said that the sushi chef was 22 years old and had to do all the sushi for the whole restaurant...(I felt sorry for him because it was busy!) anyway the last thing was I had a glass of wine and when I got the 2nd glass it was a different one (1-resiling 2-Pinot) but all and all we will go back it is to be expected with a new resaurant!! Really enjoyed it!!!
@harper0266 Thanks for your note and for sharing your feedback on Red Bowl in Florence. Sounds like they are still working through a few bugs, but things are going well for them and for their diners. Thanks, again!
Loved it as well. My mom had the walnut shrimp, which was to DIE for, and the house special fried rice is also YUM.
@Jennifer1 I'm looking forward to going back, myself. Some of the best Chinese I've had in a while. Tthanks for reading and posting here on PeeDeeFoodie.com
I love the dining experience inside the restaurant. The food is absolutely excellent! I ordered take-out last night, however, and it was very disappointing. I'll go back, but won't be ordering food on the fly again.
if its anything like the one i ate at in Columbia, it is Delicious and bring all kind of cuisine form south east Asia and brings in a fusion of all of them also.
I would agree the music is a tad load but, that also may be that i getting old, but the food is really good and if you are scared of trying other country's food, but want to try this is the place to go and by the way i would recommend the pad tai, Vietnamese lettuce wraps, and he spicy tuna, and chicken satay also the miso soup is good on a cold day.
@ChuckWise Thanks, Chuck. Great recommendations for those a bit gun-shy to go for exotic recipes. Gotta try the Pad Thai myself next time around!
@Athena Russell @Terry Bradshaw @Clay Lundy Just a quick note. I am pasting your comments below, because we are migrating to a new, integrated commenting system called "livefyre" tonight. Instead of only being able to comment through Facebook, this will allow through Twitter and several other social media platforms. Just wanted you to know that I didn't delete your comments ... and very much appreciate them.
Clay Lundy · Works at IRIX PharmaceuticalsSounds good, going to have to give it a shot soon. Been wanting a place around here were I can try some steamed dumplings.
Terry Bradshaw - gotta try this place!
Athena Russell · University of Tennessee at ChattanoogaGreat review. We (Honey and I) went last night and had the Spicy Tangerine Beef. It was delicious. The pork dumplings were also great. I can't wait to go back and sample some of their other dishes. The only thing I was disappointed in was the fact that they didn't have the Eggplant in Garlic Sauce that some of the other locations have.
@PeeDeeFoodie Hey Kevin, Welcome to Livefyre! Pumped to be a party of your community! Let me know if you've any questions/feedback for us. We'll be happy to help in any way we can!