Mr. J Asian Bistro (Guilford)

We never came here when it was Shangri-La but after reading about the reopening under new name and ownership in the Shoreline Times we gave this place a shot recently and loved it!

We were very pleased with everything we ordered when we got take out the weekend before last.  I had the Drunken Noodles, my boyfriend ordered House Fried Rice, and we shared an order of Vegetable Dumplings.  The Drunken noodles were the best I have had in a long time.  Heat level was quite low so ask them to kick it up a notch if you like it spicy, but it had a nice balance of sweet to salty, the noodles were the ideal firmness and did not fall apart as they do from other places.  Sauteed onions and peppers in the noodle dish was great, as were the chunks of fried tofu.  I stole a few bites of the boyfriend’s friend rice and that was also very good.

On Monday I was in town for lunch so I decided to get one of their lunch specials.  When I first looked at the menu I noticed a slew of attractive lunch special options so I made a note to try them once I got the chance.  There are options ranging from Japanese dishes like tempuras and teriyaki anything, to sushi,  bento boxes, etc., to Thai dishes like ginger duck and Panang Curry, to Chinese dishes like black bean sauce with any meat or sesame chicken.I ordered a teriyaki beef bento box.  For $10:  rice, teriyaki beef with vegetables, three pan fried pork and vegetable dumplings, four California rolls, miso soup, and a salad.  What a steal!  I have a big appetite and I couldn’t even finish everything in one sitting.  The presentation was beautiful, too.

Since it was bento style, the to-go container had separate compartments so sauces from one part of the meal didn’t run into another part.  The rice was cooked exquisitely well and was fragrant, indicative of high quality Jasmine white rice.  You may ask for brown rice instead if that’s your thing.  The perfect rice was topped with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.  The gyoza’s, or dumplings, were also fantastic, and served atop a sweet sauce.  Beef was just a tiny bit chewy, but flavored well and not overcooked by most people’s standard.  It was in a tasty teriyaki sauce and surrounded by thin sliced onions, carrots, and zucchini.  The California rolls were very nicely prepared also.  It made me excited to try some of their other rolls in the future.  In the middle of the large rectangular box was a small space for pickled ginger and wasabi while soy sauce was given in a separate container.

I am always wary of restaurants that specialize in more than one type of cuisine.  It’s like what they say about people who are multilingual – that they aren’t that great at any of the languages they speak.  So far I’ve tried Japanese and Thai and they’ve both impressed me, so I can only imagine the Chinese is very good here as well.  I have a feeling that the days where we have to drive all the way to Clinton for decent Chinese food are behind us.

So far this one looks like a keeper.

100 Village Walk
Guilford, CT 06437
(203) 453-3355

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