Asian Star restaurant in Midvale, Utah. Lindsey has passed this restaurant several times (it's on Union Park Avenue) and it has been on her mental list of restaurants to try for a while now. The outside is really modern looking; almost the entire front side of the building is glass.
What we like about eating out with people is that we get to see (and try) more dishes! Asian Star is family-style dishes, so we ordered a few to share. We started out with chicken lettuce wraps, which were prepared by the server on a cart next to our table.
[This pictures is from their website—we forgot to take a picture of the lettuce wraps!]
The lettuce wraps were good. A little bland without the sauce (I believe it was hoisin sauce), but really tasty with the sauce. But unlike P.F. Chang's, you only get one lettuce wrap that they actually make for you.
We ordered a plate of chicken fried rice to go with our meat dishes. It was typical fried rice. Too much rice and not enough chicken and veggies. But still good.
The name of this dish caught our attention: honey nectar pork. We had to get it. It was really sweet, deep fried and drenched in honey and nectar (I'm not sure if it was agave nectar or some kind of fruity stuff). You wouldn't want to eat a whole plate of this stuff (heart attack and sugar coma in the same dish), but a few bites were good.
Lindsey's sisters (and Stew) love orange chicken. So we had to order the mandarin chicken. We were surprised when it came out; it was neon orange! It had a little spice with the orange flavor. Another deep fried dish (by the way, they don't mention when a dish is fried on the menu, which is negative points in Lindsey's book).
Yet another deep fried dish (not saying that this was bad—it was a good-quality deep fried food, we just try to avoid fried foods). Walnut shrimp. This was tasty shrimp! Perfect crunch, and a great sweet flavor! They get major points on presentation of this dish—look at the dyed flower they created from a daikon radish!! Just don't touch it—it doesn't come off fingers!
The last and only non-fried dish. The kung pao triple treat (I'm not sure if this is a typo on the menu and they meant to call it the "triple threat," personally I think that makes more sense) includes chicken, beef, and shrimp. Not too spicy, I'd maybe request a little more heat next time. But there was enough heat to make your lips tingle. But there were too many peanuts piled on top.
And for Lindsey's birthday, they sang "Happy Birtday to You" and brought a piece of cheesecake. Not-so-great cheesecake. Not a great way to end the meal.
So here's how we rated Asian Star:
We really loved the decor and atmosphere of this restaurant. The only thing missing was more authentic music. The service was good, but the waitress was a little pushy—telling us we had to have an entree for each meat (beef, chicken, shrimp and pork). There were servers standing around chatting close to our table, but we didn't go at a busy time. The prices are pretty good for how nice of a restaurant it is, except maybe the price of the lettuce wraps, which were a little expensive. The presentation was awesome, ten out of ten! The food quality was excellent, besides the fact that we don't love deep fried food. The food was overall a little mellow in flavor—more bland than you'd expect for Chinese dishes. This has an upside though—leaving without heartburn! We couldn't help but to compare Asian Star to P.F. Chang's...and if taste is the only factor, we'd go to P.F. Chang's. Plus they have way better desserts (cough cough...great wall of chocolate)!
But it's worth a trip, so if you're in the area, go try it out!