In a little shopping center off Southpoint Parkway wedged between an insurance agency and a mattress company sits a fabulous little gem of a restaurant called Asian Diner, where owner Wendie Wang prepares some of the best fusion cuisine.
Entering past the vestibule is a warm and swanky atmosphere with modern lighting and artistic tables. The mood is set for a culinary trip outside of Fredericksburg to Taiwan, Malaysia, China, Japan and the Mediterranean, fused with American cuisine, which makes selections a task for the taste buds to battle it out.
Offerings go well beyond the typical Chinese dishes, such as Kung Pao, Lemongrass, Szechuan, and Crab Ragoon. Thai favorites such as spicy Thai Basil, Green Curry, Penang Curry, Yaki Undon and of course Pad Thai are available here. Chalkboard specials change daily and showcase locally sourced items and seasonal fruits, vegetables and seafood such as strawberry fruit sushi roll (made with fresh-picked strawberries and kiwi) and first-of-the-season soft shell crab (lightly fried and tossed with onion, scallion, salt and pepper).
Asian Diner has some Awesome Eats and upon requesting those from Wendie produced some delectable dishes not to be missed.
First off, there is a ginger dressing that is made fresh with grated ginger root, carrots, lemon, apple, celery, sesame seed and a few secret ingredients Wendie was not willing to let leave the vault. The dressing is so clean and fresh, the flavors blending and complimenting each other so well that one is tempted to eat it with a soup spoon. By customer request it is sold in large containers to take home; it is the dressing for every summer gathering at your house. It is worth the stop on your way home. Can a salad dressing be an Awesome Eats? When it’s this good it can!
On the appetizer list is Crab Ravioli and you get 10 of them for $5.95. These are not your frozen appetizer ravioli. They are crab meat and pork dumplings in hot chili oil, scallions and peanuts on top. Silky, smooth, light, little puffs of deliciousness that float in your mouth— a dish you don’t want to share because it's so good.
An unexpected, but fabulous, Middle Eastern appetizer served up was Roti Canai, a flat-layer Indian pancake served with a thin yellow curry and coconut dipping sauce. An appetizer to share is Pine Nuts Chicken, which is minced tender chicken breast sautéed in a special sauce and topped with a generous portion of pine nuts and a bowl of crisp lettuce to wrap by the spoonfuls.
Fresh mango cooked with red bell peppers, purple onions, and crisp snow peas is available with shrimp or chicken, or a combination of the two. It is a fresh, slightly sweet and light dish that leaves you feeling like you’ve eaten something healthy, but fulfilling. The mango slice, shrimp, onion and snow pea all pierced on your fork almost looks like a kabob.
Asian Diner uses no MSG, pre-breaded or canned items, and everything is made fresh and to order. They make their own Teriyaki sauce in gallon drums and it is so addicting you find yourself looking for anything edible to dunk in it. Asked if they sell it in large containers to take home (ribs on the grill), the answer is a disappointing ‘no’. Darn!
Unbelievably, lunch specials Monday through Friday are just $5.95 and are served with soup of the day and steamed rice.
Meat eaters love a dish that uses that special Teriyaki sauce called Beef Negimaki, which is sliced New York strip rolled with scallions and asparagus grilled and served on a cast-iron plate. I can see these on a huge tray buttered at receptions with toothpicks. The steak is seared around the vegetables, brushed in the lip-smacking sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. They are as pretty as they are delicious!
With noodle soups, rice bowls, stir-fried noodles, sushi, fried rice, soups, vegetarian, seafood, and meat entrees and specialty dishes, Asian Diner has so much variety on the menu one could eat there every day for a month and still not have eaten the same thing twice. Although once you try the fresh ginger dressing (aka: Liquid Gold, Asian V-8, Salad Maker, Darn Good Stuff), you will definitely make it a staple.
Asian Diner is at 10048 Southpoint Parkway, behind Kinko’s FedEx. Ask for owner Wendie Wang and tell her you’ve come for her Awesome Eats as seen in Fredericksburg Patch.