Oct 262012

Yes, I just posted a restaurant review two days ago.  No, BoWilliams.com is not turning into a restaurant review blog.  (I suggest my friend Amanda’s excellent The Dining Dragon for that.)

I have written another one so soon because Lea and I left the house this morning just knowing we were going to lunch, but not knowing where.  We were driving toward Providence, when Lea looked north to the Kroger shopping center at 72 and Jeff and said “what’s new in there we haven’t tried?”  Spotted Four Leaves Asian Restaurant with an Open sign, and it got the nod just that quickly.  When we went in, we found out they had literally just opened (as in less than half an hour earlier, they opened their doors to the public for the first time).

So, have to do a review, right?  Seems reasonable to question whether a restaurant’s true maiden voyage will be representative, but it’ll certainly be topical.

The trend toward places identifying as “Asian restaurants” strikes me as a bit unfortunate, and maybe even vaguely “ugly American.”  There are large differences between the various cuisines typically found under such an umbrella.  It doesn’t really make any more sense than a place calling itself a “European restaurant,” with schnitzel, ravioli, and haggis on the menu.  But, it is what it is, and this is a fine example.

Four Leaves is a full-service restaurant with a menu featuring Chinese, Thai, and Japanese selections, including sushi.  The decor is impressively sumptuous.  Call it Far Eastern modern, with excellent use of space and novel lighting.  Someone or a group of someones spent a lot of time and effort designing the interior.  Booths, tables, and a bar are available.  It’s luxurious enough to be a good date night place, particularly when they get their liquor license (expected November 1).

Lea and I each decided to have a lunch special.  She chose the kung pao chicken with white rice; I, the General Tso’s chicken with brown.  We both selected hot and sour soup, which arrived promptly.

The soup, served steaming, was tasty and appealingly spicy.  It was on the thinner side, but still within tolerance, I’d say.  A distinguishing touch is that it was served not with a bowl of crunchers, but with two small rolls and two dishes of a mildly sweet sauce that reminded me of the “yum yum” sauce at a teppanyaki place.

Our entrees followed about ten minutes later.  Presentation was lovely, with rice delivered in separate dishes.

My General Tso’s chicken was served with freshly steamed broccoli florets, and chopped Chinese hot peppers that were cooked just enough to be tender.  (Most places botch this detail.)  Lea’s kung pao was finer, sacrificing some aesthetic punch for practicality.

Flavors were fresh.  Seasoning was consistent, and neither excessive nor wanting in its application.  Lea and I both enjoyed our lunch.

Now I realize we’re not exactly out on a culinary limb here.  This is mainstream American Chinese food, and any crimes committed with such tend to be consistent.  One big one is excessive oil, and I’m pleased to report that neither of these dishes exhibited the problem.  We left satiated, but not with that unpleasant, weighted down feeling.

Our server was attentive, but not hovering.  The manager came and personally welcomed us, and told us he’d love to have us back.  For our two lunch specials, two iced teas, and 20% for our server, our bill was $24.

Four Leaves is close enough to Research Park, and the service speedy enough, to make it a reasonable lunch destination.  As I said earlier, it looks to be promising for date night as well.

Call my rating provisional, given that we visited on the very first day they were open.  I’ll seek to confirm it in another month or so, perhaps trying a different area of the menu, and follow up this post with appropriate comment.


(Note:  Please also read my follow-up review of this restaurant.)

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 Posted by at 3:29 pm

  6 Responses to “Review: Four Leaves Asian Restaurant”

  1. Hmm – I see a near future destination for you, Beth and me! I love Hot & Sour soup – it’s a fav. And I know YOU love the sit-down service!! 🙂 Looks yummy.

  2. Lizzie wants to try them because she is continuing her “try every sushi in huntsville” voyage. By the way Sun Cafe does not have good sushi. Neither does Phuket <– too pasty. Fulin's, closer your way, has some excellent tiger rolls. We have a proliferation of a notch below truly upscale "Asian" eateries, now. While I am not sure that is a good thing, perhaps they will drive the damn "everything tastes the same" buffets away.

  3. Lizzie and David went last night – they said the scallop hibachi was great.

  4. Terri, let’s do it. Let’s wait about a month and we’ll make it my validation visit.

    Beth, I tried Sun Cafe’s sushi once, and I concur. I have had good sushi at Phuket before. The main problem there is price. It’s about twice what Mikawa costs. (Has Lizzie tried there yet? That’s the best in Huntsville, as far as I’m concerned.) You mentioned Fulin’s. This place Four Leaves is very much like Fulin’s. Haven’t yet tried sushi there, but I’ll keep your recommendation in mind.

    Surin in Madison was my go-to out here before it was Surie, but they’ve messed with the menu too much to suit me. The basil rolls in particular at Surin are some of the most divine things I’ve ever put in my mouth. Surie has messed them up thoroughly.

    And thanks for mentioning the hibachi at Four Leaves. I didn’t realize they had such available. (Lea wasn’t altogether comfortable with me taking photos out on the floor, so I just kept it to the one.)

  5. Very cool. I’ve almost been hovering in the parking lot waiting for it to open. I’m a bit surprised there’s no teppanyaki/hibachi there, but that’s not a deal breaker at all. Looking forward to my first experience there.

  6. […] Please also read my first review of this restaurant.  I did this follow-up review because my initial visit was on the very first day Four Leaves Asian […]

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