Asian Bistro

By Dane Feldman

Photo by Dane Feldman.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in and around Storrs, Conn. over the past four years because my girlfriend attends the University of Connecticut. For those of you who don’t know much about Storrs, it’s a town that’s very much built around the university. There’s not much else, but my girlfriend and I have been determined since day one to find the best restaurants. Much to our surprise (sorry we didn’t have more faith in you, Storrs), we found Asian Bistro. Asian Bistro is located in the East Brook Mall on Storrs Road, which is pretty much the main drag in the area.

The food:
Asian Bistro has an extensive menu that combines Chinese, Thai, hibachi, and sushi. I’ve yet to order anything but sushi at Asian Bistro, though and that’s largely due to the fact that their sushi is superior. The fish is consistently fresh and the signature rolls are remarkably creative. I can’t go to Asian Bistro and not order the Paradise Roll: spicy lobster salad, shrimp tempura, banana tempura, kiwari sprout, soybean sheet, and mango yuzu sauce. I don’t typically order sushi with fruit or shrimp tempura because I prefer pepper tuna, salmon, or eel, but this roll is so outside the box that I couldn’t help myself. The flavor combinations are fantastic, bold, and hard to find elsewhere.

Even the crab rangoon at Asian Bistro is superior. It is clear that the chefs use better ingredients, but I can’t put my finger on just what else makes these crab rangoon different. Regardless, while this kind of appetizer is something I would normally skip, it’s worth it at Asian Bistro.

The drinks:
I’ve not been one for scorpion bowls, but Asian Bistro does the scorpion bowl right. A heaping amount of top-shelf alcohol combined with fresh juice is something I can’t pass up. The restaurant also has a full bar, signature cocktail list, wine, and beer.

The service/ambience:
Like so many restaurants in the area, Asian Bistro is quite large in size. This isn’t something you might notice, though, because the restaurant is sectioned off in three parts. One part is a large, but cozy seating area towards the front of the restaurant. The hibachi section is the largest, but as I’ve not been there for hibachi I haven’t eaten in there before. Towards the back of the restaurant is the sushi bar with only about 6-8 tables. I can’t say which is better or worse, which to me means that it’s all plenty good enough.

The waitstaff is always kind, friendly, and knowledgeable. Service is quick and attentive.

Asian Bistro is more than just a diamond in the rough. At first, I was impressed by it because of its location, but I realize now that I would be underselling the place if I only deemed it too good for Storrs. Asian Bistro is impressive enough to make it anywhere, but part of its charm is that it sits humbly tucked away in the middle of Nowhere, Connecticut.