I am always excited when a new restaurant pops up on my side of town. The Westchase/Energy Corridor has had its share of restaurant openings and closings. Some do really well and for the others, you just shake your head when you see the "We're Now Open" sign. Especially when you know that same place has been the home to five different establishments in the past five years. However, I blame that on bad location and not necessarily bad food or service. Here recently, we got our first Suzie Wong's World. They specialize in classic Chinese Sichuan style cuisine.
At first glance, they reminded me of a high end Chinese food spot. Nothing special, just your basic options and notable classics like General Tso's Chicken, Mongolian Beef, and Kung Pao Shrimp. The prices were a bit on the pricey side, but I was willing to take the plunge if the food was worth it. On the inside, I was hoping this place was good so they could steal some of that P.F Chang's business up the street that has always been overrated. After reviewing the menu, I came across some very interesting differences. Suzie Wong's World has a pretty in depth selection of traditional and herbal teas. I was impressed and scanned the various drink selections like a pro. In the end, I went with the Strawberry Lemonade Tea...for no other reason than it had a nice ring to it. It was refreshingly light, the flavors of strawberry and lemon were present, and I even enjoyed drinking out of the girly cup they served it in! Suzie Wong's World gets a high grade for their drink list.
If I leave with no other thoughts or memories, I will state for the record that Suzie Wong's World had the biggest pieces of General Tso's Chicken I have ever seen. I mean really! These things were huge and it made you almost embarrassed to eat them. From a flavor perspective, they were really good, had a good breading to chicken ratio, and were very tender. However, the buck stops here. Have you ever ordered something and wanted to beat yourself up for not going with your first gut? Yep, that's just about how I felt when I ordered the House Special Pan Fried Noodles. The House Special Pan Fried Noodles came with chicken, shrimp, scallops, snow peas, and a few other items. There were two versions, the "soft" and the "pan fried". If I would have known that the pan-fried was going to be "fried hard" I would have opted for the soft. It was just okay. I ate around the noodles and focused on enjoying my tea.
Overall, I liked the place. I felt welcomed as I entered and exited and the staff were always smiling. It was a good alternative in an area of town that seems to provide a good balance of cuisines and range of experiences. Would I go back? Sure. There are a few more things I would like to try. They also have a $3 happy hour during the week from 2-7 p.m. It's too early to call it but Westchase can be a tough crowd. If they like you, they will come back and you will have a healthy future. If they don't, you will suffer the same demise of the others that came before you. I am personally pulling for Suzie Wong's World and hope I find out that they are more than just overpriced Chinese food. As my fortune cookie stated, "Even the toughest of days have bright spots, just do your best."
~ Shanna "Urban Girl" Jones