LAKE WYLIE — Shia and Jean Hsia began cooking and serving food 35 years ago. In the fall, they opened a newly renovated Asian restaurant at Plantation Square in Lake Wylie.
The space fronting Charlotte Highway has been vacant since 2012. Previously it was a different Asian restaurant, Sakura. Prior to closing, the 10-year-old eatery changed hands several times. Although the exterior of Shia Asian Bistro looks similar, the interior and the dishes served are new.
“This is the kind of place Lake Wylie needs,” said Scott Bozeman, whose family bought Plantation Square eight years ago. “People need to see the inside. They don’t see just driving past, what she’s done.”
Gone are the hibachi grills. Jean says Chinese food is too greasy, Thai food too spicy and Japanese too simple. The couple’s more than three decades in restaurants brought them to a more “international” style that Americanizes the Asian dishes. There are sauces with fresh fruit and entrees cooked with brandy. A popular dish is “pork wing” appetizer that’s actually rib shank.
“We’ve broken the old traditional style,” Jean said.
Customers are giving the restaurant five stars on yelp.com for the menu ranging from jewel box lunches to house sushi, Teppan-Taki grilled entrees and Mandarin dishes. Lunch runs $6.95 to $8.25 and includes an entree, sushi roll, rice and side of fruit. Dinner entrees include Sesame Chicken, Orange Chicken, Brandy Chicken and other options at $11.75 to combinations of duck, yellow tail or grouper at $18.95.
A bar menu includes cocktails, wines and beer.
The restaurant also offers an intimate atmosphere. Shia did away with the group seating of the previous hibachi restaurant. The inside is lighter with a full bar and table seating. Patio seating will be available depending on the weather.
Everything from the Eastern decor to imported serving dishes show the family’s history and desire to give Lake Wylie something new.
“It’s more comfortable,” Jean said.
While the owners hope to increase takeout and fill tables, their main focus is on the food.
“Good food has a good presentation,” Jean said.
John Marks • 803-831-8166