Eat your way across the continent of asia without leaving the neighborhood

The Nebraska sushi platter. (Photo by Kathy Tran)

The Nebraska sushi platter. (Photo by Kathy Tran)

Roll your own way

Blue Sushi Sake Grill isn’t authentic by any means, but that’s part of its appeal.

Its creativity compensates for its nontraditional approach. Diners choose from hearty entrees like toban-yaki — meat and rice roasted on a clay plate — or quirky vegetarian options like the Thai Hippie Roll with tempura and peanut sauce.

“We try to take traditional techniques, traditional ingredients and repurpose those in a different type of sushi,” executive chef Tony Gentile says.

The Omaha-based chain revamped their menu in early October. Longtime customers shouldn’t panic, Gentile says, but even popular items were reimagined.

“You don’t want to take things off the
menu, because people get very upset about it, but you have a big picture to paint without making everyone mad. We took a lot of
what we did and elevated it. It’s more vibrant, more colorful.”

7859 Walnut Hill, suite 180 /

A spicy vegetable soup. (Photo by Kathy Tran)

A spicy vegetable soup. (Photo by Kathy Tran)

Chicken tikka masala. (Photo by Kathy Tran)

Chicken tikka masala. (Photo by Kathy Tran)

Spice is nice

Pardeep Sharma couldn’t convince people to try Indian food when he introduced the concept to North Dallas in 1985.

So he launched a lunch buffet for neighbors to try a little bit of everything at India Palace, now tucked inside the Preston Valley shopping center. Once customers realized the upscale restaurant’s cuisine was packed with flavor and fresh ingredients — not heat and grease, they poured in.

“I want to make sure what I do, I do it best,” Sharma says.

Naan, a soft flatbread, is baked fresh daily in a traditional tandoor oven. Although the menu primarily features northern Indian dishes, Sharma’s added a handful from the spicy southern state of Goa.

The restaurateur encourages Indian food novices to try chicken tikka masala first. It’s India Palace’s trademark dish, and the recipe hasn’t been altered in decades.

“If something is working out, you don’t change it,” he says.

12817 Preston Road, suite 105 /

Dumpling sampler with pork, chicken, shrimp and vegetables. (Photo by Kathy Tran)

Dumpling sampler with pork, chicken, shrimp and vegetables. (Photo by Kathy Tran)

Dumpling dynasty

When Shu-Chang “Buck” Kao opened Royal China in 1974, he couldn’t have imagined that it would become the city’s oldest Chinese restaurant.

The retired colonel and diplomat simply wanted to introduce Dallas to his home cuisine.

Four decades later, his son, George, and daughter- in-law, April, run the Preston Royal eatery. The couple expanded its offerings to include modern fare, authentic dishes and a dumpling and noodle bar, where customers watch the “dumpling ladies” cook made-from-scratch specialties.

“Our restaurant is more nontraditional,” April says. “We’re a little more modernized design-wise.”

Royal China hired chef Wei-Gou Cai to perfect its regional entrees, like Ants Climbing Trees, a dish from Sichaun that includes vermicelli, minced pork and chili sauce. General Kao’s chicken and Mongolian beef are longtime staples, and the soup dumplings, xiao long bao, are in high demand.

“It’s comfort food that we would eat ourselves,” April says.

6025 Royal Lane /

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