Boston has admittedly one of the best Chinatown neighborhoods in the country, serving up pillowy stuffed dumpling pockets, first-rate pan fried noodle dishes and crispy fried appetizer favorites, but when you are looking for more upscale Asian-inspired fare, it’s time to venture outside this district, Here’s a look at five of the hautest spots for a memorable Asian dinner around Boston.
1 o yao ya
When you are looking for the best of the best in Japanese cuisine, o ya delivers. From salmon tataki with torched tomato and hamachi tartare to Aragawa style Wagyu beef and warm noodles with fried Japanese big fin squid, the Leather District restaurant is one of the finest in town. If you are undecided what to order, try the "Grand Tasting," where you can sample decadent dishes like Kinme Dai Ume (Japanese plum vinaigrette, shiso) and Kyoto style wild morel mushrooms.
9 East Street Boston, MA 02111
2 Empire Asian Restaurant & LoungeEmpire Asian Restaurant & Lounge
Over on the Fan Pier in the Seaport District, Empire Asian Restaurant & Lounge reigns supreme with its chic and sleek space that serves up specialty dishes like Singapore Street Noodles made with Madras curry, XO sauce, vegetables, shrimp and scallops, and Char Sui Por. The massive 14,000 square foot waterfront restaurant pays homage to its Chinese roots with rooms aptly named The Great Wall Gallery, Bar and Lounge and Imperial Dining Room. Executive Chef Kevin Long's menu shines with hearty portions of authentic fare like Hong Kong beef skewers, red miso chicken and twice cooked spicy pork belly with Chinese celery.
One Marina Park Drive Boston, MA 02210
3 Blue DragonBlue Dragon
Asian fare meets the gastropub scene in the Fort Point Channel where Ming Tsai’s seasonal specialties take on a local flair (think quahog stuffies filled with Chinese red bean chorizo and pickled chile aioli). The tapas-style East meets West menu here includes snacks of Thai chili pimento cheese with lime-spiced tortilla chips; plates of Szechwan duck confit drummies; veggies like Chinese broccoli with crushed chili flakes and larger plates of beer-battered fish tacos. Dishes are best served alongside a fruity dragon bowl or a microbrew from their reserve collection.
324 A Street Boston, MA 02210
4 Tiger MamaTiger Mama
1363 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02215
Over near Fenway Park, Tiffani Faison serves up southeast Asian inspired dishes in a beautiful space. You won't find traditional shrimp cocktail on the menu here, but you will Faison's interpretation, Shrimp Saigon, a deliciously aromatic shrimp “cocktail style” tomato served with fish sauce vinaigrette. We recommend the Cha Ca La Vong filled with turmeric marinated halibut, peanuts, nuoc cham, dill, scallion, and vermicelli.
5 Red Lantern Restaurant & LoungeRed Lantern Restaurant & Lounge
Located on the cusp of the Back Bay and South End, this sexy space features a sushi bar, Asian seats, hundreds of red lanterns lining the ceiling that is beautifully strung with seashells from Vietnamese beaches. As for dinner, try the Cantonese spiced up calamari, shrimp yaki udon noodles, golden Tik Tok chicken or teriyaki noodle steak.
39 Stanhope Street Boston, MA 02116