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Suzy Wong’s REVIEW by CLAY
I wanted to like Suzy Wong’s, I really did. While some reviews were mixed, everything I’d heard from friends was positive, and the menu looked very interesting. I finally had a chance to try Suzy and her Yum on Saturday night. We had an 8pm reservation and had no problem being seated.
While we were waiting for the other half of this Eat It, Tennessee review to arrive we tried a couple of Suzy’s signature drinks, the Lychee martini and the Orange Soda drink. Both were tasty and refreshing. Next up, we tried the Wonton Nachos Deluxe (w/ pork), a dish that I’d heard about from almost everyone that I talked to about Suzy Wong’s. These nachos were definitely full of yum. They were delicious, and flavorful, the pork was tender and sweet, and the wontons gave these nachos a unique flavor and texture. If you go to the House of Yum, I highly recommend the nachos. Unfortunately, this was the highlight of the meal.
While I try not to let poor service define a review, or detract too much from fantastic food, the service on this particular night was far from great, and definitely had an impact on my experience. When the nachos were served, only two plates were delivered, even though the table was set for four. However, the waitress and food runner both failed to deliver any utensils- we had to request these after the food was placed on the table. The waitress on this evening was also slow to refill water glasses, and overall lacked attention to detail (more to come).
Once we had all decided on our entrees, we were ready to order. My date and I decided to share a sushi roll and order two entrees. For the sushi we went with the Firecracker Shrimp & Crab Tempura Roll. I decided to have the Five Spice Roasted Duck Breast for dinner and she went with the Moo Shu Chicken Wraps. We were excited for the food to arrive.
Unfortunately, my excitement was short lived. After a short wait, no longer than normal, our food began to arrive. The three other diners at our table all received their entrees, but nothing for me. A few minutes later (less than 5 minutes), the sushi arrived. Normally when I order sushi and an entree I expect the sushi to arrive before the entree, or perhaps at the same time, but that’s not a huge detractor. However, by the time the sushi arrived my duck was still no where to be found. I reminded the waitress that I was still waiting on the duck. She looked confused, but replied that it would be right out. I decided to try the sushi while we waited. I was expecting a restaurant with this much hype to really deliver on the sushi, but they simply did not. While Britney liked the sushi roll, the only flavors I could discern were seaweed and tempura batter- not exactly first class sushi. Now, perhaps I just made a bad choice on the order, but when you only have 8 sushi items on the menu, shouldn’t they all be good? That said, I did eat at least half of it, since it was the only food I had on the table and everyone else was enjoying their dinner. I was able to sample some of Britney’s Moo Shu which she liked, and I have to agree it was rather good, but messy.
While I was waiting, the waitress came by a couple more times, ensuring me that the duck was on the way. Finally, she said that since it was taking so long she was going to take 20% off…. of that duck entree. She never asked me if I still wanted the duck, never had the manager come by, never explained the cause for the delay (as a former server myself, I’m almost certain that she simply forgot to ring it in), and only offered the meager discount. The entree simply should have been free after that long of a wait. By the time the duck finally arrived, the rest of the table was mostly finished with their meals.
So, was the duck worth the wait?
In a word, no. I’m usually a big fan of duck. Not this one. The skin was very tough, and the meat itself was very chewy- so much so that my jaw grew tired of chewing. On top of that, the flavor just wasn’t that good. I’ve had some excellent duck before, but I have yet to find a restaurant in Nashville that can do this bird justice (Shoutout to Downtown Thai in Winston-Salem, NC for serving the best duck that I’ve ever tasted). Poor texture, poor flavor, poor entree. I could have, and probably should have complained, sent it back, or asked to see the manager, but I didn’t- it wasn’t worth the wait, and I didn’t want to cause a scene.
Overall, Suzy Wong’s didn’t live up to the hype and I was rather disappointed with my experience there. Sure, I’ll probably give Suzy Wong’s another try, but it will be a while before I forget this lackluster meal. The drinks were good, the nachos were very good, but that’s where the good ended. The service was quite poor, and the sushi and duck were also sub standard. A finalist for the Bombay Sapphire Bartender Of The Year Award, head chef Arnold Myint’s drinks were quite tasty, but it was the food at Suzy Wong’s that was in need of a little more yum.