Taste-tempting Pan-Asian cuisine is adding new flavor to the Mall at Wellington Green. Lemongrass Asian Bistro is one of the newest restaurants to offer shoppers, moviegoers and casual diners an experience full of imaginative dishes with a fresh, unique approach.
“It’s a good fit. It’s close to the movie theater. People can go for dining and entertainment all in one,” owner Art Piyavichayanont explained. “Our cuisine is Southeast Asian. We mesh Thai, Vietnamese, a touch of Chinese dishes and Japanese infused all together, as well as a full sushi bar.”
Piyavichayanont came to the United States from Thailand 22 years ago, following in his sister’s footsteps by getting into the restaurant business. They brought with them their family recipes. “My mother is still behind the kitchen,” he said.
A huge seller on the menu is Grandma’s Ribs, straight out of his grandma’s cookbook.
“It includes the herb lemongrass. The key is it takes three hours to make in order for it to fall off the bone,” Piyavichayanont said. “The pork ribs are marinated overnight with fried shallots and have a tangy, sour flavor with a tamarind reduction.”
Also wildly popular at Lemongrass are the handcrafted dumplings.
“All are homemade, every day,” he said. “We offer all different kinds: vegan, vegetable, chicken, pork and lobster.”
All are served with a homemade sauce. The Gyoza (chicken or pork dumplings) are either steamed or pan-fried. The same for the vegetable dumplings, which are made with soybeans, potatoes, corn, carrots and chives in a vinaigrette sweet soy reduction.
The Thai steamed dumpling is an open-faced pork dumpling with a vinaigrette sweet soy reduction. And, a favorite, the lobster shrimp shumai, is a Hong Kong-style lobster and shrimp dumpling.
Lemongrass opened its doors at the end of July, nestled next to the Paragon Movie Theater, with something to offer palates of all ages, according to Piyavichayanont, making it family friendly by offering a kids’ menu. On that is a kids’ bento box, with options including chicken fried rice, a sushi roll or stir fry noodles, along with tempura cheese sticks and fruit.
For the heartier appetites is the signature dish at Lemongrass, Lobster Pad Thai, which Piyavichayanont said has been a big hit with customers.
“We serve that dish a lot. It’s an eight-ounce lobster tail lightly battered and sautéed right with the Pad Thai.”
There’s also a Ramen Noodle Bar, which again, is all homemade. There’s also a wide offering from the full sushi bar, swirling with flavor. Try the popular Hurricane Roll, which includes spicy yellowtail, kani, cucumber, spicy tuna tartare and togarashi.
For crustacean lovers, there’s the Lobster Monster Roll made with tempura lobster tail, along with cucumber asparagus, masago and sesame seeds with the chef’s spicy sauce and wasabi mayo.
There are many vegan and gluten-free options, as well as organic tofu.
For something sweet, there are several options on the dessert menu. The top seller is the homemade Japanese cheesecake. Egg whites are mixed in, giving it a meringue-like texture, topped with a strawberry puree.
Aside from the food is the full bar, with a happy hour daily, serving up many fresh drink options, like the popular Lemongrass Cooler.
“We infuse our vodka with the herb lemongrass,” Piyavichayanont said. “It’s made with lemongrass-infused Tito Vodka, Nigori Sake, honey syrup, fresh lime juice and grapefruit bitter.”
The restaurant seats 170, which includes an outdoor patio, presenting a modern, urban and rustic flair rolled into one. Inside, the walls are covered with an equestrian-themed mural by artist Ruben Ubiera of Ubiera Studio of Delray Beach.
Vertical landscaping adorns the outside walls, filled with welcoming hanging baskets as part of an approach to offering a green experience, as well as an effort to use earth-friendly materials.
“We use no Styrofoam to-go boxes, only brown paper boxes that can be recycled, along with high-quality filtered water for the tables,” he said. “We also only serve organic tofu, non-GMO.”
Piyavichayanont and his co-owners Wanida Catchon and Tammy Grayson have a total of four Lemongrass locations in all, including Boca Raton, Delray Beach and West Palm Beach. With their cuisine earning many accolades over the years, they hope to also win over the hearts and stomachs at the new Wellington location. The team is also behind other popular restaurants across Palm Beach County, including Ramen Lab, Poké Lab and The Sea Southeast Asian Kitchen.
“There really is something for everyone,” Piyavichayanont said.
Lemongrass Asian Bistro is located at 10312 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 204, in the Mall at Wellington Green near the Paragon Movie Theater. For more info., visit www.lemongrassasianbistrowellington.com or call (561) 459-1598.