For my birthday this year, my sweet (and hot) fiance Josh opted to take me out to dinner. The man can seriously cook, but we love trying new places, and anything Asian holds a special place in our hearts (and stomachs!). He grew up overseas, and I grew up with hippie parents who constantly exposed me to a variety of foods. When we went to Shanghai earlier this year, the highlight was definitely everything we ate, and trust me, we ate a lot. Including thousand year eggs. Yeah, I’m pretty bad ass like that.
I have been hearing about Suzy Wong’s House of Yum in Nashville for a while. The name always made me smile, but for some reason I thought of it as maybe a slightly funkier version of your typical hole in the wall place. I was more than up for trying it out though when I was told that it was going to be my birthday meal, and may I just say, I was way off on what this place was like.
I mean, any restaurant that is referred to by its owner as “a brothel of epicurean delights” is gonna be good.
From the moment we walked in the door, I fell in love. The lighting was moody, the tables were funky, and there was a giant dragon painted on panels hanging from the ceiling. As cool as the decor was, it’s the food, the glorious food, that will keep us coming back.
Suzy Wong’s focus is on small plates for a table to share. These range from $3 to about $9. They also feature a number of bowls and entrees, but really, it’s all about the small plates. We ordered enough to make our waiter raise his eyebrows a little, and quickly devoured them all. Our list included:
Sesame Shrimp Tempura- Some of the best tempura I’ve had. Very light and crispy, with a good soy based dipping sauce. Wasabi came on the side, which we happily mixed in.
Five Spice Braised Pork Ribs- Tender meat, well seasoned, not too spicy. Licked the bone clean.
Steamed BBQ Pork Bao Bun- We have a soft spot for Bao. Josh grew up eating it, and I fell in love with it while in Shanghai. These would be reason enough to come back. Suzy Wong’s is the only place who does this dish that we know of, and they do it so well. Each order is one bun, so you’ll definitely want to get more than one. Until you try it, there’s really no explanation for what they are, so just trust me and order some.
Chicken Katsu Bites w/ Two Sauces- Chicken Katsu is a pretty traditional Hawaiian dish, so my Hawaiian born man loves it. Honestly, I don’t think the dish is anything too special, just very crunchy marinated chicken pieces you dip in various sauces, but I will say that Suzy Wong’s version is done well.
Coconut-Thai Chili Chicken Wings- To die for. The meat was literally falling off the bone, and the flavor was so tasty. I would eat a whole plate of these.
We also ordered a Coconut Chili Fried Brown Rice w/ Egg bowl that was good, but came out so late in our meal that we were already full and were only able to nibble at it. The leftovers of it were good though, which is always a positive sign.
I can’t find the drink menu anywhere, so I don’t know the names of anything we ordered, but I got some sort of passion fruit sangria with St Germain that was delicious, and Josh got their version of an old fashioned that he really enjoyed. They used Yamazaki whiskey in it, which is our one of our favorites, so that definitely gave them an instant advantage.
Our waiter was incredibly friendly and helpful. The food was delicious. I’ve heard that the Asian Wonton Nachos are incredible, but since Josh has dairy issues, we opted out. There is a good bit of cabana style seating outside, so keep that in mind on pretty nights. The parking was a bit of an issue, and I’m sure it would be even worse on Friday and Saturday nights since there is a very popular club next door, but that’s not enough to keep us away. Suzy Wong’s is open til 4 am on weekends to cater to that club crowd, so it’d be a great place to swing by after seeing a show.
I know we will.
Suzie Wong’s House of Yum
1515 Church Street | Nashville, Tennessee
Sun-Thurs 5pm – 11pm | Fri-Sat 5pm – 4am
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