August Moon China Bistro (Louisville KY)
||2269 Lexington Road,|
Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 2004 Issue: 11(1) page: 35
The James Beard House and Chef Peng S. Looi of Lousiville shared this Kentucky award-winning chef last September 29th. Many who could not get a reservation and spot at a table there, including his own wife, surely missed a good event. Just in case you are wondering what a wife does in that circumstance, we were told that she not only gave up her seat to a delighted guest, but that she meandered city streets.
Chef Peng Looi owns two eateries in Louisville. The newest is the 1994 Asiatique East-West Cuisine; 106 Sears Avenue; Loisville (502) 899-3578. His older Chinese restaurant, in business since 1987, is the August Moon Chinese Bistro; 2269 Lexington Road; Louisville: phone: (502) 456-6569.
We are delighted that this graduate with an engineering degree, changed careers and donned a toque. He is one of the southís most innovative Chinese chefs. Malaysian by birth, Chinese in heart and heritage, he cooks up an Asian storm. If his Beard House selections are representative, his strength lies in new and creative Chinese combinations. As to the dishes presented at The Beard House, except for the lamb dish which was tough, all the Chinese foods were worthy of your chopsticks.
Four of his customers came to the Beard House from Louisville to support his endeavors. They told us they eat at one of his places each and every week. We sat at their table and learned they are in the food biz. They and Louisville are proud of this culinary adoptee who has won many southern hearts. He won ours with some fine Chinese food made there. He has also won many awards, including one for 'Outstanding Chinese restaurant.' On our next visit to Louisville, we plan to stop in; the duck breast marinated with Chinese flavorings is but one reason to do so.
Some weeks after this enjoyable Beard event, his publicist sent us a sample of new creative sauces he is now manufacturing. When not doing things like that, tending wok, or donating time to charitable causes, Chef Looi loves to create delights such as these. The newest is a line of Asiatique sauces made with nary a preservative added. They just came to market the first of January.
The one called Stir Fry Sauce is all purpose. As many things intended to do too much, it loses something in stir-fried Chinese dishes but is a super dip. It also makes a lovely component in many a salad dressing. The Lemongrass Hoisin Sauce is all-around excellent. We liked it as a marinade and found it great when cooked with any vegetable. The Sweet Chili Basil Sauce is fine for dipping, but a weak link in this otherwise well-thought-out line. If you canít get to Louisville to try them, put the web to good use and order some on www.asiatique.bigstep.com
Note: This review appeared in the hard copy of this issue in the column titled: Newman's News and Notes.