Don’t be fooled by its off the beaten path location. Ding Asian Fusion, located at 39th Expressway and Donald in Bethany is now my favorite spot for a higher scale Japanese inspired dining experience. With its elegant decor, extensive menu and moderate pricing, Ding offers a first-rate atmosphere that is matched by the superior quality of the food.
I’ve now eaten lunch at Ding two times with different friends who were eager to have me try it. On both occasions we were welcomed as we entered the front door by a courteous host who quickly escorted us to our seats. The first thing I noticed was the dark wood tables that stand out against red painted walls with stone accents. The lighting is modern with blue tints that add to the anticipation of a great experience to come. On the first occasion we were taken to a table for two that featured brown leather barrel chairs that were as comfortable as they were stylish. The table included high quality silverware and linen napkins.
We were given the lunch menu but my friend asked to see the dinner menu which was delivered in a heavy cloth bound cover and seemed to have about 20 pages to it. This is Asian fusion and they have a bit of everything including Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese offerings.
The lunch menu has a special which includes your choice of 34 entrees served with your choice of rice and soup for $8. They also have a lunch Sushi special that includes your choice of 2 rolls from a list of 21 for $9 or 3 rolls for $13.
On my first visit I chose the $8 entree special and selected General Tso’s Chicken. I’ve had General Tso’s at many different restaurants, but this was the best by far. The chicken was just lightly battered and the sauce was delicate and not overpowering. The portion was on the small side, but even with my appetite I was satisfied. The plating was simply beautiful and spoke to the care of the chef.
On my second visit, my friend and I split the 3 roll sushi special. The special includes a choice of soup or salad and our waiter brought us both salads even though we were splitting the special. We sampled the Philadelphia Roll, the spicy crab meat roll and the tempura shrimp roll. There was plenty for us both and the flavors were just amazing as was the presentation.
So for lunch you should expect to pay between $10 and $12 with tip. The dinner entrees begin at $10 and go up to around $18. They also have a room set aside for those who prefer the Hibachi grill experience.
The location of Ding has had its share of failed restaurants. I can’t say that I miss any of those and I tried them all. Ding, however, would indeed be missed and it is my hope that it will not suffer the fate of those that came before it.
[author image=”http://i0.wp.com/echo.snu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/jim.jpg?resize=200%2C200″] Prof. Jim Smith, Echo Faculty Advisor
Prof. Smith is a professor of Mass Communication at SNU where he has been on the faculty for 25 years. His greatest passion is seeing students develop and grow passions of their own.[/author]