There aren’t many restaurants in Stone Ridge, so locals went all mopey when the French Corner closed a couple of years ago. A few months back, everyone perked up again when there was evidence that something was afoot at that address. The building was painted black with distinctive Chinese red trim, red roofs and fat red columns. And at the end of April, Asia opened up, serving a mix of Chinese, Japanese, South-East Asian and Thai dishes.
Michelle and Christine Aw, sisters who immigrated from Malaysia about 20 years ago, launched the place. For the past nine years, they ran the Kingston Wok, so patrons of that enterprise will be familiar with the line-up. It’s extensive: more than 100 dishes, not counting the gazillion choices of sushi, sashimi and rolls.
You’ll find all the standards: lo mein, chow mein, Szechuan-style and milder fare and, of course, the number-one favorite, General Tso’s chicken — a dish invented in this country, incidentally, and unknown in China, but I bet the Chinese would like it if we sent them the recipe. The Revolution Diet section on the menu offers steamed and cornstarch-free dishes, like lemon-flavored chicken with broccoli, for those who aren’t crazy about cornstarch as a thickener.
What appeals most to me is the Thai fare, which is a house specialty. Crispy red snapper with sweet and sour chili sauce sounds tempting, and so does crispy boneless duck with fresh mango sauce. I love Thai curries, too, and here you can get green, red or yellow ones. Undecided on my first visit and always up for being delighted, I tried the Thai Basil Garlic Ginger Sauce Delight just for its name. The mix of chicken, shrimp, beef and vegetables, stir-fried with (as you’d guess) a sauce made of basil, garlic, and ginger was fresh-tasting and pleasingly spicy, but not tear-inducingly so.
Specialty drinks include international chart toppers — cosmo, piña colada, mai tai, mojito and such — and there are wines, as well as a dozen beers for only $3 or $4. Prices are fair in general. You can get your food to go, but it’s nicer to sit at the little bar and have an aperitif, or whatever the Asian equivalent is, and then eat in either the cream room with black trim, or the cozy red room in back. They’re open every day but Monday. Say hi to the sisters, if you go.