A Taste Of Asia And BeyondCover Story
July 1, 2018
Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
When you imagine a once-in-a-lifetime culinary adventure, where does your dream take place?
Maybe your fantasy leads you to a tour of Napa Valley, a leisurely sampling of sushi shops in Osaka, or the ultimate foodies’ daydream — the culinary melting pot of New York City.
Past winners of McCully Shopping Center’s A World Of Cuisines contest were given the opportunity to explore the aforementioned food destinations. And this year’s lucky winner will be flown to Seoul, Korea, the land of bibimbap, bulgogi and banchan.
Launched in 2007, the unique contest was developed by Terri Hansen-Shon, McCully Shopping Center marketing director, as a way to help publicize its astonishing variety of restaurants.
“McCully Shopping Center is one of the few places where you have such a diverse group of eateries in one location,” says Hansen-Shon.
No matter which Asian dish you’re craving — curry, hot pot, pho, pad thai, lobster cooked with green onion and ginger — you can probably find it at McCully Shopping Center. Eateries here include Thai Lao Restaurant, Fook Yuen Chinese Seafood Restaurant, Bozu Japanese Restaurant, Curry House CoCo Ichibanya, Osaka Teppanyaki Kawano and Hot Pot Heaven, with 10 different broths to provide a mouthwatering base for your soup.
If you’re hungry for Vietnamese food, check out Pho 777 Vietnamese Restaurant.
Bun bowls are often some of the best summer offerings on any Vietnamese menu, and Pho 777’s is no exception. “Vermicelli with Spring Rolls and BBQ Pork ($13.99) is very popular with the Vietnamese and for people from all over who come to my restaurant,” says owner Bao Nguyen. “It is healthy and deliciously addictive, with crispy fresh bean sprouts, lettuce, cucumber, mint, rice noodles, crunchy spring rolls, and barbecued marinated pork, topped with green onion, peanuts, pickled daikon and carrots.”
Carnivores craving a few sizzling skewers of tender chicken might head for Carp Dori for yakitori and other treats. Owned by a superfan of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp baseball team, this restaurant displays plenty of Carp memorabilia, including caps, batting helmets, jerseys, banners and photos autographed by team members.
There are many tantalizing dishes on Carp Dori’s menu, such as beef tataki and several variations of creamy paiten ramen. But the cooked-to-order yakitori is hard to resist.
Highly recommended for those who want to taste a bit of everything is Carp’s Value Set ($12.99), which features five skewers — beef, ox tongue, chicken and onion, pork, and chicken meatball.
H.R. Set ($19.99) consists of nine skewers selected by the chef, who might choose between options like quail egg wrapped in chicken breast, squid, pork roll with shiso leaf, bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms, and chicken tsukune with cheese.
Finally, if you dream of the culinary delights of Korea, you’ll find a visit to Ireh Restaurant to be infinitely satisfying. With its pale green walls, wood tables and chairs, and intriguing Korean decorations, the restaurant’s ambiance is serene, clean and inviting.
A customer favorite at Ireh is a Korean-style pancake Haemul Buchujeon ($15.95), which is a combination of shrimp, squid, octopus, clams and chives cooked in a delicate batter.
“It’s one of the biggest side dishes in Korea!” says owner Nick Kim, adding that a version with kim chee also is available.
For real authenticity, try Tteokbokki ($11.95). Made with cylinder-shaped rice cakes and plenty of gochujang (red chili paste), the dish is spicy, chewy, slightly sweet and undeniably delicious.
“It’s a core street food in Korea, a comfort food,” explains Kim.
For an additional $3, customers can add udon, ramen or jjolmyeon noodles, or mozzarella cheese to tone down the heat.
No matter where you dine or shop at McCully Shopping Center, you will walk away a happy customer.
Don’t forget to drop off an entry form for A World Of Cuisines contest at one of McCully’s participating merchants. Good luck!
A Trip Worth Taking
McCully Shopping Center is hosting its 12th annual A World Of Cuisines contest, which was created to celebrate the diverse restaurants found at the popular shopping center.
This year’s winner will win a round trip for two to Seoul, Korea. Those wanting to enter the contest must submit an entry form at one of McCully Shopping
Center’s participating merchants. All entries must be submitted by the end of the month (July 31).
‘Ice, Ice Baby’
After dining at your favorite restaurant at McCully Shopping Center, treat yourself to a cool dessert from Snow Factory, which is located on the ground floor of the shopping center. The sweet spot offers a unique fusion of shave ice and ice cream, which is often described as “frozen cotton candy.” Customers can indulge in flavors such as Cookie Butter, Nutella, Salted Caramel, Li Hing Mui, Taro, POG, and Thai Tea.