A Princeton, NJ Restaurant Review
Fare: Chinese Fusion
Serves well prepared Chinese dishes using fresh ingredients
Ambiance is elegant, romantic.
Service needs improvement. Wait staff is not yet familiar with many menu items. Needs better coordination with the kitchen.
Note: This review is only one month after the changes. It can be expected that over time, Lisa Shao will work out these problems.
Noise Level: Low
Dress: Upscale Casual
Recommended For:Diners who enjoy well prepared Chinese dishes with upscale, trendy ambiance.
Not Recommended For: Diners who prefer a traditional Chinese menu with lower prices in a more casual family setting.
Recommended dishes: When available, Beijing Duck; Rack of Lamb with cumin or spicy sauce; and the Aquarium Sashimi with 16 assorted pieces.
Liquor: BYOB; Full bottles of wines available from New Jersey's Alba Vineyards.
The Peony Pavilion is a contemporary, BYOB, fine dining, Chinese restaurant with Japanese options.
The restaurant is owned and operated by Lisa Shao, who formerly owned and operated the Szechuan House in nearby Hamilton, NJ.
The Peony Pavilion opened in 2013 as an Asian fusion restaurant with upscale, stylish, romantic decor.
After almost two years in operation, Lisa Chao overhauled the restaurants Asian fusion cuisine. In August 2015, she changed the menu, and many of it's kitchen and wait staff to accommodate the switch to a mainly Chinese menu with Japanese options.
Named after China’s most famous opera, this elegant restaurant's decor has taken on the theme of the 16th century Peony opera.
The attractive, stylish decor begins with a welcoming entrance foyer with a high ceiling and jewel-like red pendant peony motif chandeliers that open up into the two dining areas. The main dining has comfortable booths lining the walls with a large sushi bar being the featured attraction. The other dining area, features large round tables with leather chairs. The dining areas are soft lit to enhance the romantic ambiance. Walls are adorned with artwork and prints of the 16th century Peony opera.
A private dining room with a huge 1,000 crystal chandelier, equipped with an audio and video system, is available for private functions.
The menu consists of many varieties of well prepared modern Xiang style Chinese and American/Chinese dishes, in addition to Japanese servings from the sushi bar.
Xiang cuisine stems from Hunan province, a region known as a "land of fish and rice." This style of cooking features richness, creaminess, and moistness, combined with a delicate use of chili.
Peony Pavilion is open seven days/week: Monday - Thursday, 11:30 am - 9:30 pm; Friday & Saturday 11:30 am - 10:00 pm; Sunday 11:30 am - 9:30 pm
(updated: September, 2015)
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