|By Joe Torok|
Xiao China Grille tailors its elegant dishes for Lansing’s taste buds
Mindfulness aptly describes a meal at Xiao China Grille
Xiao (pronounced shee-ow) opened this year in the new development on Saginaw Street, just north of Frandor. Owner Frank Cheng, 34, describes Xiao’s atmosphere as casual/elegant, and believes his newest venture is right for the area.
"I feel there is a great need for a nice Chinese dine-in experience," he says.
Cheng, whose family immigrated to the New York area in
"The Chinese restaurant industry here has been evolving over the past few years," Cheng says, drawing a parallel with sushi.
As they grow in popularity and the broader culture
The history of Chinese cuisine in this country stretches back to the 19th century. Chop
"You have to cater to local tastes," he says. "Taste buds in Lansing are a little bit different than elsewhere.
"On the East Coast, it’s chow mein, chop suey and egg foo young. Here, it’s more stir fry and sweet and sour chicken."
Restaurant success dictates that flavors must agree with palates, but we eat with our eyes first.
An attention to visual appeal is evident in the grilled
Once your eyes have had their fill, the dish tastes pretty
Shrimp with lobster sauce ($20) surprises some diners who
Jumbo sea shallots ($18) are served with a sweet garlic
Elegant the menu may be, but it has a casual side, too.
The appetizers get really fun. Oil-drenched egg rolls
Peking duck sliders ($8) are cute little crispy duck burgers topped with greens and plum sauce.
Happy hour runs from 4-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Dom Perignion is on the wine menu for extra-special occasions. If you follow a precept against intoxicants — or even if you don’t — trying the fresh ginger ale, with slices of actual ginger swimming in the bottle, is a must.
Outside Xiao, a corridor of clangorous traffic flows west
Life isn’t always suffering.
Xiao China Grille & Lounge
3415 E. Saginaw St., Lansing
11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday
11 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday
Noon-9 p.m. Sunday
TO, OM, WiFi, $$$