This is the first solo restaurant intown venture for owner/operator Frank Lin, who used to run China Garden in Colonial Village with his brother.
Asian Gourmet joins the bustling 2000 block of Michigan Avenue, which is also home to The Green Door, The Avenue Caf and Emil’s Italian Restaurant. The hair salon Legendary Style opened next door recently (more on that coming next week).
“This area seems to be building up, so it seemed like (an ideal) place to open a restaurant,” Lin said. “We’re close by Sparrow and downtown and not too far from MSU too. A lot of people pass by here.”
Earlier this year, Lamai’s Thai Kitchen closed at the end of that same block, creating a hole in the east side’s Asian cuisine availability. Lin said the menu will be influenced by Thai, as well as Korean and Chinese fare. Food is served both as individual meals and family style. He’s also planning weekly specials, rather than daily ones.
“I don’t want customers to miss anything good if I only have something for one day,” he said. “I get all my ingredients from Chicago, where there’s a big Chinatown neighborhood. A lot of the ingredients I need you can’t find locally.”
Lin moved from China to America 13 years ago. He worked in a Thai restaurant in Staten Island before coming to Lansing in 2009 where he helped open China Garden.
The restaurant has four tables and can seat about 12 people. Lin said that he expects a great deal of business to be to-go orders, but would consider adding more tables if a need arises.
“But I’d like to wait and see,” he said. “We might need the room for carryout customers.”
Asian Gourmet Chinese Restaurant 2003 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday- Thursday; 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; noon-10:30 p.m. Sunday (517) 367-6068