Spice is twice as nice New restaurant opens in North Bergen

Recently opened Asian Spices, located at 5819 Kennedy Blvd. in North Bergen, is giving Westerners a taste of the East. With a mixture of delicate seasonings in every dish, there are flavors to satisfy every palate.

The atmosphere

Upon entering this simply decorated restaurant, you feel relaxed by the tranquil environment. With clean shades of white on the walls and a highly polished light oak floor, the room is pleasant and balanced by the few jolts of color from the art hanging on the walls.

Each table is dressed with white linen tablecloths and napkins and is lit with white tea lights. The service is efficient and non-intrusive. It is great place for a business lunch or quiet dinner.

Starters

My companion and I started with the spring rolls and the Thai salad. The rolls were stuffed with chopped pork, vegetables, mushrooms, and blended with spices. The thin tortilla wrapping was crispy and didn’t overpower the roll. The meaty appetizer was good with or without the dipping sauce, which was infused with flavor. The delicious salad had mixed greens, diced cucumbers, and grape tomatoes. It was lightly coated in a terrific dressing that was made with a pureed black beans, lime, and brown sugar. Neither too tart nor sweet, this was the perfect compliment to the greens.

We had ours with the marinated beef, but diners have the option of shrimp or squid too. Both were reasonably priced at $4.95.

Other appetizers include: fried tofu, beef or chicken satay, dumplings, tempura, corn fritters, and shrimp cakes. In addition to the Thai salad are the house salad plus the indo varieties with mixed vegetables and peanut dressing.

All appetizers are priced from $3 to $7.

Entrees

For dinner, there are many tempting options, including noodles, chicken, beef, and seafood dishes. We chose the crunchy beef, and Hong Kong Style sweet & sour chicken.

The crunchy beef, which is the house specialty, was served with slivers of carrots and flavored with the chef’s special sauce that combines chili peppers, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic.

This unique dish had great texture from the tender beef that was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside and it was loaded with flavor.

The chicken dish was lightly fried and came with large slices of onion, pepper, carrot, and pineapple. The meat was tender and everything was seasoned with a light hand. The sauce wasn’t too thick or sweet. Both dishes were delicious and nicely presented. The entrees came with a side of white Jasmine rice.

Other entrees include: chicken, beef or pork, which can be seasoned with sesame, lemon, orange, black bean sauce, chili peppers and more; flat noodles, fried rice, rice noodles, seafood and vegetarian dishes. All are reasonably priced from $7 to $14.

And…

For dessert we had a sticky banana, which was drizzled with chocolate syrup and crunchy on the outside. It was small and the perfect ending to a filling meal. For beverages, you must try the delicious Thai iced tea. Other beverages include: soda, water, and tea. This is a BYOB restaurant. The courteous staff will be happy to open your wine or beer.

All of the items are available for take-out or delivery and all major credit cards are accepted. The restaurant is open from Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday/Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. There are lunch specials Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Asian Spices is located at 5819 Kennedy Blvd., in North Bergen. For more information, please call (201) 854-2006.

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