- 2303 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE, 19803
- Overall User Rating:
- (2 ratings)
- 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun-Thurs, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri-Sat
- Official Web Site:
Yes, Delaware's "Asian Invasion" continues, thanks to the ongoing influx of sushi bar and noodle restaurants sprouting up all over the state. And yes, we're here to write about yet another one, this time located at Fairfax Shopping Center on Concord Pike.
But the big difference about this new Asian endeavor, called Le Shio (Japanese for "salt"), is that you could add up the menu items from four or five Far East-flavored restaurants, and it still wouldn't amount to the number of choices we found here.
When our quartet sat down for lunch, we were confronted with a little light reading. Twelve pages sat before our eyes, featuring maki rolls and chef rolls, sushi and sashimi, teriyaki and tempura, udon and soba noodles, and hibachi and bento boxes.
After digesting the literature, we were ready to digest some lunch, which started off with a bowl of hot and sour soup ($2.50), a clear broth with plenty of fresh veggies and the right amount of heat, and a house salad ($4) with ginger dressing.
The second wave of starters arrived moments later and consisted of edamame ($4.50), which seemed to be missing some salt, ironically. Our server quickly corrected the problem and we continued eating our steamed Chinese dumpling ($5.50) and yellowtail jalapeño ($10) appetizer.
The bright green dumplings were soft and chewy, stuffed with spinach, mushrooms and tofu, served with a pleasantly sweet soy sauce. The yellowtail was at the opposite end of the flavor spectrum, with a citrus sauce drizzled on the base of the plate and fresh slices of fiery jalapeños atop each piece of fish.
By the time our main courses arrived (in stages), the 80-seat restaurant had gone from fairly empty to nearly packed. We looked over our lunch, which included four sushi rolls and two hot meals -- the bento box ($10) and wok self creation ($12).
The wok self creation gives the diner the option of choosing a meat or seafood with up to four vegetables and a sauce. Our dining partner went vegetarian with cashews and a black bean sauce. The bento box featured your standard teriyaki or tempura options, but the star was the lightly fried shumai, with a crispy outside and chewy inside.
As for the sushi rolls, we chose the economical lunch option of two rolls for $9, served with miso soup or house salad. We went with the spicy salmon and tuna rolls (both $5.50 a la carte), which were delicious, but no match for the chef special rolls.
First up was the Wilmington ($14), with lobster paté and crispy crab, topped with eel and tuna. The charred eel and sweet sauces, along with the contrasting crunchy tempura bits and soft fish, made this our absolute fave.
Next up was the Le Shio ($14), a house roll stuffed with spicy, crunchy tuna and topped with more of that delicious eel and avocado. This, like all the chef rolls, came wrapped in soy bean paper, rather than nori, making it easier to chew.
Although we'd stuffed ourselves silly, one dessert menu item, also called the Le Shio ($8), grabbed our attention and wouldn't let go. The sushi style dish was comprised of fried banana and rice wrapped with soy bean paper and topped with red bean and green tea mochi cakes.
It was a subtly sweet treat that capped off one of the finer lunches we've had in a while. And when it comes to Delaware's "Asian Invasion," we might just consider Le Shio to be the salt of the earth.