Red Lantern Sushi & Chinese Restaurant transports guests to a cool Asian-inspired environment with Manhattan-style sophistication. The soothing décor, accented with natural stone and white birch branches, boasts a modern aesthetic that complements the building’s vintage architectural character. The intimate dining room, appointed with a compact bar, is topped with stylish red lanterns that symbolize hospitality and good fortune.
The most notable amenity, however, is a six-seat sushi bar where Jimmy Du – who operates the restaurant with business partner James Chung – transforms swimmingly fresh seafood into edible works of art. Classic sushi and sashimi are complemented by a contemporary selection that puts an innovative spin on traditional tastes, from delicate fluke with plum paste and thinly sliced amberjack tuna with spicy lime sauce and sizzling hot garlic oil to dessert-style sushi with white tuna, sweet miso, and kiwi. Other unexpected flavor accents include truffles and
tiny shreds of gold leaf. These exquisite creations showcase the masterful techniques Du acquired through a twenty-year career that took him from Taiwan to New Jersey.
Chung notes that the quality of seafood distinguishes Red Lantern sushi, sashimi and more that two-dozen varieties of rolls. Premium Big Eye Tuna, with a mild taste and rich mouthfeel, and New Zealand King Salmon count among menu staples – and highly prized Bluefin Tuna makes an occasional guest appearance. Each item is a perfectly balanced
The full Pan-Asian menu incorporates dishes from China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, from Pad Thai with chicken or shrimp and red or green curry made with chicken, beef or seafood to pan-fried Hong Kong-style noodles and Chinese gua bao, soft buns filled with braised pork belly. Lighter fare includes zesty green papaya salad, crescent-shaped gyoza dumplings and seared Waygu beef carpaccio. Many entrees are available in small and large portions, maximizing opportunities for sampling and sharing.
The bar’s full beverage service includes six types of bottled Japanese beer and a concise list of Asian-food-friendly domestic and imported wines, available by the glass or bottle. The Red Lantern’s signature drink, however, is sake. While many Americans assume this Japanese rice wine is always served warm, cold sake dominates an impressive collection of clear (filtered) and cloudy (unfiltered) varieties that range from sweet to ultra dry. Both Chung and his well- informed staff are happy to help guests make optimal pairing choices.