Girls just wanna Chow Fun

Peony Chinese Cuisine

The newly opened Peony serves Chinese dishes, like this plate of Chow Fun, in a slightly upscale atmosphere.

The newly opened Peony serves Chinese dishes, like this plate of Chow Fun, in a slightly upscale atmosphere.

Photo By David Robert

Peony Chinese Cuisine

6340 Mae Anne Ave.
Reno, NV 89523

Peony Chinese Cuisine, located in one of the new strip malls on Robb Drive and Mae Anne Ave., is just about one month old and ready to rock and roll.

Most new restaurants that I’ve been to in Reno have some serious glitches to smooth out, and I end up thinking they weren’t quite ready to open their doors for business—but not Peony. The moment I walked in the front door, I was greeted by a friendly hostess and escorted to one of the beautifully decorated tables.

This is no diner. Peony leans a little more toward the upscale, polished style of Chinese restaurants. The service standards at Peony are much higher than most other Chinese restaurants I’ve experienced here.

My date, Cherie, and I arrived without a reservation, yet we had no problem getting a comfy booth. I think that’s because Peony is so new, and people don’t know about it yet, but that won’t last long.

Peony specializes in Cantonese cuisine and offers a large menu with a few unique items to choose from, such as Chow Fun noodles, Hong Kong Style noodles, braised whole black sea bass, deep fried oysters and grilled salmon salad. I hadn’t seen any of these items before at any other Chinese restaurant in Reno. They also have the standard issue dishes, like General’s chicken, Peking duck, Mongolian beef, walnut prawns and snow pea with water chestnut.

Cherie and I decided to try a few different things because it was our first time there, and we love having Chinese food leftovers. First, we ordered the hot and sour soup (small, $7.95). This was enough soup for two or three people. It was a little heavy on the pepper, making it very spicy, but not overly so.

Next, we both had the spicy and sesame flavor whole fish ($21.95). This was a whole, three-pound black sea bass braised in a spicy sesame broth. The meat was removed from the bone by the chef and accompanied by crisp bean sprouts in the broth. We didn’t realize it was served as a soup, otherwise we might not have ordered two soups. Nonetheless, it was absolutely delicious. The fish was fresh—as fresh as it can be in landlocked Reno. As big as this entrée was, we put a good dent in it, eating almost all of the fish, but there was still quite a bit of broth and bean sprouts left.

Then we ordered the Hong Kong style noodle shredded pork chow mein ($11.95). This had a mellow flavor with a subtle meatiness to it, and it complimented the fish well. Then we ordered some Peony Chow Fun ($8.95) and General’s chicken ($8.95) to take home with us. I think the General’s chicken might be the best one I’ve eaten in Reno. It tasted very fresh, including the light sauce and broccoli. Cherie was excited about the Chow Fun because it’s her favorite type of noodle, but the next day she told me that it was just O.K.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the food, ambience and service of Peony, and I’m glad they are here. We needed a more upscale Chinese restaurant in Reno. Now we have one.