Abacus opened shortly after I moved from SF to NJ. After hearing many good words about it, finally I got the chance to visit the restaurant on my trip back this time. My experience there prompted me to write my very first restaurant review.\r
I totally agree with one of the statements on the site: ?Finally, a chinese restaurant that has both great food and atmosphere.? From the display of a bunch of freshly cut huge peony to the bat man figure holding onto Manhattan Bridge ?ON? the painting on the wall, I got the hint that this restaurant is as much about the details of presentation as that of taste. \r
For the starter, I ordered the portabella fritter. It has just the right amout of batter so it's crispy but not too hard. The flavor and juice of the mushroom is well retained. The ginger aioli had more than just a hint of ginger. However it wasn?t too spicy at all. I also ordered a hot and sour soup on recommendation from the server. Normally I don?t expect the hot and sour soup to be something that worthy writing home about, but this one definitely reminded me what my mom makes back at home in Shanghai. With lots of bean curd, enoki mushroom, egg and thin and tender slices of pork, it delivered a perfect balance between spicy and sour tastes. It?s definitely the best that I had in the States. \r
I ordered the sea bass dish for the main course. Again it was superb. The fish was very fresh, juicy and tasteful. It was seared just right so the crust will burst on bite. If there is anything more to be demanded, I would say I prefer the asparagus that comes with the sea bass to be more ?crunchy?. To finish off, I had a generous portion of durain icecream. It was simply excellent.\r
All in all, I had a wonderful experience at Abacus. The atmosphere was elegant and cozy. The service was prompt and friendly. Most importantly the food was stylish fusion yet authentic. I wish there were such a restaurant in Princeton, where my current home is.
Pros: Food, Atmosphere, Service
Cons: Not really