Over the years living in suburbia meant that in order to get a high quality meal and an eclectic dining experience you had to travel into Boston or over to towns like Newton or Brookline. Certainly this is changing, on the South Shore around the I95 - Route128 belt many new exiting restaurants have opened and are doing very well. In Sharon, MA I have high praise for Coriander in Sharon Square. In Canton, Olio's on Washington Street has an excellent menu has won high praise for the quality of food and presentation.
I would like to add a newcomer to this list; La Perle D'Orient has recently opened in Stoughton, MA at 531 Pearl Street. My wife and I sough refuge from a washout storm last night and quickly ducked into the lobby of this restaurant. We had intended to get a quick bite to eat before heading out to the movies. Instead, we spent a few hours sampling a menu that is quite extensive. La Perle crosses many boundaries, combining a menu that includes Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese offerings in a way that satisfies all palates. Like the name suggests, it is very much like discovering a pearl in the suburbs.
We started with Vietnamese Crispy Spring Rolls and four crispy delicate and plump rolls arrived with dipping sauce ($4.00). My wife tried the Japanese Miso Soup ($2.50), which she proclaimed quite tasty and was filled with tofu and seaweed in a lovely broth that was salted perfectly. We also sampled the fried tofu ($5.50), which was so lightly fried in a crispy coconut like batter that the tofu inside melted like butter. This was a most excellent dish and was accompanied by a delicious spicy ginger dipping sauce.
As an entrée list the selection is extensive and prices range from between $9.00 - $13.00. The wait staff is quite attentive and the décor is wonderful. Designed by one of the staff, the interior is not what you would expect from an Asian restaurant. Plum colored walls, plenty of natural green (live green grass on the windows, stunning bamboo, and an indoor landscape complete with fish tank and mountains.)
This is a handmade restaurant with charming watercolor drawings on the menu that remind you of the illustrations in "The Little Prince". In fact the same person who helped design the menu offerings is the same person who drew the charming illustrations and executed the interior design. The forecast for La Perle could be quite good if the foot traffic could increase. This is a place that would like to take more dares, but has to play it safe until a loyal following is established. That said, there are plenty of good surprises on the menu, including more than 35 offerings on the Sushi and Sashimi list. The sushi was served on a platter that resembled a large wooden sailing ship. The owner took the time to say goodbye as we left and we were quite happy to know that there was plenty to discover on future trips to this new location.
Let me know your thoughts if you decide to visit.
Visit La Perle D'Orient at 531 Pearl Street, Stoughton, MA 781-297-0079.
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