It's been roughly one year in the offing, but Tulip Asian Cuisine's long-awaited grand opening was held on Memorial Day.
At 4 p.m. Monday, the restaurant opened its doors to patrons, according to Manager Chris Tsao. The establishment is located at the former Ames location at 119 Main St. at Redstone Shopping Center in Stoneham.
"We've had about 90, close to 100, people come in so far," Tsao said around 8:30 p.m. The goal for the opening was to serve more than 100 customers, according to Tsao, and the restaurant appeared on track to eclipse that mark.
The 82,000-square-foot restaurant, which was , features an 80-seat dining room, 76-seat Teppanyaki grill room, 32-seat lounge area (equipped with flatscreen TVs) and an eight-seat sushi bar. The restaurant also plans to introduce outdoor patio seating in the near future, according to Tsao.
About 9 p.m., the lounge was nearly filled to capacity, as patrons talked amongst each other while listening to pop music. The expansive restaurant can accommodate singles up to company functions of about 40 people, according to Tsao.
"So far everyone has been satisfied," Tsao said, referring to customers's dining experiences. "A lot of people have sat in and tried our hibachi area. We have the chef actually cook right in front of, and entertain, the customers just like any other hibachi area of a restaurant."
While he was unsure what the most popular dish of the day was, Tsao knows what his favorite meal is: the Peking duck.
The restaurant's menu is robust, featuring a variety of dining options including Japanese and Chinese cuisine, lunch buffet, sushi bar, children's menu and chef's specialties.
Food prices vary depending on what you're purchasing, but here are the price ranges, according to the menu:
- Chef's specialties: $11 to $30
- Children's menu: $9 to $12
- Chinese cuisine (appetizers): $4.50 to $18
- Chinese lunch/combo specials: $7 to $8
- Chow mein/Chop suey egg foo young: $7 to $8
- Dinner combination platters: $9.90
- Japanese cuisine (appetizers): $4.50 to $10
- Japanese lunch specials: $8.50 to $11.50
- Makimono: $4 to $9
- Moo Shi: $8 to $9
- Noodles: $6.50 to $12
- Poultry/beef: $9 to $12
- Rice: $1 to $7.50
- Salads: $4 to $9
- Sashimi: $3.50 to $5
- Seafood: $12 to $13
- Sizzling platters: $13 to $14
- Soups: $2.50 to $7
- Special Maki: $10 to $13
- Sushi bar: $6 to $10
- Sushi entrees: $16 to $50
- Teppanyaki dinner special: $4.50 to $28
- Teppanyaki lunch: $9 to $12
- Teriyaki: $14 to $16
- Thai dishes: $9 to $12
- Udon (noodles): $13
- Vegetables and bean curd: $9
Here's a look at the hours of operation at the restaurant, according to their website:
- Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
- Sunday: Noon-10 p.m.
- Monday-Saturday: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
- Sunday: Noon-2:30 p.m.
For more information, call 781-438-1500 or 781-438-1511, or visit the Tulip Asian Cuisine website.