Chef Ngo takes Innovative approach to Japanese and Malaysian cuisine

Chef's Choice Sashimi Platter is one of the impessive slections on a menu that includes more than 360 items.

Looking for ocean-fresh sushi and a taste of exotic Malaysia? It’s right here on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights. Chef/owner Freeman Ngo, spent 13 years in New York as a sushi chef before opening Pacific East. With more than 360 items on the menu, there truly is “something for everyone.”

Winner of the 2008 Silver Spoon Award, Cleveland Magazine’s 2008 Best Japanese Award, and Best of City Search 2008, Pacific East has been serving up fresh, flavorful sushi in Cleveland Heights for more than seven years. Sushi fans across the U.S. would be wise to add this gem of a restaurant to their “things to do” in Cleveland list.

Pacific East’s sushi and sashimi plates, include miso soup, rice and salad, and start at $16.95 for the regular dinner and go up from there. Each one features delectable presentations of ocean-fresh slices of fish and shellfish. Ask for the Chef’s Choice (market price) and Chef Ngo will custom select a variety pieces that may include the freshest melt-in-your-mouth toro (fatty blue fin tuna belly), hamachi (bluefin yellow tail), oysters, tai (red snapper), uni (sea urchin), and shake (salmon) – just to name a few of the many items to choose from. 

I also tasted the tempura and found it to be flavorful and crunchy and not too oily or over-battered. Selections include, shrimp, chicken and a variety of vegetables.

Pacific East also boasts a Malaysian menu of more than 100 menu items including curries, satays, clay pots, and noodle and rice specialties flavored with exotic combinations of coconut, chili, peanut, lime and mango.

I sampled roti chanai ($4.95) a favorite Malaysian appetizer featuring a griddle-fried, unleavened ghee pancake served with a curry chicken dipping sauce. It is now my personal favorite as the warm, crisp pancake blends nicely with tender chunks of curried chicken.

The casual dining area and sushi bar quickly filled with locals and lucky tourists enjoying aromatic meals and lively conversation. The friendly wait staff was attentive to detail, offering the most pleasurable dining experience.

Unfortunately, I was stuffed and unable to report on other dishes. But now I have an excuse to return and try the other items on the menu. I recommend you do the same.

Pacific East, 1763 Coventry Road
Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.–3 p.m., 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m.–3 p.m., 5 p.m.–11 p.m.
Saturday 12 p.m.- 3 p.m. , 5 p.m., - 11 p.m. Sunday 3 p.m. – 10 p.m

Kathleen Fairweather is a Hollywood refugee, documentary filmmaker, journalist, turned Cleveland Heights resident. She has never lived in snow, but has seen it on TV. 

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Volume 2, Issue 8, Posted 10:10 AM, 07.20.2009