A Year of Yum

A cup of brilliant culinary genius, five teaspoons of divine ownership, a dollop of artistic design and architecture, and a top-notch staff yield one venue that has brought Asian cuisine to trendy Church Street in Nashville.

Suzy Wong’s House of Yum opened at 1515 Church Street, the former location of Red, on Sept. 8, 2009, with spectacular dishes and specialty cocktails sure to excite the pallet.

After a year of business, co-owners Keith Blaydes and David Taylor couldn’t be happier with their success.

"The opening was fantastic, it was well received from the day the doors opened," Blaydes said.

Taylor added, "It’s much more profitable than Red. We’re doing more business on a Friday night than we would in 5-6 days of Red."

Former Top Chef contestant Arnold Myint, part owner and head chef at Suzy Wong's, explains how this endeavor has changed his life. 

"This has been an amazing year for me in every sense.  It's funny how Suzy's conception fell on the day of my being rejected from last season's Top Chef," Myint said.

"I guess things happen for a reason," he continues. "Not only has my TV dream come true, but my true reality is more than I could have ever imagined."

The menu brings to the table a mix of dishes for one and all. One of the most popular menu items is the Peanut Sauce Chicken Penang, one of the many gluten-free dishes they offer. Other features include Kung Pao Green Beans, Sesame Tuna Loin, and vegan dishes ranging from Mushroom & Bean Sprout Teriyaki to Vegetable Gyoza Pot Stickers.

Menu items range in price from $3.00 - $13.00, which certainly contributes to the overall success of this exquisite environment for nutrition, cocktails, and great company.

"I am thrilled to see what Suzy Wong's House of Yum has done for my community as I am also humbled by how she has been embraced," Myint said.

The menu is reviewed and changed up by Myint about every six months, and is based upon his creative visions and popularity. The next change to the menu is expected around fall. 

This spring a dessert menu was added, with in-house ice cream being made available just in time for summer. A favorite dessert of patron is the Thai Tea Parfait: Thai Tea ice cream, coconut rice crispy, candied sesame peanuts, and caramel.

The House of Yum doesn’t merely bring a dining experience guaranteed to please, but serves the community in the same token. One example is their participation in the annual Dining Out For Life event. 

“We’ve participated every year that it’s been in existence. We’ve been very lucky that every year we’ve been the top donor, and have no plans to change our participation," Blaydes stated. "An important part of our business philosophy is to ensure our participation to community organizations. If you’re going to be part of the community you have to be willing to support it.”

Suzy Wong's has a capacity of 120 people, but they are currently looking to create an additional 30 seats. They also expect to expand their catering services in the coming year.

Entertainment for Suzy Wong's includes ‘Sakeoke,’ their version of karaoke with great sake specials, on Mondays at 9 p.m. On Thursday nights, local musical acts perform on the patio beginning at 9:30 p.m.

Reservations are encouraged on weekends, and can be made by visiting the website at www.suzywongsnashville.com. Current menus and special event listings are also posted on the website.  Additionally you may call 615-329-2913 for reservations and seating availability.

Current hours of operation are: Lunch Monday – Friday, 11 a.m.– 2:30 p.m.; Dinner Wednesday – Saturday, 5 p.m. – 4 a.m.; Monday, 5 p.m. - 2 a.m.; Sunday & Tuesday, 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., with most menu items available for take out and at Tribe.

Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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