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Peony Asian Bistro

Posted by DID 25 Jul 2012 3 Comments

Peony Asian Bistro is in a part of Durham into which I rarely venture, especially when on a quest for food. But after several friends repeatedly named Peony as their go-to for a quick, affordable dinner – I decided to venture into the 15-501 retail hell to check it out. Peony offers a large variety of sushi (which is all the now standard buy one, get one free), Thai dishes (Drunken Noodles, Pad Thai), classic Chinese fare (General Tso’s Chicken, Lo Mein, Moo Goo Gai Pan), Hibachi items and Bento Boxes. The sushi and the bento boxes seem to be the best deal.

On a Monday night, when I felt uninspired to cook and had grown weary of summer veggie meals (I know, I know blasphemy), I called Peony and placed a take-out order. I ordered a bento box, which comes with a choice of different appetizer/salad options, entrées (both veggie and meat), sushi rolls and rice. It’s enough food for two and costs $9.95. I chose the crab rangoons (two), beef and broccoli, spicy tuna roll (four pieces) and brown rice. I also ordered a beach roll (red snapper tempura, spicy tuna, white tuna, avocado, wasabi sauce) and a Hawaii roll (salmon, yellowtail, cucumber, tuna and avocado). It was a lot of food (two dinners and two lunches) and came in at just over $20.

The rangoons were the classic take-out variety – heavy on the cream cheese, light on the crab, fried crispy and served with a sweet sauce. The were, of course, awesome in that way that fried pillows of cream cheese often are. The beef and broccoli was nothing special but with fresh, crisp broccoli and a garlicky sauce, it was better than most of the pictures-above-the-counter Chinese joints in town. I did not enjoy Peony’s spicy tuna roll. It was small and inexplicably filled with tempura flakes, which hid the flavor of the fish. Packaged with the beef and broccoli, the roll was also unappealingily room temperature. The premium rolls however were solid and fresh and at $12 for two large, fish-heavy rolls – a good deal.

Peony is in no way revolutionizing Durham’s dining scene, but it is offering a mix of affordable Asian-influenced eats in the midst of an abundance of chain restaurants. While not necessarily a destination spot, if you happen to live in the area – it’s a reliable take-out option and a convenient way to get your sushi fix. Peony offers a more low-key and quiet option to the bustling,  student-filled favorites Sushi Love and Shiki Sushi.

Peony Asian Bistro
3515 Witherspoon Blvd # 108  Durham, NC 27707
(919) 419-8800 (take-out was ready in just 10 minutes)


  • Steph said:

    We recently moved away from Durham (sad!) after 5 1/2 years and I have to say that we got Peony take-out more than once a month. We thought their sushi was consistently delicious (the fish is very fresh) and a very good deal. Even if you don’t like raw fish, they have many delicious cooked-fish options; our favorite was the bagel roll (deep-friend salmon and cream cheese): amazing! The Chinese food is INFINITELY better than at standard Chinese restaurants: they use a lot of fresh vegetables and they don’t overcook them. Peony is definitely the best restaurant in Patterson Place and they aim to please (with dine-in and take-out). Enjoy!


  • DrDaddy said:

    I posted an earlier review of my visit to Peony this morning to my website, DoctorDaddyCooks. Mostly very positive. Need to get back there!


  • Wenchmaid said:

    My boyfriend took me there for a quick, cheap sushi lunch. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what it felt like. The sushi was room temp to almost warm, completely ruining it for me. I won’t be returning.


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