WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Asian cuisine has taken off in popularity in Westchester because of a growing number of health conscious consumers, said Peter Chen, who has opened Red Plum, his second Pan Asian restaurant, in the former location of Nicky’s Restaurant in White Plains.
Chen opened the original Red Plum in Mamaroneck about 10 years ago when he said the only other Asian restaurant in the village was Abis, which has since closed. Now, there are about a hand full in downtown Mamaroneck alone.
He said his business is not only the most consistently successful Asian restaurant in Mamaroneck, but said its success has helped revitalize the once sleepy avenue. Now he hopes to accomplish the same with his White Plains location, which had its grand opening Monday, July 28.
With Asian cuisine, hibachi and a lounge, Chen said Red Plum has broad appeal that has made it successful. Another element to its success is that Asian food offers many healthy choices.
“Any cruise you go on, any vacation you go on anywhere sushi is one of the top options out there because of the fact that fish is healthy for you overall,” Chen said, adding sushi has no fat or cholesterol.
Some of their signature dishes include Pad Tai and sushi, along with the Birds Nest, which includes chicken and shrimp sautéed with bell peppers and sweat peas all inside a taro basket (made of potato). Another popular dish is the coconut seafood chowder, which Chen said won an award. It includes scallops, clams, potato, shrimp and corn with a milky coconut cream.
Red Plum’s chefs are Chen’s brothers-in-law, who he said were high-end chefs in Japan and are very creative.
With competition in White Plains from Haiku – which is also in Mamaroneck – Asian Temptation and Full Moon, Chen said he is focusing on making Red Plum the best it can be.
“I don’t worry about what other people do, I worry about my own business and try to do our best, keep up the quality and consistency of the food and service,” he said. “And that’s what we’re about. And people see that.”
“It’s always good to have another restaurant,” said Kevin Nunn, executive director of the White Plains Business Improvement District. “Restaurants do better when there are many around them. So, we’re looking forward to a very successful operation here. And I think it will be.”
Red Plum is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. and Sunday from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. The bar stays open late.