Open Rice, a casual restaurant serving authentic Hong Kong cuisine, quietly opened last month in the Blakeney Shopping Center — but word is spreading fast.
It’s the latest restaurant from former Pisces owners Bryan Li, Jason Chung and Raymond Lau and given the duo’s track record with that successful sushi concept, expectations are high for Open Rice.
The roughly 4,000-square-foot space has a modern minimalist aesthetic with seating for 120 inside and 30 outside on the patio.
The extensive menu with a heavy Cantonese influence features traditional street food, teppanyaki, noodle soups, rice and noodle dishes and hearty Hong Kong-style baked dishes.
It’s the kind of food Li and Chung grew up eating and they’ve been eager to bring it to Charlotte.
The roasted duck ($17.95 half/$32.95 whole) and char siu ($14.95), a Cantonese-style barbecued pork, are two popular shareable dishes my server said routinely sell out. And the large cast iron rice dishes ($16.95-$22.95) and the pineapple fried rice ($15.95) served in a hollowed pineapple half are showstoppers.
Plan to order a big family-style spread to share with a crowd, which is what the “open rice” expression, a symbol of family and joy, is all about in Hong Kong.
Be sure to save room for dessert because as soon as you see one of Open Rice’s customizable bubble waffles come out of the kitchen, you’re going to want one.
The eye-catching Hong Kong street food, also known as egg puffs or egg waffles, is an airy, made-to-order pancake-style cone filled with your choice of ice cream, toppings and drizzles.
Ice cream (choose one): vanilla, chocolate, green tea, cookies & cream
Toppings (choose two): Fruity Pebbles, Oreo, Kit Kat, M&Ms, Reese’s, sprinkles, graham cracker, Pocky, chocolate chips, whipped cream, strawberry, pineapple, mini marshmallow, gummy bear
Drizzles (choose two): chocolate, caramel, strawberry, green tea, condensed milk
Open Rice is located at 9882 Rea Road in the Blakeney Shopping Center and is open for lunch and dinner service daily.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday; noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday; and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday.