Hao Asian Fusion Great Idea Not so great execution.
Hao Asian Fusion Restaurant has a great idea in offering dishes from several different Asian cuisines. The execution of that idea? Not so great. I’ve always wanted to try Korean, Vietnamese, and Thai cuisines but was afraid if I went to say, a Vietnamese restaurant and didn’t like it, I’d have wasted money and still be hungry.
I got my wish in the menu of Hao. Their menu boasts such dishes as Korean BBQ short ribs, Pad Thai, Vietnamese noodle soup, and of course Chinese dishes.
With unfamiliar tastes and flavors, I stick with one or two selections that I know how it tastes, then branch out to the untried. Sadly one of my go-to dishes, Kung Pao Beef, left a lot to be desired in texture and flavor. It was edible but that’s just about it.
Okay, now that the bad news is out of the way. The Vietnamese fresh spring rolls were a delight. Sweet shrimp, crunchy cabbage, crisp cucumbers, a basil leaf, and rice noodles wrapped in rice paper. If you’re wondering about the basil leaf, it adds just a touch of anise. The shrimp were larger, sliced shrimp rather than the little itty bitty shrimp that have a tendency to shrivel up. These spring rolls are cold not fried. It isn’t easy getting the rice paper the right texture to wrap up all that yumminess. I know I’ve tried and ended up with gelatinous glop. The dipping sauce had a soupcon — don’t ya just love that word soupcon — of mirin, as well as a hint of heat and complimented the refreshing spring roll.
The Orange Chicken featured morsels of white meat, dipped in egg, flour and seasonings and then deep fried. The resulting dish – which is actually an Americanized take on Chinese — is moist chicken pillowed in a crisp coating. The chicken was topped with an orange — hence the name — somewhat spicy sauce. I’m pleased to say that the dish was good. I would have added some freshly grated orange peel zest to pull out the citrus flavors more, but that’s just me.
The food presentation was clean and appealing with the food served on white square dishes. The restaurant’s décor was brown — brown wood floor, tables, banquettes, and bar stools. The only pop of color was the orange upholstery on the bar stools.
Hao Asian Fusion restaurant located at 11849 N. Saguaro Blvd in Fountain Hills has got great potential. It could be good enough to draw folks from Scottsdale. Oh — the entrance is hard to find. It’s on the west side of the building, not the front. The door is nondescript for a minute I thought it was the delivery entrance. A couple of potted plants would let customers know that the door is the entrance.