I went to Teak last night for the first time ever and was very pleasantly surprised by my experience. Unbeknownst to me, it was recently taken over by the owner of two other restaurants I have previously enjoyed -- Zoe (in Little Silver) and The Bistro (in Red Bank).
Many of the signature and unique menu items are still available, with new twists in an almost Asian fusion meets Mexican cuisine (lots of peppers!). The menu is simple but each item is very different than other Asian resturants you have been too. There is a sushi menu on one side, and then another side that offers small hot plates, small cold plates, noodles and rice menu, and large plates. I decided to sample a little bit of everything to get the full experience.
We started off with of course one of their sushi rolls -- the Forbidden Black Roll with black rice, tuna, scallion, spicy sauce, and topped with jalapenos.
Other rolls they feature that sounded yummy were the Royalty Roll (avocado, king crab, and mango sauce), Black Mamba (black rice, shrimp tempura, and avocado topped with banana tempura and spicy King Crab), and the Monmouth Street Veggie Tempura Roll (pumpkin, mushroom, asparagus, and sweet potato).
There was a wide selection of both hot and cold plates that sounded delicious, but we opted for two hot plates to split: Pork Belly in a soft and sweet bun with cucumbers, and the Wok Spiced Crispy Calamari served with red onions, bell peppers, and sweet chili sauce. The Seven Spiced Calamari salad sounded delicious with green apples, cashews, and a miso lime dressing, as well as the Rigo Tuna Tartare with lime, ginger-soy, avocado, and smelt roe, and the Edamame dumplings with coconut rum sauce. I was also tempted to order off the Noodles and rice menu, but couldn't get carried away since we split an entree hot plate as well.
I would like to try the Sabu Sabu Stir fry with Thai basil, bell peppers, garlic, market vegetables, and jasmine rice, the Drunken Man Noodles made with chow fun noodles, bell peppers, onions, bamboo thai basil, chili, soy reduction, bok choy, and egg, or the Pineapple fried rice made with bell peppers, carrots, celery, onion, and egg.
After two beers each and all of our samples, we could have called it quits after that, but the large plates menu was so mouth watering to read that we had to narrow down the selection to split. The Free Range Chicken Teriyaki looked good, cooked with ginger-infused Japanese sweet potato puree and grilled asparagus, as well as the Sesame crusted Tuna Steak with asian slaw and cilantro yuzu aioli, and the Cantonese Style NY Strip Steak, grilled and served with scallion mashed potatoes and tempura onion rings with Cantonese sauce.
We had to order the Short Ribs, however, cooked to perfection in a low sodium soy sauce and served with garlic sauteed spinach and mashed potatoes. We left full and happy, although regretting not trying the desserts. The Green apple spring roll, Green Tea Creme Brulee, and Banana Fritters all sounded amazing and unique to the menu. To boot, the server gave us a complimentary bowl of shoshito peppers for the table, grilled and topped with sesame seeds, which we could not keep our hands off of while we were waiting for our food.
All in all, Teak has proved to be an Asian restuarant at its best, serving dishes you cannot typically get anyone else. For more information, visit www.teakrestaurant.com, call 732-747-5775 or just