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“Great Place to Eat” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sao Asian Bistro

Sao Asian Bistro
2800 17th St, Marion, IL 62959-4989
618-993-2828
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Ranked #1 of 82 Restaurants in Marion
Price range: $29 - $31
Cuisines: Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Williamson County Parkway
Description: Sao Asian Bistro is located in Marion, Illinois. The Bistro's upscale atmosphere provides an ideal setting for business meetings or dinner with family and friends. Voted one of the Nation's top 100 Chinese Restaurants in 2006 and 2008, the Bistro's menu features not only a variety of traditional Asian cuisines, but also a great selection of Asian-Western infused dishes. The Bistro uses the best selection of fresh produce, poultry, seafood and fine cuts of meat to please all of our guests' satisfaction. For the Sushi lover, we also carries an assortment of Sushi rolls, Nigiris, and Sashimis. All prepared fresh by order. Wine has always been an important part of the dining experience. We strive to create an atmosphere where our guests can relax and enjoy their favorite wine or feel comfortable trying something new. A full bar is also avail we have a large assortment of top shelf spirits, a fine selection of beers from all over the world, and varieties of sake.
O'Fallon, Illinois, USA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Great Place to Eat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

A lot of variety and taste of food was wonderful. The wait staff was knowledgeable and attentive. We enjoyed our visit tremendously.

Visited October 2012
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86 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    56
    19
    8
    3
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, IL
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
127 helpful votes 127 helpful votes
“The wow factor!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

From the moment you walk into Sao Asian Bistro, you are impressed. There is a quiet elegance here with dark wood tables and booths separated by etched glass with koi pond motives and tables at windows that overlook an Asian garden complete with a running water feature, plantings and an arbor with vines. And if the ambiance alone doesn't wow you, then wait until you see the menu. It is literally a book offering different styles of Asian cuisine, from Japanese sushi, to Korean bulgogi, to Thai curry and everything Chinese.

I had my doubts that a chef could be that adept at that many types of Asian cooking without flavors running together and the cuisines losing their distinctiveness. But I was wrong. Kudos to the chef at Sao Asian Bistro. He/she knows flavors and styles and that makes this restaurant far more than just a place offering Chinese food.

My husband and I know and like lots of different types of Asian food, so we had a hard time determining what to order off the extensive menu. We decided to cross a few cultures and started out with a Japanese sushi spider roll (soft shelled crab) appetizer, which came as 10 pieces and was delicious. Our soy sauce for the sushi was served fresh to the table in a small white cruet. We followed that with an entree of poached sea bass cooked Thai style with red curry. It came with lots of vegetables that were not overcooked and kiwi fruit all in a beautiful presentation. From the sushi to the bass, the flavors were amazing. This is food and flavor that could easily be found in a big city restaurant.

The restaurant has a full bar and an extensive wine list that includes some local Illinois wines. The night we were there the owner walked from table to table checking on diners and asking if they enjoyed the food and drink. It doesn't get much better than this!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Illinois
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Better than Expected”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

My 15 year old son and I were in town for a college football game nearby. I let him choose the restaurant. He chose the Sao Asian Bistro and I am glad he did. He had the Hunan Beef and I had the Crispy Honey Chicken. We also ordered a side of Fried Rice. The Hunan Beef was very tendor and had just the right amount of "heat" to it. The Honey Fried Chicken was sweet, but succelent. The Fried Rice was also good. All serving sizes were more than ample. The service was very good. Overall, we enjoyed our meal and went back to the hotel with smile's on our faces.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Good food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012 via mobile

Took my grandson, who was starving after school, to very late lunch/very early dinner at Asian Bistro which is his favorite restaurant. We were about 15 minutes from the latest they serve lunch and were offered lunch menus ( with cheaper prices) and dinner menus. Of course with few diners there at that odd time, we received excellent service. Soup hot and delicious, as were dumplings and our entrees. Tea glasses refilled promptly. We ordered a take home meal also when we ordered. It was brought hot and securely packaged when the bill was delivered. We have unfailingly received excellent food and service every time we have eaten at Asian Bistro.

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Carbondale, Illinois
1 review
“Excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

The food at Asian Bistro is so good! Especially the meat, it is tender and falls apart (we recommend the Mongolian Beef or Spicy Pork Korean style) . They even have a nice spicy dipping sauce if you ask for it. Go at night, the atmosphere is cozier.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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