The people behind Dallas’ Preston Center’s Jia Modern Chinese are opening a second, more casual restaurant in east Dallas.
Jia Asian Bistro will open in mid-September 2022 on Gaston Road in the Arboretum Village shopping centre, and will be a smaller sister restaurant to the two-storey Jia Modern Chinese which opened on Preston Road in 2019.
Fawn Zhao, chef and general manager of both restaurants, said Jia Asian Bistro’s menu will feature the same Chinese classics and sushi bar as the Preston Center restaurant, but will also incorporate Thai dishes. She said she was particularly excited about the new Thai menu, which she developed.
“Lakewood residents won’t have to drive far to get good Thai, Chinese and Japanese food,” Zhao says.
Zhao, who is originally from Beijing and worked in restaurants in Kansas and Dallas before opening Jia Modern Chinese with his dining partners, says the restaurant specializes in Shanghai-style Chinese cuisine, which is lighter than other regional Chinese dishes. Like Jia Modern, the bistro will also serve beer, wine and cocktails.
Jia Modern Chinese’s executive chef, Yung Tai Chiang, was previously chef at Szechwan Pavilion, a Chinese restaurant that operated in the same location as Jia Modern Chinese in the 1990s. Zhao says Chiang oversees all Chinese dishes on the menu.
Chiang’s kitchen produces neat mounds of fragrant fried rice, crispy beef, bright orange chicken and pork wontons in a bright Szechuan chili sauce. The sushi bar offers spectacular presentations with flaming sauces and sashimi chilled on glowing ice.
Zhao says she hopes the East Dallas bistro finds a stable group of regular customers like Jia Modern. These regular customers helped keep the restaurant running during the toughest days of the pandemic.
Zhao waved at a man sitting at the Jia Modern sushi bar who she said comes in every day. “Restaurants don’t really make money, we just make friends,” she says.
Jia Asian Bistro is located at 7325 Gaston Ave., Dallas. jiamodernchinese.com.