reign charlotte

Reign Restaurant & Lounge has been open for about a month. Their menu focuses heavily on Asian cuisines from Japan, Thailand and Vietnam. With a slight contemporary spin on some authentic dishes they remain respectful to the roots of each.

Debuting their menu to a group of us at a soft opening, we were all taken by surprise when dancers jumped out after an incredibly loud gong to perform a traditional Japanese Tiger Dance. They were full of energy and got up close and personal with a couple of us, batting their huge eyelashes near our heads. It was the perfect addition of entertainment to a night ahead full of food, drink and friends.

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Bao Buns | Tapas | Sushi

Throughout the menu you will see familiar ingredients like pork belly, wagyu beef, kimchi and spicy tuna. There are also unique names that not all of you will recognize like kataifi, frisee and furikake. These are not American names and you aren’t expected to know what they are. I think that’s the point. It’s what makes Asian Fusion restaurants so exciting. They give you a chance to try new styles and types of food. With a knowledgeable staff and creative chefs, it seems as though Reign will keep you on your toes.

Here are a few food items, and drinks, we were treated to during the pre-opening dinner.

Wonton Salmon Roll | salmon, masago, avocado, shiso leaves, sweet chili sauce
Bao Buns | hoisin glazed pork belly with pickled veggie
Spider Roll | soft shell crab, masago, candied bacon, asparagus, cucumber, eel sauce
License to Eel | eel, avocado, cucumber, shitake mushroom, furikake, eel sauce

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Pork Belly Rice Crispy Treat | gochujang honey sauce, sweet soy

My favorite of the evening (of course) had something to do with pork belly. Whoa. With each bite you got sticky, sweet, juicy, savory and crunchy all at once. It was heavenly. Even though it’s under the Tapas menu I think it would make a great meal by itself. Set me up with this and a cocktail and I’m good to go!

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Chef Special | wagyu enoki beef roll

This was the Chef Special of the night. It was peppery, tender and savory. You still had to use a knife and fork to cut through all of the meat and veggies. Too bad we only got two of these to share because they could have been eaten up like a plate full of spring rolls!

Using a high quality meat to simply roll up veggies showed me they aren’t afraid to think outside the box. To use ingredients in a fun new way makes the dining experience more than just about how the food tastes but also about how it’s presented in a way you might never have seen before. I look forward to seeing what other Chef Specials they create.

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Netflix & Chill | caramel vodka, baileys, buttershots, rumchata, caramel syrup topped with a spear of mini marshmallows.

We tried several cocktails and this one was my favorite. Not everyone liked it because it was very sweet but I claimed it as my dessert so no big deal. I think all three of these drinks ended up in my hand at one point too :) I’ve always been a fan of Rumchata and I though the name was clever. If you have a catchy name it sticks!

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Thanks to Reign Charlotte, the awesome company of my fellow food friends and our plus ones for a fun evening uptown.

See you at the next event! Xo

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