Khan’s Mongolian Grill adds spice at a reasonable price

December 4, 2008

By Jim Feehan

Khan’s Mongolian Grill offers a simple concept done to perfection. Specializing in Asian cuisine, meals are cooked while you watch, consisting of a wide variety of meats, seasonings, sauces, noodles and a virtual vegetable garden — including celery, carrots, peppers, bean sprouts, mushrooms, cabbage, onions and broccoli — to select from.

Khan’s is a create-your-own-dish restaurant — its motto is “We cook your creations.”In a cafeteria-style setting, customers begin by selecting the size of their bowl: medium ($6.95), large ($8.50) or children’s ($4.25). You then heap the amount of noodles and vegetables and fruits into the bowl. Big fan of mushrooms? Bring it on. Then, you submit your custom dish to the cook, select your desired meat and sauce, and it is cooked right in front of you.

If you end up not liking it, it’s your own fault. The meat selections include beef, pork, chicken and fish. Tofu is also available. Lamb is $1.50 extra, shrimp is $2.50 more and extra portions of meat set you back an additional $2.50. If you get carried away, a heaping bowl is $1 extra.

Khan’s offers a wide variety of sauces, including Mongolian (soy sauce, sugar, wine and ginger), spicy peanut, sweet and sour sauce, mushroom, a low-calorie sauce, plum and hoisin (soy bean, garlic, chili, vinegar and sugar).

Mongolian cooking came to China with the invasion by Genghis Khan in the 13th century. Stretching across Eurasia from Hungary over the steppes of Russia to Korea, and extending down into Jerusalem, Persia, the Indian subcontinent and China, the Mongol Empire was the largest the world ever has known.

According to tradition, the invention of the Mongolian grill arose when Khan’s encamped armies built bonfires and used their round iron shields as a cooking surface over hot embers.

Today, spatula-wielding performance artists/chefs slice and dice through an abundance of fresh meats and vegetables. They move expertly around a superheated, circular, 6-foot cast-iron grill, constantly stirring and chopping all in front of the customer.

The result, when mixed with steamed rice, is a sizzling, heaping plate of lean meat and healthful vegetables, cooked to perfection. The plum sauce with chicken was divine.

The service is prompt and straightforward with no long waits. The simple, clean and visually appealing layout, accented by Asian-themed watercolor prints in the dining area, is a definite highlight.

Conquer your craving for a simple, well-priced alternative to the usual order out teriyaki. Khan’s is much more interactive and fun.

If you go

Khan’s Mongolian Grill

755 Gilman Blvd.
369-9790
Open daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Entrees cost from $6.95 to $8.50.

Reach reporter Jim Feehan at 392-6234, ext. 239, or jfeehan@isspress.com.

Restaurant reviews are a regular feature of The Issaquah Press. Reviewers visit restaurants unannounced and pay in full for all their meals.

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