PEKIN, Ill -- Steve and Jin Chen opened the Ginger Asian Bistro on the lot of the old Pekin mall six months ago, offering a wide selection of Chinese, Thai and Japanese Teriyaki dishes
"Everything is fresh cooked and everything has no MSG," says Jin Chen. "We have our different style here, so people love that."
Jin Chen says they have been relying on word of mouth advertising since then.
That's worked so far for the regular customers bringing in friends.
Zack Helms from Pekin says,"$4.95 for the lunch special plus your drink, you're usually under $8.00 for a large lunch."
"Large portions, very very reasonable and very delicious," says Linda Clark
She and her husband Roy have been back every week the past couple months."
"I got the Black Peppered Beef," says regular customer Ted Beaupre. "My all-time favorite though is the Szechuan Sea Bass, because it's really spicy and sweet."
Steve Chen does most of the cooking himself, and he cooks to order.
If you want your meal hotter or sweeter, just ask him.
Guest photo-journalist and News 25 newcomer Beau Ebenezer had the Chicken Thai Fried Rice.
He was satisfied, but he wishes he would have asked Steve to make it spicier.
I could have used a little more sweet on my Coconut Curry Chicken, but I see what the regulars mean when they say the flavor tastes fresh and authentic.
The Crab Rangoon may be the best I've ever had.
Jin says they're fully stuffed and fried by Steve himself.
Our total plus tip was $24.81.
That comes with fortune cookies of course.
You can also order take-out or host parties at Ginger Asian Bistro, but one option you won't have is a buffet.
"We don't like buffet things to put on there, because it's not fresh, and that style's just gone," says Jin Chen. "It's not like real Asian or Chinese style."
Ginger Asian Bistro is at 3560 Court Street in Pekin.
They are open 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Monday through Thursday.
They stay open until 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and they are open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sundays.