This Friday, Edgmont Township gains a new restaurant—Sang Kee Noodle Bowl—the fifth location of Michael Chow's well-loved Chinese eatery.
Owned and operated by Win and Sutida Somboonsong of Win Signature Restaurants—owners of Media's and Newtown Square's Teikoku—Sang Kee Noodle Bowl will feature many of the traditional menu items from Michael Chow's other restaurant locations.
The menu includes a lot of typical Chinese-American dishes, like chicken spring rolls ($1.50), crispy coconut shrimp with mango sauce ($8), and teriyaki chicken salad ($9). Noodle bowls—containing chicken broth, vegetables, noodles and a form of protein (roasted pork or duck, shrimp dumpling, braised beef, seafood, chicken) range from $6 to $8.50, besides the house special, priced at $12.
Larger entrees, like General Taos chicken or pineapple chicken in black bean sauce, range from $12 to $16. The menu also features a number of vegetarian dishes and Sang Kee's Famous Peking Duck ($19).
The kitchen staff of the new restaurant spent a month training at Sang Kee under Michael Chow and his chefs, learning about the ingredients, cooking techniques and all other aspects of preparation, Sutida Somboonsong said.
Sang Kee Noodle Bowl will move into 4755 West Chester Pike, the previous home of the Somboonsongs' steakhouse Parker's Prime. The couple closed the steakhouse on May 25 for economic reasons.
"I think the concept of a steakhouse does not fit the economy right now," Somboonsong explained. "Weekends were a little slow, and people would [mainly] come in on special occasions."
Sang Kee boasts an inexpensive and family-friendly menu, so Somboonsong thinks it will be a good change.
"We like to bring comfort food to people—something they can afford and in a place they can feel comfortable in—so Sang Kee is a great fit for us," she explained.
The couple has loved Sang Kee's food since they started eating there as college students in the 1980s, Somboonsong said. The couple's children attended the Haverford School alongside Chow's kids, and this past year, the couple ran into Chow at Sang Kee Noodle House and got to talking about business, concerns over Parker's Prime, and the Somboonsongs' desire to serve comfort food.
"[Chow] said 'I think Sang Kee would be a perfect fit; if you want to do it, I'll be willing to help you,'" Somboonsong said.
And so the transformation from ultra-American steakhouse to Chinese restaurant began.
Besides the change in cuisine, the restaurant has undergone some major redecorating. Splashes of red, gold and black adorn the walls, alongside Chinese characters and other touches. A glass room that once displayed wine bottles will now display traditional Chinese ingredients. A number of dividers have been removed to make the space more open and inviting, Somboonsong said. (See the photo gallery, above right, for a peek at the changes.)
Even though their doors aren't officially open yet, the response has been good.
"Since we put up the [banners] outside the restaurant last week, people have started coming in," Somboonsong said. "Many of them are saying 'Thank you for bringing Chinese food to the area.' People are saying that there is no Chinese restaurant between Route 252 and Route 352—so there's a need here."
Because the restaurant is located right next to the Regal in Edgmont Square, the Somboonsongs are offering a "dinner and a movie" deal for the first month of business. Patrons who present their movie tickets to their servers will receive a complimentary bowl of wonton soup.
Sang Kee Noodle Bowl opens for business on Friday, Aug. 12—and customers have already called to make reservations.
"We have a good feeling," Somboonsong said cheerily.
Sang Kee Noodle Bowl is located at 4755 West Chester Pike, in the Edgmont Square Shopping Center. The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday from 12 to 9 p.m.