Ballston is about to get an influx of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese foods. All of those varieties will be served up at Red Parrot Asian Bistro (1110 N. Glebe Road) when it opens next week.
Workers are setting up furniture and making finishing touches on the restaurant, so owner Wendy Cheng expects to have a soft opening by next Thursday (February 14), with a grand opening in March. She already has two successful Red Parrot restaurants in Maryland, and had been looking to open an Arlington location for a while.
“Arlington’s a great place,” Cheng said. “We want people to enjoy, to explore more good food. I think we’re right for here, a great restaurant for all these people.”
Cheng is originally from Hong Kong and used to be an engineer. She has a number of family members in the food industry and eventually decided to open her own restaurant due to a passion for cooking and an enjoyment of customers.
“We love cooking and I decided engineering is really not for me. I’m a people person,” Cheng said. “I’m a foodie and I’m a good chef myself.”
Instead of only offering one variety of Asian food, Red Parrot takes popular dishes from many cultures — such as Chinese dim sum, Japanese sushi and udon noodles, Vietnamese pho, Thai curry and pad Thai, Korean bibimbap and freshly made Malaysian roti flatbread. Less traditional items include cheesesteak egg rolls, spicy chicken wings and grilled ribeye steak.
“When you look at Chinese restaurants, they have all kinds of good food, and then a lot of things you’ll never order,” said Cheng. “I just want the best. I just picked the good items.”
Cheng said Red Parrot uses high quality ingredients and has high food turnover to make sure it stays fresh and flavorful. She noted that, for example, many Asian restaurants use lower quality or frozen seafood that doesn’t taste as good or has an unpleasant texture. She boasted that even the lobsters used in some of the Red Parrot entrees and the sushi are fresh.
“We focus on quality. I focus on everything from scratch, very high quality,” she said. “I love food. So I enjoy seeing people enjoying the food.”
Head Chef Sotheerny Massey is from Thailand and also prides herself on the fresh foods made from scratch. She pointed out that even the noodles are made fresh in-house.
“We plan all the food together, it’s great, we come up with ideas,” said Massey. ”Sometimes the customers want to talk. We are happy when our customers like our food.”
The Red Parrot’s food will be available for carry out and for delivery within about a five mile radius. There will be happy hour specials at the restaurant from 2:00-6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. In addition to drink specials, happy hour will include discounts on selected foods like sushi and appetizers.
The restaurant is hiring immediately for a number of positions including bartenders, servers and hostesses. Applicants should call Wendy at 443-506-3042 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.