Ding Asian Fusion is the latest venture of Szechuan Bistro, a popular Chinese restaurant on Memorial Road near Edmond. With the following Szechuan Bistro has built up since it opened, I would think they would want to keep the same name with the new restaurant, but for whatever reason they have changed it.
In some ways they have changed the concept at the new restaurant. Ding serves sushi and Thai fried rice (thus the “Asian Fusion” part of the name). The main menu looks to be much the same as at Szechuan Bistro–spicy Sichuan style entrees with smaller servings available as lunch specials. Ding does not have the “whiteboard specials” of authentic Sichuanese dishes that are available at Szechuan Bistro, though.
I am not surprised that the restaurant in Bethany would have fewer authentic dishes than the Edmond branch. It was somewhat surprising, though, that the Chinese dishes served at Ding seem to have the same authentic flavor that is found at Szechuan Bistro. Moreover, the lunch specials contain the same dishes I have found to have an authentic Chinese flavor, including the shredded pork in garlic sauce (while other dishes such as the Chinese eggplant are available from the regular menu).
The ambiance is very nice, prices are good, and lunch specials come with soup and rice (the hot and sour soup here is definitely among the best in OKC).
Shredded Pork in Garlic Sauce
The first thing I wanted to do at Ding was to see if it had the same food that is served at Szechuan Bistro. Other than the changes in the menu I have already mentioned, I think the answer is yes.
Shredded Pork in Garlic Sauce is a great choice for lunch provided the garlic will not be an issue for you (I have already determined that I do not want to book a dentist appointment after eating this dish). The sauce is very well balanced and not too sweet. The vegetables are crispy and flavorful, and overall this is one of my favorite Chinese dishes.
The ironic thing about this dish is that it serves as a replacement for what was my original favorite Chinese dish in Oklahoma City–the shredded pork at Lotus Mandarin (which was located on 38th Street a couple of blocks from where Ding is now located). So if there are any other “old timers” out there who enjoyed Lotus Mandarin as I did, I would recommend checking out Ding. (The flavors of Ding really remind me of Lotus Mandarin, except that I think Ding offers a greater variety of authentic Chinese dishes).
Hot and Sour Soup
This is one of the soup choices available, and is the one I recommend if you like spicy food (although I don’t think the soup here is as spicy as at Szechuan Bistro).
A Note About the Spicy Sichuan Dishes
Ding has chiles on the menu next to spicy items–either one, two, or three chiles. The shredded pork in garlic sauce has one chile, which I found to be barely noticeable on the spice level. This is fine with me, because I liked the dish, but I just want to make the comment that a dish with one chile is barely spicy at all (and many menu items have no chiles).
While I think the flavor of Ding matches Szechuan Bistro, the spice level apparently does not. I think this is in keeping with Ding being an Asian Fusion restaurant rather than a Sichuanese one.
Hours: Closed Mon.
Smoking: No smoking
Most Recent Visit: Dec. 29, 2016
Number of Visits: 1
Best Item: Shredded Pork in Garlic Sauce