Chef Johnny Chen explains stone bowl dining
Whether it’s a craving for Japanese, Chinese, Korean or Thai food, Stone Bowl will aim to satisfy it all.
The new pan-Asian and sushi restaurant at 5516 Manatee Ave. W. replaces Derek’s Rustic Coastal Cuisine, which closed in June. Derek Barnes, who still owns the 2,600-square-foot property, said owner Jim Pan has a proven track record of successful restaurants.
It’s not just sushi; we have Asian food, too. People will have a lot of options.
Chef Johnny Chen
“We had a lot of nothing and then all of a sudden a bunch of potential clients came through,” Barnes said of finding a new tenant for the space. “Our little segment here in Northwest Bradenton doesn’t really offer anything for what they are going to offer, so it just made sense in my mind.”
Stone Bowl will offer a variety of Asian cuisines with a portion of the menu dedicated to stone bowl dishes. This is the element that will set Stone Bowl apart from other Asian restaurants in Bradenton, chef Johnny Chen said. The stone bowls are heated over an open flame, the desired dish is scooped into the bowl and then served to guests.
“It keeps the food hot for a long time,” Pan said. “As you eat it, it still keeps it hot.”
The idea is similar to the East Asian dish known as hot pot, where diners sit around a pot of simmering stock used to cook meat, vegetables, wontons and dumplings.
Happy hour will be from 3-6 p.m. and include 2-for-1 drink specials as well as discounts on food.
Pan and Chen both have 20 years in the restaurant business and have worked in establishments in New York City as well as the Bradenton-Sarasota area. Together they crafted the Stone Bowl menu, which also includes a lengthy list of sushi rolls and appetizers.
“Sushi is not always raw fish,” Chen said, referring to a common misconception about the cuisine.
Pan hopes to open Stone Bowl in a couple of weeks. With indoor and patio seating, the restaurant can accommodate roughly 150 people.
The restaurant plans to be open all seven days and is hiring for all positions. Anyone interested in working at Stone Bowl can call the restaurant at 941-761-8899.