October 23, 2015
DAVID ZOELLER | The Sun – Partners in the new Chin Restaurant, located in the former Office Max location in the Kentucky Oaks Plaza behind Kentucky Oaks Mall, are (from left) Jun Yan, Ben Huang and Chris Nikolic. The restaurant celebrated its grand opening Thursday.
Kentucky Oaks Plaza has a new tenant – and Paducah a new place for Asian cuisine – with the opening of Chin Restaurant on Thursday in the former Office Max building behind Kentucky Oaks Mall.
Attendees at a grand opening for the restaurant were treated to a complimentary meal to christen the new, 23,600-square-foot eatery.
“You will be truly amazed at what they have done,” said Mike Felker, property manager for the Kentucky Oaks Mall complex. “This has raised the bar for restaurants in western Kentucky to a new level. When you go inside, you’re going to feel like you’ve entered a time machine to 200-300 years in the past to China. They’ve not overlooked a single detail.”
According to Felker, the new owners spent 29 weeks remodeling the interior.
“Of course, all of our food tenants are very important, but this is truly something special and unique,” Felker said.
The new buffet-style restaurant will feature a wide assortment of Asian cuisines, including a sushi station. It will be open Monday through Thursday 4 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Owner Ben Huang is involved in several other restaurants in the United States, the closest being in Carbondale, Illinois. He has been around restaurants practically his whole life; his parents had one in China.
“As a kid growing up, all I knew was one thing … restaurants,” Huang said.
“We’re trying to bring in a new concept for the Asian food,” Huang said. “A lot of Asian restaurants don’t have a very good presentation. My thinking is we can do a little better.”
Huang said he and his partners made it a point to have everything organized to allow enough space to showcase the food.
“Of course, food quality is still the main thing,” Huang said. “We use smaller containers (to display the food), so we don’t put a lot on it, so we rotate it faster to keep the food quality up.”
The hibachi area is designed to accommodate a variety of options.
“We can have anything you want, seafood, salmon, steak … we may do a catfish night. We can do something different (on different occasions),” Huang said.
According to Huang, the restaurant staff will pay attention to customers and make sure to review comment cards.
In brief remarks before a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Huang drew some laughs from the audience when he said: “Anything we do not do perfectly, let me know that and I’ll try to do better … by tomorrow.”