We wanted to eat here on our first night in Kennett Square, but the line was so long that we couldn’t even get into the restaurant to give our names. The next night, we went earlier and got in with ease. It was then I realized how remarkable it was for them to be so packed. The restaurant was huge. A dining room in the front, a passageway lined with tables, and then another room hidden in the back. During the course of our meal, it gradually filled up.
Our appetizers were amazing, and the high point of the meal. The fried calamari was better than what I’ve had at even the best Italian restaurants. Crispy, cut into strips, and placed atop a bed of a salty, peppery salad, acting as a nice condiment. Then there were spring rolls, filled with the unusual combination of shrimp, avocado, and mushrooms (the local specialty). Certainly they were the best I’ve ever had (I feel like I’ve said that a lot on this trip), as was the case with the spicy mayo it came served with. This simple appetizer brought together a lot of flavors and textures: crunchy, crispy, creamy, earthy, salty, spicy, and savory.
The meals, on the other hand, were not so spectacular. My friend had two different sushi rolls. The first was the mushroom roll which was bland and boring. It appeared to literally be cooked, un-seasoned mushrooms wrapped in the usual way. It tasted like nothing and did not look great either. A heavy-handed disappointment in this, the mushroom capital of the world. His other roll (which I can’t remember) was slightly better. My hibachi chicken, meanwhile, was good if not just above average. But after how spectacular the appetizers were, I was expecting it to be better. A sweet potato roll I added on the side came tempura fried and was excellent. So I guess things were just a little all over the place.
With the way the evening started, I was getting ready to go with a 5 or at least a 4.5, but because of how sub-par his meal was, I’ll have to go down to 4 out of 5 stars. I would like to go back again, and try a few new dishes, and maybe we can up the score a little. (And as a side note and major plus, Lily’s is a BYOB)
Lily Asian Cuisine is located at 104 West State Street in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.