50°F
weather icon Overcast

Moderate climate attracts restaurant owner

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an occasional series showcasing new businesses in town.

Like many Boulder City residents, Victor Lieu moved to the city to get away from cold, snowy winters.

Heat is a crucial element for Lieu, especially when it comes to preparing some of his house specialties at his new restaurant, China Bistro, which offers Asian fusion cuisine.

“It takes high heat,” he said about preparing his dishes. “Everything is made fresh to order using only the freshest ingredients of the highest quality.”

Before opening, Lieu remodeled the restaurant’s kitchen to accommodate his woks.

He said most of his dishes are prepared in a Mandarin or Cantonese style. However, he also has a few Thai dishes, hence his Asian fusion moniker.

“I keep adding new things every few months,” he said, noting that it keeps his skills sharp and his customers intrigued.

Among his specialties are walnut shrimp: breaded shrimp served with broccoli and walnuts in a special sauce; Mongolian beef: beef stir-fried with onions and green onions in a spicy sauce; sizzling seafood platter: scallops, shrimp and Chinese vegetables in a house special sauce; and pad Thai: fried rice noodles with chicken, shrimp, bean sprouts and peanuts.

Lieu opened his first restaurant in 1980 in Seattle. He said it was like a fast-food offering typically found at a shopping mall. For the past 24 years, he has called Billings, Mont., home, where he owned and operated Four Seas, a Chinese restaurant similar to what he is doing at China Bistro. He said he decided to make the move after visiting Boulder City and enjoying its more moderate climate. Lieu said he also likes the small-town feel and community camaraderie of Boulder City.

His wife, Daisy, joined him in the move, but his two children remained in Billings, where they are completing their college educations.

China Bistro officially opened in March, but Lieu began remodeling the old restaurant, which also served Chinese cuisine, in November. He said it took him four months to redo the entire kitchen as well as the restrooms and other things that were not up to his standards.

A native of Hong Kong, Lieu moved to the United States in 1976 to study how to run a restaurant. After graduating, he got his first job and quickly learned he preferred cooking to the business side of operations. He began training with the restaurant’s chef and learned as he worked each day.

While in Billings, he won several awards for his cuisine and developed a loyal following.

“I saw families with kids who grew up and got married,” he said.

Today, he mentors others in the kitchen and brought several cooks from his Billings restaurant with him to Boulder City.

“They have been with me for 10 or more years,” he said.

It’s a recipe that is working for Lieu.

“I get no complaints from my customers. They are all happy,” he said.

In addition to operating the restaurant six days a week, Lieu also does catering. He hopes to offer delivery service in the near future and is just waiting until his customer base is solid and he can find the right staff to keep everything running smoothly.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Salary range, guidelines set for new city attorney, manager

The search for the next city manager and city attorney is a little more defined as City Council recently approved the salary range and compensation package for each position.

Purpose of proposed ballot question contested

City Council is divided on whether safety or growth is the purpose of a proposed ballot question about airport capital improvement projects and have yet to decide about moving forward with it.

Three announce plans to seek council seat

Candidate filing for Boulder City’s 2021 municipal election starts in less than two weeks and three residents have already announced their intention to run for city office.

Temporary staff check for COVID compliance

Boulder City is using temporary part-time code enforcement officers to help ensure that local businesses are complying with current health and safety guidelines for the pandemic.

Two council seats up for election

The 2021 municipal election will see residents voting to fill two seats on City Council as well as offer guidance on some community issues.

Old pet cemetery to remain intact

A new solar project will not infringe on the local pet cemetery put in place years ago by a longtime Boulder City resident.

Nevada’s road fatalities rose in 2020

Now that 2020 has come to a close, transportation officials hope the Las Vegas Valley can leave the “worst year ever” in its rear-view mirror.

Police raise awareness of 3-foot bicycle law to motorists

Local law enforcement agencies joined to raise awareness of Nevada’s “3-foot rule” for motorists during an enforcement event Dec. 30 on a trio of Summerlin roads.