Within the sea of Asian takeout chains in Chapel Hill, University Place’s Red Bowl breaks up the monotony to offer refined traditional Asian cuisine with exceptionally fair prices. With a contemporary atmosphere, easily accessible location and great deals on deliciously handcrafted Asian dishes, it’s certainly a huge draw for college students in the area.

The red-stained walls and cozy booths are very conducive to conversation. We instantly felt at ease, surrounded by other chattering tables. The menu is quite extensive and contains any dish you could desire. It features a wide variety of sushi rolls, signature entrees and steamer dishes.

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What sets Red Bowl apart, is its stir fry bar and bento boxes. Guests are encouraged to create their own handmade stir fry entrée by choosing among four categories. Diners begin by choosing a sauce—the options range from teriyaki to spicy sha cha. The next step is the add-in—choose between chicken, steak, seafood or tofu. Finally, you’ll pick your vegetable and type of rice and voila, your creation is off to the kitchen.

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Scarce among the Asian restaurants in Chapel Hill are Bento boxes, my personal favorite. For less than $14 you get to choose a main dish, side dish, sushi roll and rice. With options like Mongolian beef, crispy crab wontons, spicy tuna roll and lo mein, your decision certainly won’t be easy.

I always have a tough time choosing between dishes at restaurants—I crave an assortment—so Bento boxes are usually the obvious choice for me. My favorite Bento masterpiece consists of sesame chicken, a vegetable spring roll, avocado sushi roll and fried rice. The portion size is extremely generous, so I can always get at least two meals out of one dinner. The chicken, perfectly crispy on the outside with a tender white meat interior, is tossed with an addictive honey sesame sauce. The seemingly simple veggie spring roll is anything but that, its light and flaky exterior complements the fresh explosion of flavor on the inside. Coupled with the fresh avocado roll and mouthwatering fried rice, it’s all in all a killer combo.

Cara Hutto

Red Bowl offers several awesome discounts like buy one entrée get the second 50% off, $5 off a $30 purchase and 10% off any delivery. Their coupons are easily printable off the website and can go a long way. Red Bowl prides itself on authentic and truly delicious Asian fare, and it definitely lives up to all expectations.

Special thanks to University Place for the delicious complimentary meal. These reviews are entirely honest and my own.