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Traditional Chinese flavor for Chinese New Year

Lui's Palace opened one month ago in Molalla, and the owners say business is picking up.


by: CORY MIMMS - Jing Lui and Christy Wu, owners of Lui's Palace, which opened last month on North Molalla Avenue in the location where Jade Asian Bistro used to beIf you haven’t tried Molalla’s new Chinese restaurant, now is the perfect time, as Chinese New Year celebrations began on Friday, Jan. 31.

The restaurant is called Lui’s Palace and is in the location where Jade Asian Bistro used to be.

With more than ten years experience working as a chef, Jing Lui is bringing a traditional Chinese flavor to Molalla.

Lui and his wife, Christy Wu, own Lui’s Palace together, with Lui in charge of the kitchen and Wu running the dining floor.

They live in Happy Valley, about a half hour drive away, and have resided there for about nine years with their three children, the oldest of whom is 11 and often spends the weekends in the restaurant.

“She’s like a little waitress,” Wu said. “And everybody loves her.”

Lui and Wu considered several areas when they decided to open their own restaurant, from Washington to Beaverton and Portland and as far south as Newport.

They found Molalla and liked it, Wu said, and as the owner of Jade Asian Bistro was ready to retire, “it was perfect timing.”

Wu kept the interior pretty much the same, with the addition of some new art work. The big changes are on the menu.

The previous owners had Thai and Vietnamese items on the menu, but Lui’s Palace focuses on traditional Chinese food, Wu said. “My husband loves using fresh ingredients, and he has some really good recipes … He does his own sauces and everything is homemade.”

It took the couple about two months to get everything ready, Wu said, adding that the building was in pretty good shape when they took over the lease.

They opened Jan. 1 and have been going “seven days a week” since then, Wu said, laughing. Wu’s father and father-in-law help in the restaurant as well, but much of the work still falls on Wu and Lui’s shoulders.

Wu also works as a physical therapist’s assistant in Vancouver. Balancing the restaurant work with her other job has been a lot of work. She leaves her first job and heads straight to the restaurant to help with the dinner rush. She took two weeks off to make sure everything was organized for the opening, but she’s back working both jobs now.

One month in, and Wu said business is picking up, and they’ve had a lot of good feedback and repeat costumers. They applied for a liquor license and will begin serving beer and wine in March.




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