The food scene around the Research Triangle Park is usually focused on quick casual lunch spots to feed the office crowd. I worked in RTP for five years and trying to find a decent restaurant for dinner events was usually a challenge but it’s good to see some things changing and the area evolving. The new Lulu Bang Bang Pan-Asian restaurant is one great example of a better restaurant for denizens of RTP (along with the upcoming Boxyard complex). Currently open for take-out and now, lunch dine-in!
I was recently invited to a preview of their menu and it was pretty impressive. Chef William D’Auvray (previously at LuLa’s in Chapel Hill and Fins in Raleigh) is bringing his culinary skills to LuLu Bang Bang and delivering a diverse menu of Thai, Japanese, and Asian eats. The restaurant is large and light, with plenty of windows for warm sunshine. Polished concrete floors, Asian-style wood furniture along with some pops of color with the chartreuse padded seating placed strategically around the dining area make for a modern scene. There’s a sushi bar, cocktail bar and open kitchen to complete the space and show off the employees and their activity.
We sampled a variety of small plates on the current take-out menu and what will be on the upcoming dine-in menu. Thumbs up for the chicken satay with cucumber salad, the Thai shrimp toast and chicken yakitori skewers. Chef William stays true to Asian flavors but uses upper end ingredients for a cleaner finish. He doesn’t shy away from the signature spice and heat often found in SE Asian cuisine. Coconut charcoal for their grills and a new tandoori oven will allow them to turn up the heat and explore further across the Asian food palate, they will be expanding the menu over time. A great assortment of Tiki cocktails complement the food and cocktails are available to go in single-serving pouches. Their talented bar manager knows how to pair cocktail flavor profiles with the broad menu. And two private dining rooms will cover the needs for future office events.
Overall I can tell you that Lulu Bang Bang (lulu: an outstanding or remarkable thing, bang bang: an ancient Sichuan dish that harmonizes spicy, sweet, sour, salty, & bitter – from business website) offers a very updated take on Pan-Asian cuisine that will be well received by the RTP crowd. Located next to the popular Page Road Grill and MEZ as part of the Chapel Hill Restaurant Group, I’m sure it will be a busy spot once we recover from the current COVID pandemic. LuLu Bang Bang opens their dining room for lunch service on 2/23 and will be expanding to a dinner service a couple of weeks later. Enjoy their Asian-style eats and modern dining space as a break and interlude in your day during these interesting times!
5418 Page Road
Durham, NC 27703