While one might not anticipate finding something exciting to eat past 9pm in Cupertino, Discovery Fusion BBQ argues this and provides an insomniac craving cure. Dedicated Bay Area adventurers know that Silicon Valley comes to life after the sun sets, and Discovery Fusion BBQ–soon to celebrate its one-year milestone–is worth discovering.
I stumbled across this restaurant thanks to a few Instagram posts. It’s located on the edge of San Jose and Cupertino within the confines of an unassuming shopping center. Despite this, the eatery is a dazzling spectacle of bright neon and LED lights.
Patrons are greeted with a small waiting area decorated in faux blossom trees, statues, mirrored LED exhibits and a refrigerated wall stocked with a selection of bottled sodas, wines, beers, soju and more. Beyond the check-in counter are booths that host imaginative fog and lighting effects, giving the illusion that the booths are divided by the dancing glow of open flames. Past this, there’s an LED screen positioned behind a performance stage that houses live performances and occasional karaoke sessions.
Each table is arranged with a petite tabletop food warmer powered by candles. The place settings feature matching dishware alongside a prepackaged pouch of chopsticks, napkins and disposable silverware. The tables contain a QR code for easy ordering, although admittedly, the English menu lacks detailed descriptions of the food and drink items beyond their name.
The menu features regional delicacies and additional surprises not of “the usual suspects” on a standard Chinese food menu. These offerings add an authentic charm to the dining experience. They also provide a variety of novelties, entertaining tableside games and luxurious cocktail presentations.
Starting with the beverage selection, I sampled a cola sparkling wine, reminiscent of a sweet sangria cola. Additionally, I tried the Rio yellow orange cocktail, a refreshing vodka-based drink with a light citrusy twist. The real standout was the Jack Panda rose craft beer, an unforgettable choice.
We ordered starters that included mini beef skewers, chicken wings, pork belly, potato and deep-fried tofu. Most skewers are seasoned with the same sweet heat spices, although each skewer delivered their own burst of flavor. The pork belly, chicken wings and potato skewers being the ones that stuck out the most. It’s worth ordering a side of steamed rice to help cleanse the palate and add texture to the appetizer.
The wanton soup was rich and satisfying. It featured delicate bite-sized dumplings in an aromatic broth suited for fall weather. The rice noodle soup had a similar comforting flavor. Finally, their braised beef noodle is an elevated take on a classic cup of noodles, and contains a blend of veggies, nuts and meat with a soft-boiled egg.
Discovery Fusion BBQ offers an unforgettable experience, both on the plate and off, that fuses taste, culture, ambiance and entertainment. It’s worth the wait if there is any. Just watch out for the Costco Effect where great value and reasonable prices can lead to over indulgence.
DISCOVERY FUSION BBQ 1151 S De Anza Blvd, San Jose, 408.564.4190.
Open Mon-Sun, yelp.com/biz/discovery-fusion-bbq-san-jose-5