House of Hunan ushers in the Chinese New Year with tantalizing fanfare

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Cheryl Suen (right), along with her husband, Chef Lawrence Suen, owns House of Hunan in Fairlawn and Medina. Celebrating 36 years in Fairlawn and 15 in Medina, the duo is always spicing up the restaurants’ menu selections and dining experience. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Laura Briedis

A cherished annual tradition, the House of Hunan welcomed the Chinese New Year—the Year of the Pig—last month with the traditional Lion Dance. Always a spectacle, the performers dressed in festive costumes and mimicked a lion’s movements as they entered the gilded doors and danced around the restaurant to the delight of diners.

“The lion dance brings good luck and fortune for the year,” says Cheryl Suen, who, along with her husband, Chef Lawrence Suen, owns the restaurants in Fairlawn and Medina.

Celebrating its 36th year in Fairlawn and 15th in Medina, House of Hunan is always spicing up its menu selections and dining experience.

“We have added new menu items to entice diners to try something different, especially since we have so many regulars who dine here weekly,” says Cheryl.

“We like to be creative with our cuisine and offer items that you cannot find anywhere else in town.”

Chef Lawrence and Cheryl Suen

When the restaurant first opened, it served traditional Chinese fare. Over the decades, it has evolved to include Thai and Asian fusion menu items along with an emphasis on sushi.

Now featuring Poke, which is best described as deconstructed sushi that is served in a bowl rather than wrapped in a roll, there are two new varieties. The Spicy Crawfish Poke features baked crawfish, edamame, crispy onions, tobiko and green onion topped with spicy mayo. The Calamari Poke features tempura calamari and seaweed salad topped with a sweet chili ponzu sauce.

Also new on the menu are several seasonal appetizers, including Pan-fried Porkbuns served with potsticker sauce, and Soft Shell Crab Sliders served on Chinese steamed buns and topped with a sweet and spicy sauce.

“We cook everything from scratch in our kitchen, including all our sauces,” notes Cheryl. “To complement the food dishes, we have so many different sauce recipes, many of which were passed down from my father who owned a restaurant in Taiwan.”

“We also are now baking our own desserts,” she adds.

Not an afterthought, the indulgent dessert selection includes an Opera Cake, combining almond sponge cake soaked in coffee with buttercream and chocolate ganache. And for that something different, try the Japanese Dessert Dumplings, which are stuffed with avocado, cream cheese, citrus honey and then topped with powdered sugar and ice cream.

“We continually strive to offer innovative cuisine with consistent quality,” says Cheryl.

At the core of the dining experience is its handcrafted sushi. Diners can sit at the sushi bar and watch the chef prepare inventive fresh sushi. The extensive menu features almost 100 sushi rolls and assortments, including sashimi and futomakis.

Every week, there is Sushi Happy Hour, Monday through Thursday, from 4 to 7 p.m., and Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m. Different selections of sushi rolls and the chef’s choice of futomaki are half priced.

The restaurants also can host family get-togethers, special occasions and corporate events.

“Our private back room in Fairlawn and our reserved space in Medina are the perfect venues for private parties,” notes Cheryl.

The House of Hunan by Suen is located at 2717 West Market Street in Fairlawn and at 18 Public Square in Medina. Call 330-864-8215 (Fairlawn) or 330-722-1899 (Medina) for restaurant reservations and takeout orders. For menus, restaurant hours and more information, visit