Asian fusion restaurant Blue Pearl is coming to Milford town center

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Milford’s new restaurant is something of a homecoming for Tom Lin.

The longtime chef known for the restaurant’s first opening Lei Ting, as well as his appearances on the Food Network, has returned to the village and renamed the longtime Asian restaurant the Mill Valley Center.

Now known as Lei Ting’s Blue Pearl, the restaurant sports a new look, new menu items and a new attitude towards dining.

“We need to represent Milford. We need a good Asian restaurant. And I had so many recipes and trained chefs all my life,” he said. “I have lots of new ideas.

“It’s something I’d like to introduce to people.”

First opened in 2000 by Lin and his wife, Julie Hill-Lin, he eventually sold it to his uncle 10 years ago when he took on other businesses, such as his Fortune food truck. Cooking and Szechuan Empire restaurants in Livonia and Commerce Township. His uncle retiring from catering, he approached the Milford couple about taking over the space and they decided to do it, but with a new perspective.

Gone is the dated wallpaper and looks inside, replaced with black and blue paint and modern artwork, renovations that took around three months. Opened July 1, Lei Ting’s Blue Pearl is upping the ante and inviting diners to enjoy an Asian fusion dining experience never seen in the Milford area before.

While many of the same dishes known to longtime Lei Ting customers have returned, several new options grace the menu, combining cooking styles from across Asia and around the world. Dishes such as red snapper, sushi, Buffalo chicken spring rolls and smoked duck are on the menu, in addition to long-standing traditional dishes such as General Tso’s Chicken.

Focusing on fusions isn’t just a combination of globetrotting cuisines, Lin-Hill said. It may also include a cross between other Asian flavors, which may be quite different.

“A merger can mean that Chinese merges with Japanese, Japanese with Thai,” Hill-Lin said. “You can also have these fusions in Asian culture.”

They’ve also brought a whole range of drinks, including new signature cocktails that put an Asian spin on many classics.

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Although it’s only been open for a few days, the couple said the overall response has been great for lunch and dinner.

“It’s amazing how the community has rallied around us,” Hill-Lin said.

Manager Alex LaFountain, who previously worked in Lei Ting’s older iteration, said he believed Milford would embrace the new concept.

“It’s going to get better, that’s for sure,” he said. “Customer response has been excellent.”

Take-out is still a major component of the restaurant, although they are planning more diners as the opening rolls around, with reservations and online orders to come. They also plan to work with third-party delivery services in the future.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday. More information, including a menu, can be found at leitingbluepearl.com.

Contact reporter David Veselenak at [email protected] or 734-678-6728. Follow him on Twitter @davidveselenak.

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