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Michael Allen Jones / Michael Allen Jones

Emily Wong and her husband, Henry Wong, will close the doors of their 25-year-old labor of love, Roseville Gourmet, at 9 p.m. Friday and walk away into retirement.

Last chance to dine at Roseville Gourmet

Published: Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 - 9:08 am

You wouldn’t guess it by the name, but Roseville Gourmet is a Chinese restaurant. It won’t be for long, though.

Wife-husband restaurateurs Emily and Henry Wong will close the doors of their 25-year-old labor of love at 9 p.m. Friday and walk away into retirement. Replacing it will be a sushi restaurant, with an opening date to be announced, after the necessary permits have been issued and after the space has been remodeled.

“The new owner will rename it to something Japanese, but it will still have ‘Roseville Gourmet’ somewhere in the name,” said Emily Wong. “That’s because our feelings will still be here.”

At first, the Wongs envisioned another Chinese restaurant moving in to their former quarters. “We interviewed a Chinese gentleman and tried to teach him our menu, but he didn’t pick up anything,” Emily Wong said. “Then we talked with the Japanese gentleman (who’s moving in). We’ve tasted his food and it’s good. We want to make sure (the sushi restaurant) does a good job here, because we expect a lot of our (longtime) customers to come to the new place.”

Roseville Gourmet has been known for its authentic, MSG-free, fairly priced and well-sauced dishes assembled from fresh ingredients and spiked with dashes of imagination. The Wongs built an enthusiastic clientele of regulars, and it seemed like everyone in the dining room always knew everyone else.

On our last visit, we enjoyed chilled spiced cabbage and a plate of marvelous cold skin-on chicken covered in a relish of ginger, garlic and green onion. On other visits we’ve shared roasted duck in plum-orange sauce; thick, succulent rounds of eggplant covered with scallops and shrimp; salt-and-pepper prawns and calamari; and orange peel-seasoned pork wontons, lightly fried and then cooked in a stew of of tomato, egg and onion, and then sauced.

Some of those items were off-menu. If you plan on lunch or dinner before Roseville Gourmet closes for good, call today for the availability of those dishes “or to order anything else you want us to make special,” Emily Wong said.

What are the Wongs’ retirement plans? “Travel and find some restaurants to eat in, not to run. We’re not doing restaurants anymore,” Emily Wong said. “We’re a little sad. We’ve known our customers for 25 years and we’ll miss them. It’s not easy, but we’re relieved at the same time.”

Roseville Gourmet is at 107 S. Harding Blvd., Roseville; (916) 784-8008.

Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.

Read more articles by Allen Pierleoni

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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