About Us

The Story of George Hwang and the Pearl of the Orient

George Hwang has owned and operated Pearl of the Orient Restaurant in Rocky River since 1984. “The Pearl” as locals say is the place to go for an authentic Asian dining experience. In fact it was George and his sister Rose Wong who first acquainted Clevelanders with Szechuan cuisine, introducing them to authentic Chinese foods, informing them there were dishes other than chicken chow mein and fried rice to delight their palates. 


Located in the Beachcliff Market Square, Pearl of the Orient remained during and after the 2006 renovation of the mall into the present “lifestyle center” concept. Surviving the rise and fall and uncertainty of the economy, George has persevered in his vision to bring West Siders delicious, fresh and fabulous food. Included in that vision was to expand the menu into sushi, Vietnamese and Thai offerings. Today, the sushi bar is one of the most popular aspects of the restaurant with many customers coming in just for the sushi alone. Pearl of the Orient Restaurant has won “Best of the West” in Sushi and Chinese Food category with Living Well/Cleveland Magazine Peoples Award in 2010. A full service liquor bar rounds out the establishment ensuring customers can enjoy an always hand mixed fresh poured cocktail with their meal.

As for George, he moved to United States as a young man in 1973. Both of his parents were journalists from Northern China who were forced to flee to Hong Kong after the Communist takeover in 1949. Stressing education and seeking to provide the best for their children, they sent George to an Anglo Saxon Chinese Catholic high school in Hong Kong. After arriving in the US, he received a BA in Accounting from Northeastern University, Boston and an MBA in Finance form Suffolk University, Boston. He then went on to study the culinary arts at Johnson and Wales Culinary Institute, Providence RI. In 1991 he and Lily Yao became married and now have two children Jacqueline and Vincent.


George travels annually to Hong Kong and Toronto, and occasionally to Vancouver, Taiwan and China gathering recipes and cooking techniques. He is a regular celebrity chef on local television and radio programs and enjoys cooking for the public at the many benefits held in the Cleveland area such as Market Under Glass and the Taste of the NFL. He has also been a member of the Board of Trustees of Fairview/Lutheran Hospital, under the Cleveland Clinic since 2004.

Testimonials

What our customers are saying
  • Pearl of the Orient in Rocky River is, to me, the best Chinese in Cleveland. I have been eating here since 1992 and I continue to love it! The Yuen Baos (wonton wrappers stuffed with cream cheese, crab and shrimp, then deep fried) are heavenly!! This visit we had the mu shu medley, house noodles, string beans in garlic sauce and orange chicken. All delicious!! The owners, George and Lily, are top notch as well. I love the Pearl. It is often voted one of Cleveland's best Chinese restaurants and I can definitely see why. I can't wait to return.
    Pearl of the Orient in Rocky River is, to me, the best Chinese in Cleveland. I have been eating here since 1992 and I continue to love it! The Yuen Baos (wonton wrappers stuffed with cream cheese, crab and shrimp, then deep fried) are heavenly!! This visit we had the mu shu medley, house noodles, string beans in garlic sauce and orange chicken. All delicious!! The owners, George and Lily, are top notch as well. I love the Pearl. It is often voted one of Cleveland's best Chinese restaurants and I can definitely see why. I can't wait to return.

    Renee P.

    Mentor, OH
  • I visit this place weekly for the amazing sushi. I have had sushi all over the city and this is by far my favorite place to go to. The sushi prices are reasonable, the staff has always been very friendly and prompt. The portions are decent sized and just has a more authentic taste to it then other sushi places I have eaten at. I changed it up the other day and had some of the Chinese food and their fried rice and Kung Pao Chicken was amazing!! I highly recommend this place.
    I visit this place weekly for the amazing sushi. I have had sushi all over the city and this is by far my favorite place to go to. The sushi prices are reasonable, the staff has always been very friendly and prompt. The portions are decent sized and just has a more authentic taste to it then other sushi places I have eaten at. I changed it up the other day and had some of the Chinese food and their fried rice and Kung Pao Chicken was amazing!! I highly recommend this place.

    Leigh R.

    Rocky River, OH
  • Really enjoyable experience here. Had a couple cocktails (Fog Cutter, Dirty Sapphire Martini) and they were prepared beautifully. The warm sake was excellent (a little smoother than I was accustomed to). My group enjoyed a succulent plate of sushi, featuring at least 6 different rolls. All were excellent. Servers were gracious and accommodating. I would definitely recommend and I am looking forward to my return visit.
    Really enjoyable experience here. Had a couple cocktails (Fog Cutter, Dirty Sapphire Martini) and they were prepared beautifully. The warm sake was excellent (a little smoother than I was accustomed to). My group enjoyed a succulent plate of sushi, featuring at least 6 different rolls. All were excellent. Servers were gracious and accommodating. I would definitely recommend and I am looking forward to my return visit.

    Ryan W.

    Cuyahoga, OH

Gift Cards

Perfect gift for anyone

Pearl of the Orient sells Gift Cards in any denomination. Perfect gift for anyone, friends, family, or business associates. Certificates are valid at our West Side location, and good for carryout, dining in or lounge.

Birthday Club

Our Locations

Stop on by!

West Side: Beachcliff Market Square

19300 Detroit Road, Rocky River, OH 44116.

Phone. 440-333-9902

Fax. 440-333-9302

Hours: Open Every Day 11:30am-9:45pm

Get Directions

East Side: Van Aken Center

20121 Van Aken Blvd, Shaker Heights, OH 44122.

Phone. 216-751-8181

Fax. 216-283-8810

Get Directions