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Restaurants & Bars Greater Boston Area Asian

Asian Garden Report

9lives | | Aug 9, 2002 11:04 AM

5 hungry hounds got together last night at Asian Garden in Chinatown. Barleywine was kind enough to bring a few bottles of his namesake..and they were awesome. Thanks again. There's an extensive printed menu but most of the dishes we had were from the specials written in Chinese on the wall..Limster providing the translation. Started with geoduck sashimi, a dish we'd had at Peach Farm. The PFS version tasted slightly livelier, but AG was also great. A new twist was that the geoduck head!! was offered to us, prepared in 1 of several ways. We had it stir fried in salt and chile peppers..similar to dry, fried spicy squid..but much more flavorful. Next we had a very rich, very delicious duck dish..also off the specials board. Steamed oysters and scallops in the shell followed..good but a notch below PFS..Next we had the eel..scooped live from a tank, steamed and served in small pieces, with the bone, in a black bean sauce. To me, this was the high point of the meal...possibly 1 of the best dishes I've tasted in any restaurant..Chinese or otherwise. Many of us have become fans of the fried eel at PFS (and it's great)..but steaming leaves the meat more moist and really allows the flavor to shine..even the head was consumed. I think we need to do a steamed eel at PFS next. This is not an inexpensive dish..$18/ pound...ours was 2 1/4 lb..or $40..but well worth it. Finished up with an eggplant and salted fish hot pot..another great dish but somewhat "falsely advertised" as it also had plenty of pork..GG bravely picked around the pork to get at the eggplant..and pronounced it as good (or was it better?) than Taiwan Cafe's...a very strong compliment.

I was overall, very impressed wiyh Asian Garden..staff was friendly, and helpful...the food puts it on a par with the best in Chinatown..or Boston.

Some of us continued the evening at Limbos...and then the Ritz Bar...all in all..a great evening.