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Report on Chang's Garden, Arcadia & Mission 261, S. Gabriel

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Restaurants & Bars

Report on Chang's Garden, Arcadia & Mission 261, S. Gabriel

anli | Apr 18, 2005 09:20 PM

Seven of us lunched at Chang's Garden on Sunday. This restaurant is located in the same mall as Din Tai Fung. We had no trouble getting a large table, and ordered the set menu for $58, which serves 6. Because we had a couple of kids in the group we also ordered 2 steamers of xiao lung bao and an order of yangchow fried rice. The set menu had the following: a large tureen of seafood soup in chicken broth - full of clams, shrimp, tofu, napa cabbage and bean threads; scallion pancakes; garlic chives with shredded pork and tofu-gan; a huge plate of salt & pepper shrimp; dry-fried green beans with minced pork; tung-po pork with broccoli; and braised tilapia. Everything was delicious - no hint of msg in the soup, the tung-po pork was truly well braised and flavorful, and the tilapia was fresh and tender. The xlb came 8 to a steamer, and if you were real careful and didn't tear the skin, you were rewarded with a mouthful of broth, which didn't taste greasy at all. Overall this was a great meal and a terrific value. We had leftovers, to say the least.
I'd rate this an 8+ on a scale of 1 to 10.

Dinner at Mission 261 was a wedding banquet for 250. We were lucky to be at a table near the waiters' station so we could get refills of ice and drinks. To the best of my memory this is what we had:

-Traditional cold platter of jellyfish salad, smoked duck, soysauce chicken, jellied pork, boiled beef, and suckling pig.
-Stirfried asparagus with shrimp and squid.
-Fried coconut custard and fried tofu rolls stuffed with cantelope and honeydew slivers. (This was the one we had the hardest time figuring what it was).
-Fishmaw soup (normally it would be sharks fin but the bride didn't want to serve an endangered species)
-Abalone slices with mustard greens
-Lobster with ginger and scallions
-Steamed red snapper
-Peking duck with little flat buns
-Yangchow fried rice
-Desserts were plates of almond cookies and fried sesame balls (in Taiwan, they are called "kai1 kou3 xiao4) and bowls of red bean soup.

Service was efficient up until the soup, after which there was a lack of attentiveness, such as not clearing plates after the lobster, or picking up dirty plates but not replacing them with clean ones.

Other than the soup and the lobster, most of the other dishes seemed to be lukewarm in temperature, but that is somewhat to be expected with this large a party. Best dishes were the lobster and the fish. The duck was tasty, and though the skin was crisp in places, there was still a lot of excess fat.

I'd rate this a 7+ on a scale of 1 to 10.

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