I'm always searching this town for -really good- Chinese food. I love spicy Szechuan best, but Vegas dosen't really have anything to fit my bill- untill NOW that is! Anytime i've craved hothot food, I headed over to Lotus Of Siam, and while wonderfully delish, it's not exactally the same.
My husband loves spicy food even more than I do, so when he gave his thumbs-up, I have to say I was relieved and happy. I'm going to get great Chinese alot more often now!
We started off with hot and sour soup. Very savory, with lots of veggies like wood-ear mushrooms, pickled bamboo shoots and even button mushrooms (a nice addition). The pork was generous thru the entire soup, and very tasty. On a spice-level i'd give it a 2. It mainly came from white pepper, but the undeniable citrus heat from Szechuan peppercorns could also be hinted at, but in a very gentle way.It needed no additional -anything-, like a splash of soy sauce like most soups need to me. This is now the best h&s soup i've had in Vegas. A real winner, we finished the entire bowl!
For our main dishes, I ordered spicy chicken with bell-peppers, my husband ordered the spicy beef. (this has gotten the award of "Best dish of the year", by Taste of Las Vegas...Not a personal indicator to me of greatness, but it didn't hurt!) My dish was savory and quite tasty, and reminded me of a really REALLY good Kung-Pao Chicken, sans peanuts. It was a little spicier that our soup, but not obnoxiously so. The bell-peppers were perfectly stir-fried. My husband's dish came to the table a large soup-bowl-sized hotpot of sorts. A firey lava-like gravy enveloped the large pieces of beef, and bokchoi. When I saw a liberally added amount of Szechuan peppercorns, I almost began to weep with joy! Now that I know what this spice is like, it's become a favorite to me. I love the cooling, yet hot heat it gives, allmost like a menthol-citrus flavor. This dish was perfect to me. It was a very garlicky, hot and spicy broth, a good layer of chili-oil floating on the surface. A real winner!
We also ordered pork-fried rice, which for .50 more, they make curry-fried. Now, this was good, but i've personally made better at home. I like a strong curry-flavor, and this was a subtle hint of it. This, to me was the weakest dish, yet still more than acceptable.
Emperor's Garden does a nice price on beer as well, Tsing-Tao in bottles for $1.99. Same with Asahi Dry and a few others that didn't catch my interest. The Tsing-Tao was really light and refreshing with all the hot food, and the price was certainly right.
They also do a Chinese breakfast, with congee and other goodies, but no dim-sum. We got there at 9pm last night, and they closed at 10pm. Service was prompt amd efficent, the tea served was jasmine (a big plus for me, a personal favorite) and the decor is attractive.
I'd love to hear from others who have eaten here what you've tried, and your thoughts on it. There's about 20 other items I want to try there now!
4215 Spring Mountain Rd #B203 (2nd level of the main Chinatown Mall)
Las Vegas, Nevada 89102
web page: emperorgarden.com
PS: The website is quite good, and their pictures are very nice as well! Worth a visit!