I've been to both of these restaurants recently with people who claim that each restaurant is the best of its kind. On Chowhound, people seem to love both places as well.
Okay, here's the thing: I found both to be pretty mediocre and don't get what all the fuss is about...
Swatow: I think their food is not much better than you get at a food court. All the dishes looked the same. I think that they have large vats of oily chicken, beef, vegetables in the kitchen and then when you order they just mix and match with sauces that come from a packet. What do other people think?
Bright Pearl: I couldn't eat half the food that came to our table. The pork tasted as though it came from a can, the deep fried egg rolls from the frozen food aisle. I can't remember all the dishes that we ordered (we were 9) but there were only a couple of things that I could stomach. There were a couple of dumplings with shrimp that were edible, but nothing to write home about. I hope to never go back there.
What am I missing? I've been to China and I'm not a fussy eater. I must be ordering wrong. Why do people love these restaurants so much?