Several friends and their families usually gather on New Year's Day. Yesterday, 16 of us had dinner at Pengial Garden Restaurant at 280 West Beaver Creek in Richmond Hill. This place was picked because it serves Chinese and Korean food, because we were told the owner is Chinese, and the wife is Korean. The thick menu included a Korean section, and the Chinese food included Cantonese and Shantongese (Northeast China). Funny combination. We were greeted in Korean when we entered the restaurant. To add to the confusion, some servers spoke Korean, some spoke Mandarin, and some spoke Cantonese, most knew limited English. So, we had to ask in several ways before we decided what language to use to communicate.
We ordered mainly Chinese dishes, Hot and Sour Soup, Peiking Duck, Sweet and Sour Pork, Stir Fried Shrimps, Seafood in Meat Sauce, Korean Pork Bone Soup, Fried Rice and Fried Noodles. I think the cooks are so confused what kind of food they are supposed to cook. Most of the dishes came out in the same bright red Kim Chi color, even to my colour blind eyes; the soup, shrimp, and pork, etc. The red Hot and Sour soup can stump any food expert to figure what style this was. It wasn't bad, but weird tasting. The Seafood in Meat Sauce reminds me of the old Canadian/Chinese Shrimp in Lobster Sauce they use to serve at Li Chee Garden. Oh, the Pork Bone Soup was the only nice dish, perhaps they should stick to Korean. Overall the food tasted like something you buy from Holy Chow, not a nicely decorated restaurant in Richmond Hill. For dessert, each person gets a slice of orange and a fortune cookie!?!?! For the very mediocre dinner, we paid $35 each.
Final note, Charles Yu was invited to this dinner, but he decided to pass. Did he know something and didn't tell us?