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San Francisco Bay Area Birthday

Birthday in the garden...Champa Gardens

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Birthday in the garden...Champa Gardens

Curtis | Jun 30, 2006 02:01 AM

Some of the SF Chowhounds decided to visit Champa Gardens for lunch today. Located in an otherwise residential neighborhood of Oakland, Champa Gardens is small but with a very comfortable casual feel. With two tables put together just ringside of the ample Karaoke stage, seven of us ordered a nice selection of dishes from the menu, as well as one of the specials of the day, the deep fried catfish in curry. The waiter also offered Laotian sausage that was not on the menu.

Everything was well prepared and very fresh. The waiters were extremely helpful and very gracious. For instance, as we were serving the soup which was probably not intended for as large a party, one of the waiters offered to bring more broth to top of the bowls. The other waiter also brought a complimentary sampling of spring rolls towards the end of the meal.

I particularly enjoyed the fried rice ball salad which had excellent bits of the Laotian sausage mixed into rice. It was so good that we had second order just to confirm our approval. The special catfish with curry was also particularly tasty. The fish was lightly battered, deep fried and then tossed with the rich curry sauce. Just for the sake of juxtaposition, we also ordered another variation of the deep fried catfish but this time served with a garlic ginger sauce.

Here are pix of all the dishes so that others can see and comment on them. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this Chowdown and can think of no better way to celebrate my birthday than with a lunch of such diversity and with such good company!

The visual menu:

Champa Special Soup w/ seafood
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v72...

Green Papaya Salad
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v72...

Fried Rice Ball Salad (served with and wrapped in lettuce w/ herbs)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v72...

Fried Sweetpotatoes
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v72...

Special Deep Fried Catfish in Curry Sauce
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v72...

Deep Fried Catfish with Garlic Ginger Sauce
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v72...

Laotian Sausage
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v72...

Spring Rolls
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v72...

The uber condiment selection!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v72...

Just to recap, we all enjoyed Champa Gardens and the food was fantastic. The service was excellent and (after much calculation) the price per person for this superlative meal was a mere $9.60!! (I swear!)

a sante,
Curtis

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