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Restaurants & Bars 4

Golden City... I want to go there (again)

Eric Eto | Feb 23, 200405:00 PM

Not sure if you all got the Stevie Wonder reference, but I want to rave about a very good meal I had a Golden City in Chinatown. We were originally going to have dinner at Empress Pavillion, but there was a wedding banquet taking up the majority of the restaurant, so we decided on Golden City, since it looked inviting, and I hadn't eaten there yet. (And, Golden City validates for the parking structure at Empress Pavillion.) I thought about Full House as well, but I recently had lunch there.

There were 9 in our party, and here's what we had.
-Special cold chicken
-Crab corn soup
-Oyster with black bean sauce
-Beef with black pepper
-Minced squab with lettuce
-Pan fried fish fillet
-Pea shoot with garlic
-Walnut shrimp
-Special fried rice with crab, scallop and egg white

Earlier in the week, I had three similar dishes at Full House (walnut shrimp, crab corn soup, sauteed pea shoots, and steak fillet), and I found Golden City's versions of all these far superior. There was not a clunker among these items. The house special chicken was a steamed chicken served cold with a ginger/scallion sauce. Pretty basic, but very nice. The crab corn soup was also very hearty. The oyster with black bean sauce had deep fried oysters that were then stir fried with onions, peppers and fermented black bean (paste). This dish was a first for me, and I thought it worked quite well. I always like the combination of oyster and black beans. The minced squab dish was also very good. I'm not sure I've ever had a bad version of this dish. The pan fried fish fillet dish was very subtly flavored, but that just allowed the flavor of the fish stand out. The walnut shrimp was very well executed. Not gloopy, and a good balance with the fried shrimp and mayonnaise. The black peppered beef were nicely tender cube-like bits, with a good zing of black pepper. Not as good as the version at Empress Pavillion, but it passes the test. Are sauteed pea shoots ever bad? I suppose you can overcook them, but not the case here. The little bits of fried crispy garlic was a nice touch. Best of all was the fried rice. This is an off-menu item, one that the waiter/manager suggested after I tried ordering the special seafood fried rice on the menu. He warned me that the menu item is a wet style of fried rice -- I'm not sure what that meant, but I went with his suggestion for the crab and scallop fried rice. This may have been my favorite item of the night. Very well executed friying made for a light fried rice, with just enough spicing and salting to enhance the flavor of the crab and scallops (dried scallops I think).

This makeshift banquet came to a grand total of $140 (before tip) for the nine of us including a few beers.

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