Went to Golden Island with family and family friends on Wednesday night. Had a reservation and we were seated promptly...restaurant filled up pretty quickly. We stuck to the items that were chiu chow specialties and were rewared with an inexpensive tasty meal with unique flavors and had my parents raving about the wok breath.
Here's what we had to the best of my memory, sorry I do not have the official names from the menu:
Fried fish with sweet/sour sauce - the fish was boneless pieces and the batter was crisp and not greasy at all. The sauce was sweet and sour but not the thick goopy sauce of the americanized sweet and sour pork. It was garnished with pickled carrots and another veggie I couldn't identify...maybe onions or daikon.
Dry fried string beans with pork - excellent wok breath with nice garlic aroma.
Seafood and tofu ceramic pot - some of the freshest best tofu I've ever had, silky and smooth with a light gravy and assorted seafood pieces.
Fried pork chops - tender pork chop/pieces lightly battered and fried then coated in a unique sauce. I couldn't taste all the ingredients but I think I detected a hint of fish sauce (?), some tanginess that didn't come from vingar so maybe tamarind? I can't pinpoint what was in it, but it was really unique and very tasty. My sister was pouring the sauce on her rice. Probably the most popular dish.
Beef and veggies in a noodle "nest" - the nest must've been fried earlier and sitting around, it wasn't tender and crispy but dry and rock hard. The beef was extremely tender (how do they do that, soak it in a solution?) and sauteed with baby corn, celery, and the very unexpected macadamia nuts!
The complimentary dessert was a taro based "sugar water" with red beans, jelly (ai-yu?), and corn. Sweet and interesting, my dad and hub finished their bowls. Even after a few more good meals they're still talking about the work breath, value, and uniqueness of this meal. They say good chiu chow places are few and far between.
Service was a little sporadic but they were pretty busy. My dad got impatient and ended up writing the order out himself, for which he was complimented on his handwriting. :) Average for a Chinese restaurant - we were busy chatting so it wasn't that long of a wait. The food made it worth the wait.