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Great Eastern Banquet Report

jayjay808 | May 20, 200209:39 PM

We had a nice graduation dinner for 11 on Saturday night. (Thank you, Chowhounds, for recommendations.) It was just as good as we remembered from a few years back. We ordered the $268 set menu (mom insisted) which includes:
-chicken and bird's nest soup: yummy thickened broth with lots of chicken slivers and bird's nest bits.
-walnut prawns: actually pretty good...crispy and not too battered on the outside, sweet and tender inside, with just a very light coating of the mayonnaise.
-scallop and sea conch with vegetables: one of our favorites...generous portions of scallops and conch, with a sprinkling of mushrooms, sugar snap peas, green onions, carrots. Usually, we don't eat the carrots, but these were really tasty and picked up a lot of the flavors from the dish. The light sauce for this was just right for the delicate bits.
-crispy chicken: nothing special.
-Peking duck: ditto, except that they served the meat almost boneless, which is nice.
-whole deep-fried flounder: Another favorite....they fillet out the meat and deep-fry the skeleton of the fish. Not greasy at all! And you can eat practically everything including the bones. The meat is deep fried separately with other vegetables. Very simple, delicate, but YUMMY!.
-choy with black mushrooms and fried tofu: the tofu was outstanding...even the insides were flavored well...choy was tender and juicy...mushrooms were a little thick and stiff.
-crab with ginger and scallions: great sauce, sweet crabmeat, but a little too greasy for us.
-taro/tapioca and oranges for dessert.

Overall, everything was very good. The service was efficient and polite and they changed our plates every few dishes as we requested. You know, I can't help but compare it with the place our family normally goes for dinners, Empress Garden on 9th and Judah. Their set menu is similar and only around $100. We keep going back because it's such a great value, the food is really good and the servings are generous.

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