A long time ago I had the great fortune of eating at a tiny, family run Chinese restaurant on upper Broadway in NYC called Pomegranate Garden. The family had recently emigrated from China - it was run by an eldely man and wife, their son and daughter in law. The son was an electrical engineer and the restaurant was open only for a couple of years while the son learned enough english to find engineering employment. But God, the old woman could cook! Her hot and sour soup was astonishing - both strong and delicate with a lightness and separation of flavors that distinctly differentiated the hot from the sour.
In almost every instance since then, the soup and its flavors have appeared blended and indistinct. Sometimes it's good, occasionally exceptional, but almost never the distinctly married flavors of both hot and sour. Does anyone out there know what I'm talking about, and where such sublimely brilliant soup may be found?