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KB Garden: Huge Disappointment, Szechuan Capital: A Ray of Hope


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KB Garden: Huge Disappointment, Szechuan Capital: A Ray of Hope

Porthos | Sep 24, 2001 12:00 AM

I decided to take a trek out to Flushing today for some great Cantonese food. I had heard great things about KB Garden from both my friends who grew up in Flushing and from the people here at Chowhound so I was quite excited. The entire trip was a fiasco and I also lost face in the process. My friends/classmates have come to rely on me when it comes to restaurants and they have come to expect a good chow experience when we head out together. So when I convince 2 of my roommates to make the trek with me, they were willing to do so despite the 2-hr round trip commute. Unfortunately, I could not deliver the goods this time.

We decided to order a couple of dishes off the menu and go with dim sum. Sounded like a safe bet at the time. Off the menu, we ordered the roast suckling pig at $13.95 and had the waiter recommend a beef dish that was 1) something the restaurant did well, and 2) something that was more authentic. The entire conversation was carried out in mandarin so I thought I would be okay. He jots something down which I notice to be $16.95. A little steep, but if it's good, fine. When the dishes came, it sent me into a near rage. The roast suckling pig was a meager platter of cold pork that had great crispy slivers of skin and about 5 slices of meat. It was good (not extraordinary, but plain good) but not at the price. The beef was nothing but beef filets in a red ketchup sauce over sauteed onions. That's when I realized that the waiter had simply recommended a high priced item with a deaf ear to my pleas. Just the thought of it is bringing back a lot of rage. We should have sent them back but we already took a bite of each dish--giving the waiter the benefit of the doubt.

We decide to cut our losses from the menu and go with this "great dim sum that is better than Chinatown". Again we were disappointed. The shrimp fun was overcooked so that the skin fell apart when you tried to pick it up (inferior to Ping's by a long shot), the taro ball was good and equivalent to Ping's, the salt baked shrimp cold. At this point, I stopped the madness. The food was not remarkable and I did not travel here from the city for subpar dim sum.

Anyways, we partly salvaged this fiasco by going to Szchuan Capital just down the street (near the subway). We had gone there on a previous occasion and had excellent szechuan/taiwanese food. The pan fried dumplings were downright awesome. Hand-rolled wrappers that were bursting with flavorful meat. The bottom was fried to perfection. We also got the stewed beef noodles (good, but still nowhere near the calibre of LA beef noodles). At $4 a bowl, it was very palatable indeed. The place has 2 standouts (may not be on the printed menu): do ban fish (whole fish in an intense spicy, ginger, garlic, scallion and pork sauce) and san bei chicken (chicken with ginger, garlic, and basil in a deeply fragrant soy sauce). As we left, the kitchen brought out an entire roasted pig that was just cooked--skin glistening and still dripping hot oil. A magnificent sight and a ray of hope on an otherwise dismal day.

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