I went to the Orient for the first time, very eager since I've heard so much. Only could do take out. Is there a "secret" Asians-only menu? Is there much more on the dine-in menu? As you'll see, I did learn that the regular menu is not all there is to it.
I picked up the menu to order, and it was VERY typical of every other Chinese restaurant. Same "chicken with broccoli, chicken with chinese vegetables, Happy Family, Bird's Nest," etc.....
There were some "Cantonese Specialties", but really nothing I haven't see a million times; Salt baked pork chop, young chow fried rice, minced chicken in lettuce wrap.
Very disappointing! So I asked the woman at the front, do you have gai lan? dou miao? Yes to both. There actually is gai lan listed as "Sizzling Steak fillet with chinese broccoli", so I ordered it. The dou miao (pea shoots) is not on the menu, but I can have it, how would I like them? So I ordered it simply stir fried with garlic. Also squid with ginger and scallion.
While I was waiting, a man came in and aske for steamed sea bass. "Sure." It's also not on the menu.
So clearly, there's more to the Orient than meets the eye.
In any event, I got the food home and ate. It was decent, not spectacular. The squid was very good. The pea shoots made correctly, but again, pea shoots and garlic. The steak with gai lan was disappointing. A very large portion of meat, and 3 small stalks of gai lan in a very typical chinese brown sauce (oyster sauce, soy, ginger, garlic, xiaoxing wine - make it at home all the time).
My question to fellow CH'ers:
What was I missing? Is there a different menu? Or a well known list of "off the menu" specialties? What should I order next time? Any can't miss items?
Or is the Orient all about the dim sum brunch and their dinner food is just run of the mill Chinese Restaurant.
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