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Restaurants & Bars 5

Oriental Pearl review

Chowpatty | Mar 21, 200409:48 PM

Thanks to Thi, we checked out Oriental Pearl on Main St. in Alhambra Saturday night. The room is brightly lit but very clean, not grungy. We snagged the last booth and were given menus, although it took quite a while for the waitress to take our order. Since there were only two of us, we didn't get to try as many dishes as we would have liked. We had eggplant with fish flavor hot pot, green beans with ground pork and fish slices with pickled peppers. When the food finally arrived, it was quite good. The eggplant was firmer than the familiar red-cooked eggplant, in a tangy sourish, rich sauce with just a hint of spice. As Thi noted, the eggplant is cooked in the style of fish, not with fish in the dish. The extra sauce made an excellent accompaniment poured over rice. The green beans were pretty much the same dish you get everywhere but very well-prepared rendition, not at all overly greasy or sweet like at some places. The fish was...interesting. The pickled peppers taste kind of like pepperoncini or some other bottled vinegary concoction, which is an unusual taste combined with Chinese food. The dish was spicy but not at all overwhelming. Don't know if I would get it again but it was fun to try. I cast a wistful glance at all the plates of hot peppers with chicken cubes on the other tables, but we were trying to eat a little lighter. It would be great if they had half-orders... There was no beer available. The staff seemed to rearrange a massive pile of china plates about every 10 minutes, which created more din than seemed strictly necessary. But there were many other dishes I would have liked to try...all the Chong qing dishes (what is this?)..the balsam pear (what is this?) and several different types of bok choy in white sauce (can anyone describe the white sauce?). I just wish the service had been a little more attentive and the atmosphere a little calmer...Chung King seemed better on these counts.

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