Restaurants & Bars

Boston Area

Pacific Garden, Chinatown, Boston


Restaurants & Bars

Pacific Garden, Chinatown, Boston

Limster | Jun 15, 2004 12:24 AM

Inspired by the recent thread on this place, I decided to give it a more serious whirl for dinner, instead of the surface scratching I had done previously. Having had something salt and pepper'd or with ginger and scallion at virtually every Cantonese meal, we decided to order something different off their Chinese menu, stuff that was more unique to this restaurant, instead of the "normal" regiment of dishes.

Winter melon soup (steamed in a tall porcelain pot) has a mellow but savoury complexity, drawing from a fine base of chicken stock and mildly smoky, salty ham, dried scallops, and likely a judicious application of Chinese herbs. Soft winter melon chunks soak in that clear brown broth.

A house special chicken is excellent, lightly braised to a delicious suppleness, just precisely cooked and no more, the bones still barely a trace of red. Lovely sweet (honeyed?) sauce based braising sauce, light but interesting, giving just that hint of delicate sweetness, nuanced and delightful against the umami.

Crab is excellent. It's given the flash-deep frying followed by stir frying treatment, but instead of ginger and scallions that are often used to freshen up seafood with heavy marine flavours, it came with a rich sauce made with salted duck yolks, rich saltiness against the mildly sweet crab. The crab itself is essentially perfectly cooked, juicy, sweet, fresh, and just right texture, firm but tender, flaking easily into individual fibres that retain a succulent integrity.

A fairly standard garlic stir fried kang kong (water convolvus).

Neat dessert of coconut milk, sago (small tapioca pearls) and taro.

I think this place warrants some serious checking out. The Chinese menu might be a good place to start; it's not straightforward for those who don't read Chinese, but I know that hasn't stopped all you intrepid and resourceful Chowhounds.

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