We had time on Sunday for brunch in San Ramon. I haven't been here for over 6 months and wanted to see if the quality was holding up. This restaurant has the most extensive non Cantonese style small eats (xiao chr) in the 'burbs. The dining room (seats 39) was only a third full when the 3 of us arrived at 12:15.
Here is what we tried:
Hot & sour soup: Decent rendition with all the proper ingredients.
xiaolongbao: 6 in a bamboo steamer, thin skins, most contained some soup, good flavor but seemed greasier than others I've had.
shengjianbao: 6 panfried bao, well risen dough, generous filling.
tofu sheets wrapped around ground pork filling: Two long rolls, cut into bite size pieces, steamed with a light sauce. Delicious.
Salted duck: This was given to us by mistake, I had ordered the 5 spice duck, but we had already tried it and it was good, so did not ask them to correct it. Both this dish and the tofu rolls are listed on the cold appetizer section, but came out warm. We probably were the first to order it that day. Either way they tasted really good.
Scallion pancake: Nicely done, thin and crisp, good flavor.
House special potstickers: 6 cigar shaped dumplings, Tianjin style. Excellent.
Beef chow fun with gravy: Generous serving, the fun was fresh, but according to my daughter, still not up to the caliber of the Sun Hong Kong (Oakland) version.
Total bill before tip was $34. We took home leftovers.
The owner, Amy, came by to say hello. I noticed several people come thru for take out. When we left, the room was still only a third full. Service was efficient, and the kitchen is pretty fast, we were done by 1.
I do like this place a lot, it's just located a little further from the mainstream. If only a Ranch 99 would open up nearby, they'd really be hopping. But then, maybe the quality would suffer.
Pearl Garden Restaurant
2101 Camino Ramon Rd, #100
San Ramon 925-355-9888
"Chinese Cuisine Include: Hunan, Sze-Chuan, Peking & HK Style"