Let me say this: They don't serve gelato.
Ok. So how about that rain? Exciting, no? Yesterday seemed to be one of those days where I did the essentials like shower and get dressed in between naps. Nothing productive happened around the house, so when the mention of dinner was made, the idea of actually pulling out a pan and producing a meal was just not going to happen.
Pizza? No, we just had a ZBQ from Z Pizza on Friday.
"I'm feeling like soup."
Indian? Taste of India. They have a wonderful Mulligatawny soup, but the atmosphere is generally subdued. Not the ideal dining spot with a hungry Kidlet in tow.
Chinese? Now you're talking. It was a perfect night for a nice Wor Won Ton.
We've been attempting to visit Diamond's, but on several tries it's been closed. We're still trying to find our regular spot in central Phx since moving down here last summer. Our old place was Super Dragon on 12th St/Northern. It had the perfect combination of good food, stellar service, and overall atmosphere and cleanliness. We've been to a couple place in central Phx the past few months that have been suspect in the area of cleanliness *raises brow*.
We arrived at 6:30 and the parking lot was 50% full. We walked in and were met with the fish tanks. These aren't the fish tanks with little treasure chests and gravel bottoms. Nope. These fish tanks represent what could be on your plate in five minutes. Tanks of lobster, crab, cod, and other fish with the fear of death in their eyes. I spent some time in Hong Kong, and this is just how the fish is displayed in restuarants there. It's something you don't see in Phoenix. So that was tipoff #1 that this was going to be good.
Tipoff #2 was the clientele. When we arrived there was one other non-Asian couple dining. The rest of the diners were groups of Asians. I whispered to husband, "I think we've found the right place." Looking for good Mexican food - eat where they eat. Looking for good Indian - eat where they eat. Looking for good gelato...uh, never mind.
I noticed that they offer two menus. The white for the gwailos, and the pink for the Asians. I asked for both. There was definitely a difference. If you're in a daring mood, order off the pink menu. If you're not - or if you have a 2yo Kidlet who needs to eat off your plate, you go with the white.
First order of business was checking out the soups. They have Wor Won Ton(3.95) on the menu so we had to go with that. I used to order Super D's WWT to go once a week, I loved it. So Diamond's needed to convince me theirs was worth a repeat visit. Husband tossed around the idea of ordering a lobster, but we just weren't in the mood for the $60 price tag. So he went with the butterfly prawns and egg(7.95). Sounds interesting. Knowing that I'm the primary source for Kidlet, I had to go with something very toddler friendly(read: boring). I went with the lemon chicken(5.95). Now even though lemon chicken is tres boring, I think it's one of those dishes you can gauge a restaurant by. We also ordered two egg rolls(1.00) because I feel egg rolls are also a gauge food.
After a few minutes the WWT arrived. Wow. Even if it tasted so-so, it's the prettiest bowl of WWT I've ever seen. It was filled with bok choy, onions, chicken, pork and shrimp. It was definitely a meal in itself. It's soup for 4. I told Husband, "Super D's doesn't compare." He agreed. This is deinitely where I'm coming if I have the urge for soup.
The eggrolls came next. They were very big, and cooked very well and dark brown. Some might not like them fried that long, but we liked them.
It wasn't long before our entrees arrived. Husband's dish was shrimp with vegetables in a soupy brown sauce, and on top was a scrambled egg. He took one bite and said, "The sauce is great."
My lemon chicken looked great. It was either two breast's worth or one of those Costco freaky breasts. It had a light crunchy outside, which I like. I'm not a fan of the fully breaded chicken pieces. On the side was the lemon sauce. On the side. I love on the side. It lets me decide how much sauce I want on my chicken. Kidlet loved it. I gave her some chicken and some sauce and she just got to dipping. She wouldn't stop. This is something that's never happened in the history of Kidlet's dining out: we had to wait for her to finish. She didn't want to leave.
The people next to us ordered a whole fried fish. The people on the other side ordered the crab and the lobster. It seems the fresh fish is what people come for. I noticed that they also offer a Vietnamese menu - go figure.
On the way out we paid a visit to the fish tanks. The lobster were huge. Now the $60 price tag makes sense. Our dinner bill was $21.xx, not including tip. Gotta love that.
So back what I like about Super D, and how it compares to Diamond's.
Food - I'll give the nod the Diamond's. The fresh fish alone brings people back again and again. And the WWT is better.
Service - I'm going with Super D. The staff is really friendly, and the Mexican guy who's been there for years never lets your water glass get half empty. But that's not to say that Diamond's is bad - they could use a bus person to handle the water/extra napkin requests though.
Cleanliness - Super D wins. Diamond's is superior to Gourmet House of Hong Kong(eek), but a good mopping of the tile floor is in order. In part I think it's due to the short staff. Those women are running around so much there's no time to think about basic clean up. I guess one plus to this is that when your kid spills crap all over the floor you don't feel as bad..heh heh.
Verdict: We'll be going again. It's not some place I'd take my snooty in laws, but it's good. And the price is right.
Diamond's Chinese Restaurant
4402 N 7TH Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85013-2905