Thursday, May 7, 2015

Restaurant Review: Tong Soon Garden

Tong Soon Garden - dinner on May 1, 2015, 4-star rating on yelp
I met a friend for dinner last week. We always like to try new places either around where we work or live to check out local restaurants. Yelp is an invaluable source when we need suggestions of where to eat.
This time around, we went for Chinese food at Tong Soon Garden. I was caught in traffic and ended up a few minutes late, exacerbated by the fact that I missed the restaurant the first time around because it was literally right on the main street and not tucked away in a strip mall like I had thought so I overshot it and had to double back.
Fortunately it wasn’t that crowded so we already had a table. The menu was a standard Chinese menu, meaning lots of choices. Price points were slightly higher, meaning most main dishes were in the $10-$15 range. Most Chinese restaurants typically have a good selection in the $10 or under price point. However, the higher range was immediately explainable when our orders came out in much larger portions than I’m used to getting at a typical Chinese restaurant. They were definitely on the generous side.
Fried Chicken Wings

We ordered an appetizer of fried chicken wings, Sweet and Sour Pork Peking Style and Beef Chow Fun. There were only 2 of us but we had enough to feed at least 6 people. The wings were delicious and full of flavor as they also came in some sort of glaze. I was less thrilled with the Sweet and Sour Pork Peking Style. I ordered it Peking style because, based on my experiences in other restaurants, it had more flavor and sweetness than the regular sweet and sour pork. Which was also true in this case but the sauce wasn’t as good as I’ve had elsewhere and the pork pieces were on the skinny side, especially when you factor in the breading. Actually, it had more breading than I expected as I also thought Peking style meant less breading.
Sweet and Sour Pork, Peking Style
The Beef Chow Fun was good but the beef to noodles ratio leaned a bit skimpy on the beef and there were lots of chow fun noodles. I also didn’t like the bean sprouts and would’ve preferred the dish without it. So of the 3 dishes, the fried chicken wings were the best. I also have to give props to the service as they were quick. Our food came out so fast it made me wonder how much was ready-made and just sitting by the kitchen door. Except for the chow fun, the other two dishes had to be fried at the last minute to have crispy exteriors and the mere minutes between ordering and the food arriving didn’t seem like enough time to fry that much food. Yet they were crispy where they should’ve been.
Beef Chow Fun
If you want a nice Chinese restaurant for a large party with fast service, this is a good place to go. Parking in the back isn’t all that plentiful so I suggest car pooling. You can park on the street but since it’s in the main drag with lots of traffic, I don’t recommend it. 

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