Friday, May 4, 2012

Emperor's Garden

          The Emperor’s Garden (or Empire Garden, depending on which sign you read) is a restaurant in Chinatown, that I discovered when my coworkers at my last job chose it for my going away party. We had a large family style dinner with tons of great dishes and drinks, and I had been meaning to try it for dim sum ever since. I finally made it in a few weeks ago and had another great experience.

          Although the food is excellent, one of the things about this restaurant that truly stands out is the atmosphere. It’s located in an old opera house, with high cathedral style ceilings, and spectacular decorations. During my most recent visit, for dim sum, we were seated at possibly the best location in the place: right in front of the kitchen door where the carts came out.

          I went with a group of three (in the past I’ve only gone with two), which meant we got to try a lot more dishes including chicken feet for the first time. As an adventurous foodie I had been wanting to try them at least once, but wasn’t sure if I’d like them. A couple of friends had told me that they were fun to try as a novelty, but they weren’t crazy about them. I actually really liked them! They were similar to a chicken wing, but a little bit different texture and not as crispy. I would definitely order them again.

         In addition to the chicken feet, we tried several different dumplings, rolls, and buns. Some of the dishes that really stood out were:

Roast Duck

Seafood Dumplings

Made to Order Shrimp Rolls

          We paid our check and prepared to leave full and completely satisfied, but one thing on our way out made us slightly less so. We walked past a buffet station that we hadn’t noticed on our way to the table. We paused to check out what looked like baby clams and other seafood, and although they offered us some, we declined and decided it was just one more reason to go back!

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