Saturday, January 13, 2007

China Garden, Irvine

As much as I love cooking, I don't do it on a daily basis. When I don't cook, there are a few restaurants that I always frequent in Orange County, and one of them is certainly China Garden.

Serving authentic Cantonese cuisine (you have to know what to order though), China Garden has never failed my high expectations. If you would like to try out real Chinese food, here are some dishes that I strongly recommend.

I am partial to soy foods and I love all kinds of tofu. One of my favorite dishes at China Garden is the above "Special Braised Bean Curd" dish. Deep-fried to perfection, these silky and soft tofu cubes are steeped in aromatic five-spice and star anise-flavored soy sauce. The taste is simply delightful.

If you go to China Garden, don't miss out their fresh seafood, especially the fish. Like any typical Cantonese-style Chinese restaurants, China Garden offers a variety of live seafood such as Dungeness Crab, Alaska King Crab, live shrimp, and a few kinds of live fish. I love their live red cod. This fish is divine when it's cooked two ways--steamed and stir-fried. First, the fish head (trust me, it's delicious!) is chopped into small pieces, coated with flour, and fried. Then, they are tossed with ginger and scallions. I love this dish as it has enough wok hei--the breath of wok-- the essence of it comes through in this creation. Next, the body of the fish is steamed with soy sauce, ginger, and scallions. I am not sure about you, but I could just eat my steamed rice with that soy sauce alone!

For vegetable dishes, I recommend their "Pan-fried String Beans with Minced Meat." This is a very popular Chinese vegetable dish; the crunchy string beans are lightly fried in oil and then tossed with minced pork. Seasoned only with salt, this is a simple but flavorful dish.


All in all though, China Garden is a very good Chinese restaurant. Other dishes I recommend are:
  1. Salt and pepper crab or ginger and scallions crab
  2. Fried chicken
  3. Souffle with almond flavor (baked almond tea topped with a pastry crust) - A must-try!
China Garden
14825 Jeffrey Rd
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 653-9988

Other review:
  1. China Garden Dim Sum - Monster Munching

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Comments on "China Garden, Irvine"

Blogger Claude-Olivier said ... (January 14, 2007 at 12:38 PM) : 

It is just so beautiful...I wonder why I'm still leaving in Switzerland... ;-) We have only a few asian restaurants and they are not so famous...anyway, I cook by myself and it is better ;-) Thank you for the proposition, I will try, I promise you !! I have written something on my blog for you in English ;-)

Have a nice day
Claude

Blogger Deb said ... (January 14, 2007 at 4:57 PM) : 

China Garden is right down the street from me and one of my boys favorite places! I've got to try to tofu...it looks amazing.

Blogger Rasa Malaysia said ... (January 14, 2007 at 5:27 PM) : 

Claude-Olivier,

You are so nice! I have never been to Switzerland but I have seen some of the most beautiful pictures shot there! (I think this is grass-is-always-greener syndrome.)

Thanks for your English comment for me. I look forward to your Chicken Satay post. :)

Hi Deb - yes, the tofu is amazing.

Blogger Keropok Man said ... (January 14, 2007 at 9:05 PM) : 

I love deep fried long beans (or you all call it String beans in US). With minced meat. oh oh so yummmy...

Blogger elmomonster said ... (January 15, 2007 at 8:05 AM) : 

I love this place too. So glad its in Irvine!

Anonymous Chinese Restaurant said ... (July 17, 2008 at 8:41 PM) : 

Interesting article, you make some interesting points .

Chinese Restaurant directory

Blogger BunnyHeaven27 said ... (June 28, 2009 at 9:19 AM) : 

The dim sum there is AWESOME!

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