My family and I went to try Luck Garden Seafood Restaurant last night for Sunday dinner. We’ve heard a lot of good things about this restaurant and decided to finally give it a try. It surprised me a bit that Dad was the one who suggested we eat Chinese food for dinner, since usually we opt for Japanese or Filipino dishes whenever he’s home from China.
The interiors of the restaurant was pretty decent, although it’s definitely not your high class type of Chinese restaurant. Some of their utensils have already shown serious wear and tear (as in the case of their soup’s serving spoons, which had some areas already chipped off, but was still given to customers).
Before I show you the things we ordered that evening, let me just warn you that the photos for this post are of poorer quality compared to my other posts. I forgot to bring my Nikon with me. 🙁 Anyway, here goes:
Jellyfish with Century Eggs (海蜇与松花蛋)
The meal started off with this standard appetizer in Chinese restaurants. I know a lot of people (even some of my Chinese friends) do not like eating this because of its chewy texture, but our family enjoyed this a lot. I guess it’s an acquired taste.
Pork Asado (Char Siew/叉烧) and Lechon Macau
I seriously enjoyed munching on the crispy skin of the Lechon Macau, but found the Char Siew to be too sweet for me to really like it.
Chicken Asparagus Soup (鸡片芦笋汤)
I’m not a very big fan of this type of soup to start with, so I am a bit biased when I say that I didn’t like it very much. My Dad thought it was pretty good though.
Yang Chow Fried Rice (扬州炒饭)
I had pretty high expectations for this dish, probably because we used to eat this a lot when our own restaurant was still open. We found this a little bland, but was still okay.
Mapo Tofu (麻婆豆腐)
I love Mapo Tofu for its spicy kick, so it was easy for me to say that I DID NOT like Luck Garden’s version of the Sichuan dish. The entire family agreed that it was sweet, nothing spicy about it at all. Another thing that made this disappointing: Too much cornstarch.
Polunchay (Chinese spinach/菠菜) with 2 kinds of eggs
This vegetable dish doesn’t look very appetizing because of the very thick sauce, but it wasn’t really that bad. The two kinds of eggs they used were your regular chicken egg and century eggs. Oh, and see those huge brown things in the picture? Those are actually fried garlic cloves.
Fish Fillet Bean Curd (鱼片豆腐)
I wasn’t a big fan of this hotpot dish. My brother and I agreed that it wasn’t salty enough and came out tasting sweet.
Hot Tea for drinks!
In our opinion, there are three areas wherein Luck Garden could improve on:
(1) take proper control in using thickening agents for their dishes. We are very aware that Chinese cooking usually involve the use of cornstarch (or other types of flour) to thicken their sauces, but it becomes very difficult to eat dishes which have gone already overboard.
(2) Learn to season their dishes better. More heat for spicy dishes like Mapo Tofu (just like how it’s supposed to be); use a bit more salt and less sugar (for cases like the Fish Fillet Bean Curd and Yang Chow Fried Rice).
(3) Train their service staff a bit more. We’ve observed that a number of their service crew still lacks training in terms of proper service. Some of the staff are not observant and lack initiative when waiting tables. Some of them don’t tell you what type of dish they’re serving: They go to your table, put the dish on it without any finesse and leave you in a rush. One other thing, they don’t look very neat in their uniforms either. Improving on this area will definitely add to the pleasantness of dining there.
Here’s the final verdict: Luck Garden Seafood Restaurant’s food is a little more decent compared to the other Chinese restaurants that have sprouted all over the metro. I’ll give that to them. Will I find myself eating there again? The answer is probably yes, but it still haven’t been able to make the top of my list when I think about Chinese food. A little tweaking here and there and I think they’ll be able to become a lot better. 🙂
***Luck Garden Seafood Restaurant is located at Kanlaon Street, corner Quezon Avenue, Quezon City. It’s right beside Burger King Welcome Rotonda branch.