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Oct 7, 2004 06:57 AM

the BEST Chinese in Broward County, beats even NYC Chinatown!

  • s

Being originally from NY,
finding GREAT Chinese restaurant in Florida was a "Mission Impossible" 'till I was brought to Silver Pond few years ago.

I found dishes there I haven't seen even in NYC Chinatown "asian only" eateries.

Not all the dishes are on the menu like:
colossal oysters with garlic, or black bean, or XO sauce (7-8 inches long!!!, $3 a pop)
or eel.

It has charms I previously enjoyed in Singapore, like going to the fish tank and pointing which creature you want.

Wine list is pathetic,
but you can bring your own bottle(s),
$5 corkage fee per bottle.

I recomend it highly to the REAL Chinese food lovers!


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  1. I lived in Broward for nearly 25 years and I, too, am a former NY'er. I once figured it out that I've eaten well over 1500 Chinese meals in my lifetime.

    I've also posted on Silver Pond many, many times - My parents lived 7 miles from the restaurant in Inverrary. There's a place right down the block, heading west, called Hong Kong Kitchen, that's also good. Not decorated as nicely....if that's important to you. It's not to me.

    However, to suggest that The Pond is better than those found in Chinatown is a stretch. Hey, we were thrilled to have Silver Pond...don't get me wrong. But, come on.....

    Yeah, it's a great substitute for our Northern friends, who visit us - That's why we're here in Florida isn't it? To provide free accomodations to all our friends up North who might "still" love to visit? I use the word "still" because perhaps our recent weather has scared some of them silly. Might not be a bad thing.

    The responses I've always received when bringing my NY friends to Silver Pond is a very pleasant surprise "Hey, this is pretty good!" Or, "This is very acceptable Chinese!" They told us the same thing when we took them to Mario the Baker, too.

    But, I can tell you, from hands-on experience, having just returned from two wonderful meals in NYC's Chinatown, that it's not better than NY Noodletown on Bowery, Big Wong's, etc...Dude, perhaps you've been away from the real stuff too long.

    Sadly, I found some disappointments in Bergen County, NJ, just over the GW Bridge, which use to have equally terrific Chinese food. On the same level as their counterparts in NYC. I did find that to be the case last month.

    Your post may have ignited a good and healthy discussion here. You'll hear the dame old arguments that we now live in Florida and get over NY. Well, that's fine but you're the one that chose to bring up such a comparison and there is none IMHO.

    Just had an incredible Chow Fun with Shrimp and Lobster Sauce at NY Noodletown...Thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I mean, even their basic soups simply cannot not be matched.

    Boston's Chinatown had some very good food. We can report a positive comparison there between the Pond's version and East Ocean City's ..Lobster with Ginger and Scallions. They were absolutely on par with each other...That much I'll give you. But, that was Boston....Not NYC's Chinatown.

    Whenever I get the chance to get to NYC, I always plan a half day just walking in Chinatown. I jsut enjoy watching their chefs' genius, the speed in which they operate, their equipment, and their unbelievable work ethic. Still looking for that first smile though. Some amazing people.

    I contend that Chinese chefs are the most skilled of all. Love their food!

    22 Replies
    1. re: Chuck

      let's compare "apples to apples".

      I am comparing Chinese Food to Chinese Food,
      like the Chinese Food I had in:
      and NOT "American Version of Chinese Food"

      As far as Authenticity goes,
      Silver Pond is head above their NYC conterparts.
      For example,
      where in NYC can you order...sea cucumber?
      Eel out of the fish tank,
      just to name a few.

      I, like you, also lived in Bergen County
      (New Milford) and ...haven't seen ONE Chinese restaurant there which would be worth consideration for TRUE Chinese food lovers

      Do you compare Silver Pond to REAL Chinese restaurants or to their American "brothers and sisters"?

      1. re: Serge

        Good morning!

        The Silver Pond is a favorite of mine as well. Go observe the right side of the restuarant, where mostly Chinese sit, and you'll see most of what they are ordering is not on the menu. This is the food that beats even Chinatown in NYC.

        It took my husband and I months to get the waitstaff there to take us seriously when we ordered some of the "real" Chinese dishes. When we ordered at first they would tell us they were out of this, out of that, you won't like it...anything to divert us back to more traditional dishes for the American palette.

        But once you get the "real" stuff there, you will love it (if you like that sort of thing). They do an amazing job with fresh fish out of the tank, you'll have to try it sometime.

        I have no doubt you can find better shrimp with lobster sauce in NYC.

        1. re: Susanne

          I have no doubt you can find better shrimp with lobster sauce in NYC.

          yeah, but WHERE would you find Chinamen ordering that???????

          1. re: Serge

            Shrimp in lobster sauce...

            My ancestors are rolling in their graves...

            1. re: Serge

              "I have no doubt you can find better shrimp with lobster sauce in NYC."

              serge: yeah, but WHERE would you find Chinamen ordering that???????

              I think that THAT was Susannes point. I think you arehaving a heated agreement with Susanne.

              1. re: BeaN

                as every husband in good standing should

            2. re: Susanne

              Susanne: The shot about Lobster Cantonese won't cut it with me. Just because I choose to eat the American basics doesn't mean I don't know what legitimate Chinese food offerings are available.

              Appreciating the cuisine and it's chefs has led me to observe all of their foods very carefully. Just because I don't eat something doesn't mean I don't know about it. Trust me...I know all about their food. But, thanks for letting us know you are one of those special people who eat the "real" Chinese food. I guess you only sit on the right side at the restaurant?

              hey, just wondering... When's the last time you were in Chinatown to make a statement that the Pond makes things one cannot get in Chinatown? I'd love to hear a few of those hidden gems you cannot find in NYC, but are available on SR 7 in Lauderhill. If you don't mind. Please educate me....

              1. re: Chuck

                Susanne is out on the errands,
                but when she gets back, you are in for a treat!
                Susanne spent 6 years as a waitress in Chinese restaurant in Portland, and will gladly enlighten one who "knows everything about Chinese food"

                I personally always envied people who know _everything_, ESPECIALLY about food!

                Which restaurant in China town serves:
                grinded meat with "semi-rotten fish"?
                (I am sure you know the name of the dish and fish as you know everything about their food)
                Pork intestines?

                I couldn't even get real Scottish haggies in NYC, due to it's strict food code....

                I'm sure Susanne will throw a few more curved balls at ya when she has a chance

                On Guard!

                1. re: Serge

                  I'm looking forward to the lesson.

                  And while she's out, you are saying the Pond serves an intestinal dish that is not served in Chinatown?

            3. re: Serge
              s.m. koppelman

              Hey, I love Silver Pond (and Hong Kong City, which is a mile or so *north*, not west ;) ). If a tornado ripped either one off US 441 and dropped them in one of NYC's chinatowns, they'd do just fine. I'd put them in the middle of the pack as far as HK-style stuff goes in American Chinatowns.

              But unique? Better? Ehh. Serge, if you can't find sea cucumber and live eels in NYC's Chinatown, you should look harder.. or maybe you've been down here too long. Both are easier to find statistically speaking in the Brooklyn and Queens Chinatowns just because those have fewer gringo-oriented restaurants mixed in, but it's all over the place, but you can get it in Manhattan just fine. And where down here can you find good Malaysian, Shanghainese, Taiwanese, tong shui, Tibetan, real Szechuan, or Uighur? You can get all of that in NYC (though some of it may involve a detour to Flushing, Sunset Park or out near Kings Highway). Silver Pond and HK City are basically HK/Cantonese.

              You *can* find some of the other Chinese regional stuff at Pepper's in Pembroke Pines, which is great if impossible to compare to Silver Pond and HK City because the menus are so different. If you haven't been there, you absolutely need to.

              By the way, Serge.. have you tried the Chinese/Viet roast meats at Gou Lou Cheung, the barbecue takeout at the far end of the same plaza where Silver Pond is? Best Chinese barbecue in South Florida easily. And you can get fresh shrimp noodles to cook up at home at the little place in between simply called "prepared foods".

              1. re: s.m. koppelman

                Dear s.m. koppelman,
                you are 100% on the money with diversity of aian food in NYC,
                I STILL can't find Malaysian restaurant in Florida

                I go to NYC on a regular basis, still have family there and would appreciate you posting the list of your favorite NYC Asian hang outs
                (Brooklyn, Queens are fine, I have a car when I say in NJ ;-)

                HK City I stopped going to after few years ago their cousine went south and as much as I don't care about decor,
                FOOD quality is VERY important to me

                I know this take out place, it's next door to Vietnamese/Chinese supermarket we frequent!
                Gotta try their take out, per your recomendation and YES,
                we'll try Pepper's in Pembroke Pines.
                Any idea about their BYOB policy?

              2. re: Serge

                Serge? Are you serious? In Chinatown, they have all of the things you are speaking of - Sea Cucumber, eel, sea urchin, Chinese eggplant, Chinese string beans, winter mellon, preserved eggs, etc.

                If you are walking along their streets, going into their produce and fish places, their grocery stores, etc. They have all of that. Tanks loaded with all types of fish including those sea urchins, eels, etc. The variety is mind bogling and because of my very basic eating desires, distusting to me.

                We have guys on this site that will eat anything! Adventurous eaters to say the least. SMK comes first to my mind. But what does that have to do with the comparison of the Pond vs Chinatown eateries?

                I mean, I've never been to Hong Kong, but what other city offers as much to it's Asian citezens or as purveyors to their restaurants then NYC's Chinatown?

                At the Silver Pond, there are lots of Asians eating there and that's a good sign. I am not arguing that it isn't good! Hey, I love the place, too. But, it's not on a par with Chinatown's best eateries IMHO. Actaully, I never had a bad meal anyplace in Chinatown.

                But, you're saying they don't have these foods in Chinatown adn the do at the Pond. That's simply not true. They have it all! If anything, the Pond has merely brought Chinatown specialities down to a desperate group of Asians living here clamoring for them. Witness the fact that on any night at the Pond you see loads of Asians sitting around one of their big tables with those lazy Susans.

                Ever sense you were a second class citizen at the Pond? Once in a while, we did. But, what am I comparing...Good question. I'm comparing "the popular" Hong Kong and Cantonese dishes...I do not consider it American Chinese but if you do, fine.

                So, perhaps what your saying is you've eaten all the unusual types of Chinese dishes in Chinatown and the Pond and the Pond's versions are better? If that's so, I cannot argue with you. That's all I eat...No eel for me. But, if you're saying that if I ate eel, it would be better at The Pond then in NYC's Chinatown? If so, I should have stipulated the exact dishes I am comparing from the Pond to Chinatown's versions. Ok..fine.

                Perhaps there is somebody on the site that eats sea urchin, duck feet over rice, gizzards over rice. etc. Hey, I know all the dishes...I just don't eat them but I love to watch the Chinese gobble them down! What say you about the comparisons of such dishes at the Pond vs NYC's Chinatown.

                Not to digress, but did you ever notice that they bring food out in stages at The Pond? I have never received all our order at the same time! It's either the lobster that arrives after the Peking Pork Chops,etc.or vice versa. Count on the fried rice being brought first all the time though. Must have limited wok capacity in the kitchen.

                1. re: Chuck

                  >>>>>>>>Ever sense you were a second class citizen at the Pond? Once in a while, we did.

                  yes, of course we did the beggining. My wife Susanne commented on the experience already, but..
                  after INSISTING on the dishes we liked to try DESPITE their objections
                  (like grinded pork with what I call "semi-rotten fish", which smells like s... but melts in your mouth with pugent flavors), talking basic Chinese my wife learned in college, we are now treated like kings and waiting stuff knows better not to argue with our food selections

                  Making trip to the counter, shaking owner's hand and INSISTING on him giving us the recepie of Peking Pork Chops ALSO helped matters tremendously!

                  Next time you get there, talk to Danny (the owner up front) first and INSIST on sitting on the right side of the room, where mostly Chinese congregate,
                  and you'll have absolutelly different treatment

                  1. re: Serge


                    Hey, the point was you made a pretty strong statement that the Pond was better than anything you could find in Chinatown. If I said that, what would your reply have been?

                    Moving forward....Very interesting others have also felt a bit less than on the same level with the Pond's Asian customers. The situation surely exists in Chinatown as well. Hey, it's all about the food.

                    But, frankly we never cared much. Just thrilled to have decent Chinese (Americanized - I have to quantify this from now on - Really, not a bad point) in Florida.

                    The only thing that really pissed us off at the Pond's management, and they did this on a regular basis before the renovation, was their scheduling one of their weddings on a Friday or Saturday. Tehy never gave any advanced notice to us Gringos on their door that they'd be closed.

                    Lots of us Gringos would show up and the place was closed. No sorry.... No nothing. They could have cared less. And I do know who Danny is. Their younger staff is much much nicer than the older people were. Same goes for their waiters. Remember, I'm talking a few years ago.

                    But, here's the absolute best part about their unannnounced closings ...We'd ask if there was another place they could recommend? We'd have people with us from NY and we'd told thjem the place was good, etc.

                    You know what they did? They sent us miles away on Commercial to Tamarac to this place that was no where near as good as their place. NEVER ONCE DID THEY SEND US RIGHT DOWN THE STREET TO HONG KONG KITCHEN! Which, of course, used to be just as good as the Pond! Real cute! Sadly, we only found out about HKK after they finished their renovation.

                    Oh, incidently, I've actually found two places that I think are better than the Pond for Americanized Chinese in case youo are desperate and cannot find Chinese Chinese. One is the China Dumpling in Boynton Beach. The other is in Central Florida, where we now live, near Altamonte Springs. It is called Eastern Pearl...terrific...for Americanized Chinese.

                    You know I hate using that word "Americanized" Chinese because it feels like Chung King...but in deference to you and Suzzane, I will from now on...Good point...Well taken..No argument here. : . }

                    I loved watching Tony Bordain on FoodTV. He tasted everything I'd never eat for me! I miss his show very much. Heard he was an excellent chef, too.

                    Ok, so Salad Shrimp (mayonnaise based sauce) which I happen to know for a fact is a special occasion dish served at weddings in Hong Kong, is not Chinese Chinese? What about Orange Pork Chops, Peking Pork Chops, Sizzling Rice Soup, Baby Bok Choy, Peking Duck, Roast Pork with String Beans, Lobster with Black Bean Sauce, etc. Hmmmm. Man, I'm confused after 59 years!

                    1. re: Chuck

                      Very good observation, indeed!
                      No pre-announcements about events whatsoever!

                      oh well, that's how we discovered Vietnamese restaurant practically next door and added it to our repertoire

                      as for:
                      "Ok, so Salad Shrimp (mayonnaise based sauce) which I happen to know for a fact is a special occasion dish served at weddings in Hong Kong, is not Chinese Chinese? What about Orange Pork Chops, Peking Pork Chops, Sizzling Rice Soup, Baby Bok Choy, Peking Duck, Roast Pork with String Beans, Lobster with Black Bean Sauce, etc. Hmmmm. Man, I'm confused after 59 years"
                      Susanne is more qualified than me to answer this one,
                      I HONESTLY don't know!

                  2. re: Chuck

                    Chuck, as for the rest of your post,
                    I'll quote Romans:
                    "De gustibus non disputandum" - One ought not argue about tastes.

                    You have your taste and I have mine


                2. re: Chuck

                  next time you are in bergen county, nj, try john's shanghai in edgewater. excellent authentic shanghai chinese.

                  1. re: meb903

                    Edgewater? It's next to Cliffside Park where I used to have an office...
                    where exactly it's located?
                    I'll definatelly wanna try it!

                    1. re: Serge

                      Serge - I grew up in Englewood, NJ. After you've had your fill of Chinese Chinese food when you are in NJ (we just got back from the Fatherland), get on 9W heading towards Ft. Lee and go to Hirum's for the best of NJ's Hot dogs - NJ is the hot dog capital of the USA.

                      Incidently, there is supposed to be a terrific Chinese Chinese Chinese Chinese restaurant near the GW Bridge called China 46. Great dumplings, etc. Lots of Asians frequent the place. Check the TriState site here - many NJ hounds have mentioned the place. Sadly, we never got to it.

                      I know this is a Florida site...but I'm probably reaching all NJ people anyway so what the heck. Hey, is there anybody from Florida that was born here?

                      1. re: Chuck

                        thanks for the recomendations, we'll be in Manhattan in March and will try the new places.
                        As for Hiram's,
                        I was passing it for 10 years on my way to the office,
                        it's on Palisades Avenue, dogs never appealed to me

                        as for Englewood,
                        did you try
                        "It's Greek to Me"?
                        very good Greek place!

                        1. re: Serge


                          Please save the Jersey reminesences or reccos for the Tristate board. Let's keep the focus of this board on Florida chow.


                    2. re: meb903

                      M - I will try it ..Thanks. Empire in Fairlawn was a disappointment. Excellent quality ingredients with no taste.

                  2. All respect to Silver Pond, which is the best I've found in the area, but Silver Pond is NO comparison to Queens.

                    I moved from Forest Hills about a year ago, and ate in nearby Flushing at least once a week. My favorites were "intestine sausage," or intestines with a rice-based stuffing, tendons in chili sauce, and tiny octopus grilled by a man on the street.

                    For variety, both of cuisines and ingredients, Silver Pond (which is basically HK, or "melting pot" Chinese) is no comparison.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Mamab

                      I don't know if I'm on the right site, but i was looking for a chinatown in florida where I could hang out with my friends from Shanghai china, who had just moved here in florida miami!