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Nov 30, 2008 11:22 AM

A tale of two King Fung Gardens

We had heard about the changes in King Fung Garden ownership but decided to see for ourselves. As background, I've bee a regular customer at King Fung Garden in Chinatown for over 25 years.

About two weeks ago we went down to the Chinatown KFG. On entering, the waitress did not look familiar and I asked if there was a change of owners. While first a little unclear she did confirm that ownership had changed. We ordered some famliar favorites, scallion pancakes, peking ravioli and Shangai chow mein and found all three disapointing. The scallion pancake was cracker like and lacked the chewy inside that (IMHO) contrasts so nicely with the crunchy exteror. The dumplings were bland and the noodles in the Shanghai chow mein were did not taste homemade. The waitress asked if the dishes tasted the same and I told her no. She insisted they did and her father (the chef) had worked here and learned how to make all of the dishes from the former chef (Irwin). Anyway, we escaped politely, and promised ourselves not to return.

Last night we ventured out to Brookline and saw the familiar faces of Irwin and Doris! We had called the day before and ordered a duck and can say that everything we had was just as we remembered it at the old KFG!!!

We were the only diners (except for some drunken high school students who came in late during our meal), so we are hopeful that the devoted KFG fans will venture out to Brookline and keep this great place run by great people thriving.

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  1. Thanks. Though I live in Brookline, I've always gone to the Chinatown location and never to the Brookline one. Now I'll just have to come home.

    1. I live right by the Brookline location and finally decided to give it a try about a week ago. I thought the food was downright awful. I had pretty low expectations going in and it didn't even live up to those.

      Plus, I called in my order and was told 10-15 min. I got there after 15 min and had to wait another 15 min with no acknowledgement at all. I was standing at the counter and the staff was in the kitchen, clearly saw me and didn't say a word until they handed me my food.

      It's a bummer since I'm so close but I doubt I'll ever go back.

      2 Replies
        1. re: shopgirl_07

          I'm sorry you had a bad experience. I might give it another try. Maybe ask specifically for Doris, and tell her things were not great last time. I would also be curious to know what you had.

        2. "he waitress asked if the dishes tasted the same and I told her no. She insisted they"

          This cracked me up - why bother asking if she's going to contradict you immediately after?

          2 Replies
          1. re: jgg13

            How could he know what her answer would be?

            1. re: Gio

              He said that the waitress asked *him*, he answered "no", and then the waitress corrected him. Did you misunderstand that?

          2. that's bizarre. i had read that the ownership had changed before heading there mid- november. i hadn't been for a full peking duck dinner since may, and did miss the 12-year-old surly server (i think he's 12 now? or 11), but the waitress immediately recognized me from previous visits, the food was still outstanding and i'm a snob when it comes to scallion pancakes, buckwheat noodles and duck. there have been times a year ago that the duck wasn't as crispy or what not, but that's just general fluctuations in restaurant food.

            have to say though, all 15 of us were delightfully pleased, with a number of king fung vets in tote. note - we only go to the one in chinatown. outside of dok bua and rod dee, i avoid all asian food places, especially restaurant duplicates in brookline, after living there for 2.5 years. ;)

            sorry you had a less than favorable experience, but i wouldn't let that dissuade other chowhounds from keeping gems like king fung thriving.

            1 Reply
            1. re: kay.em.tea.

              Well it was an off night and we'll give it one more try.