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CHOWDOWN REPORT: Golden Garden

Chowdown: Golden Garden
63 Concord Av
Belmont MA 02478
617 489-4428

A Chowhound Dirty Dozen assembled at Golden Garden despite CH moderators' best efforts to thwart our socializing in the era of social networking. You know what I'm talking about b***hes!

The buzz being so strong about Golden Garden, a number of other CH'ers filed in with DCs throughout the evening! We saw at least 20 CH'ers by the time the evening was out.

We sampled 11 dishes over 2 tables. While each table received some must try dishes, such as the "better than Wang's", "best in Boston" Pork, Shrimp and Leek (Chive) Dumplings, the Cucumber and Fresh Garlic with added Jellyfish upon Tatsu's request, and also the outstanding Leek (Chive) Pie, each table ventured upon their own path.

Some of the big hits of the night were the Sautéed Cumin Lamb with Spicy Sauce, with it's surprising but delicious use of caraway seeds, and even more primordial, the Lamb "Teriyaki", which I knew was going to be good, but it really sailed out of the park. People tore at them like cavemen. Best version I've seen.

I'll leave commentary open to the floor here on the Sour Cabbage with Steamed Bacon, Sautéed Potato with Spicy Sauce, the surprisingly piquant Wood Ear Mushroom, the table 1 surprise hit, Pork Intestine with Spicy Sauce, Five Flavor Beef cold app, and the Stir Fried Calamari with Spicy Sauce. We even spied some Bamboo Shoots in Chili Oil and Sauteed String Beans over at the table of latecomer lipoff and his DCs! Good opening vibes for this isolated, yet convenient, stretch of Concord Av near the Cambridge border.

Pics? Oh we got pics. Pick your path, normal flickr or full-on salivation in full-screen slideshow mode! Description furnished with every picture for your convenience.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tatsuuuu...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tatsuuuu...

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Golden Garden
63 Concord Ave, Belmont, MA 02478

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  1. Wow, nice. You guys did some damage. I actually have a work lunch there next week and will take many of your reccos. Glad you all liked it.

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. Thanks again for setting this up, Debbie, it was excellent and also thanks to tatsu for posting the pictures.
        I thought that the Cucumber and fresh garlic could have had more garlic but the jelly fish was good. Both the cumin lamb and the skewers had excellent flavor but was a bit dry. Sour cabbage was missing the bacon, just had pork in it but still was an excellent dish. Apart from this it was really good and the surprise dish for me was the pork intestine. This is a dish I would not order on my own so this was a great chance to try something new. Much to my surprise it was excellent, very tender with a very tasty sauce. I even had seconds, something that I really didn't expect. At the end of the night it was not only our two tables of CH, but three more!
        Nice to meet you all!
        /Peter

        8 Replies
        1. re: Ferrari328

          I also fell in love the the pork intestine dish. See my longer post below for all my comments. However, just to explain about the bacon, the problem was not with the ingredients in the dish but with the translation. It lacked nuance. The cut of pork used in the dish was pork belly. Americans associate the term "bacon" with cured/smoked pork belly. For some reason we do not say "fresh bacon" to refer to pork belly in its unprocessed state, but I suppose we could. The Chinese-language name for that dish is something like sour cabbage white pork. Fresh pork belly (i.e. fresh bacon) is a common cut of pork in many Chinese dishes; white (cut) pork is pork that has been boiled and thinly sliced. The dish did indeed contain thinly sliced boiled fresh bacon, just as the Chinese-language description/name promised.

          1. re: PinchOfSalt

            I do know the difference but the pork in the dish looked like solid pork to me without the fat associated with pork belly but it might just have been the pieces I got.

            1. re: Ferrari328

              Depending on how it's cooked, a lot of the fat can be rendered. That's why you parboil opossum for 90 minutes.

              I really need to get back for some of that intestine. We had way too much food to order that. It's my comeuppance for letting people order unsupervised! =8-)

              Here's what you want for the beef allegedly with five-spice: 淡淡

              But what you really want is the numbing beef tongue at Chilli Garden..

              1. re: KWagle

                What is the melting point of 'possum fat? Boiling is not a good way to render fat since you don't get to temperatures higher than 100 Celsius. Cooking in a dry pan (as with making schmaltz) is more effective. Steamed or boiled pork belly generally has plenty of fat left on it.

            2. re: PinchOfSalt

              As a side point, pork belly (or some other fatty bit of pork) is the meat in a traditional Goan vindaloo -- a dish that's been twisted out of recognition in pretty much every Indian restaurant in the U.S.

              1. re: FoodDabbler

                Wow, thanks for the nifty info tidbit. Who'd a thought? It sounds like the dish owes something to the Portuguese. Is that right? (My hazy memory tells me that the Portuguese had a trading colony at Goa.)

                1. re: PinchOfSalt

                  See
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vindaloo
                  http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/por...
                  (Neither source is perfect, but they give you an idea that vindaloo was originally the pairing of fatty meat with acid, a combination that occurs across many culinary cultures.)

                  1. re: PinchOfSalt

                    Portugal at one point controlled Goa, Damao and Dio, half of Timor, and Macau. One would expect that their cuisines cross influenced each other a bit.

            3. What they refer to as leek is more like chives. Good prices and very generous servings for everything. We tried to pick menu items that were representative of Dongbei (north east China) cuisine.

              Pork, shrimp and leek dumplings: woo-hoo!
              Leek Pie: excellent, crispy crust with a tasty chivey filling.
              Sour Cabage with Steamed Bacon: This is kind of a stew with noodles. Very good.
              Pork Intestine with Spicy Sauce: very good, only moderately spicey.

              These are just a few items that stood out for me, but everything was very good.

              1. Thanks tatsu and others for your accounts. Sounds like a great set of meals. They offer me suggestions on what to try in future. (My account of delivered food from GG is on another GG thread, and links to a copy of their menu on a third thread.)