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Jan 7, 2012 02:52 PM

South China Garden's lobster dish is alctually lobster mixed with crab

Today, I initially wanted to go to newly-opened Japadog to try their 'kobe beef & caviar', but after I arrived at the restaurant I found that it was kobe beef and 'tobiko' roe, as opposed to sturgeon caviar.
So I changed my mind and went to South China Garden (粤江春) in China Town.

I have always liked South China Garden (粤江春) for its authentic Cantonese dishes such as black bean clams, lobster with ginger & scallion, Yangzhou chao fan, etc. I particularly like their lobster with ginger & scallion dish, which is stir fried two succulent lobsters for only $25. It tastes far better than that of nearby and more upscale Mandarin Garden.

So I ordered my favorite lobster with ginger & scallion again, only to find out that it was no longer 100% lobster. I found four pieces of crab mixed with lobster. Well, for $25 I can not complain too much and besides, I like crab too... But I think it is dishonest for them to sell a lobster & crab dish under the name of 'lobster'.

Anyway, it tasted so darn good nevertheless.

South China Garden
22 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

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  1. I'm confused. It looks like lobster to me in those pics.

    12 Replies
    1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

      They were crab. Crab meat is sweeter, and its texture is softer than lobster, although it may be hard to tell from the photo. :) I dined at this restaurant a number of times before and this never happened....

      1. re: kosmose7

        Now you've made me really curious :P Take the piece that you've labeled crab that's in the center of the picture. That looks like a standard segment of lobster to me but you say it tastes like crab. How would they make that shell out of crab?

        1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

          ??? That was half-cut crab. Doesn't it look like it?

          If you are curious, I suggest you go there and experience for yourself. :)

          1. re: kosmose7

            Here's the other side of the piece.
            What does it look like to you? :P

            1. re: kosmose7

              That still looks like lobster to me actually. I've had lobster there a few times. That specific piece was in every plate of stir fried lobster i've ever had at any chinese restaurant.

              1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

                I think I know what part of a lobster you are referring to and this was NOT that part. It was half cut crab. The shells were those of crab, not lobster. The meat was softer and mushy and tasted sweet.

                Like I said, I ate there a number of times before and this never happened. I told my friends about this and one of them told me he experienced the same incident recently. So I advise you go there and try it yourself too. :)

                1. re: kosmose7

                  What you need to do is try to assemble all the parts into a contiguous whole, to see whether there is or is not a place for that mystery piece. That, or bring a DNA kit to the restaurant. But for heaven's sake, wo/man! This mystery must be solved!

                  1. re: small h

                    I wouldn't bother. I may still go to this place, because almost all the dishes there are tasty. But I am not a big fan of the restaurant any longer.

                    1. re: kosmose7

                      Try the casserole with soft bean curd and seafood. It might bring you back into the fold.

                      1. re: small h

                        Having lived in Hong Kong for ten years, I love Cantonese food very much and as such, I have tried many dishes this restaurant had to offer including the seafood casserole. This was my most favorite Cantonese restaurant in China Town. Alas...

                  2. re: kosmose7

                    hehe i actually don't like the lobster there. plus we're heading into spring banquet season. so i'll most likely be eating lobster wi ginger and scallions 1-2x a week for several weeks. no sense in paying for something i'll be sick of eating soon. small h is right though. this mystery needs to be solved!

                    1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

                      > so i'll most likely be eating lobster wi ginger and scallions 1-2x a week for several weeks

                      You devil you! I envy you! :)

      2. Just curious why a restaurant would say something was lobster and then add crab, which nowadays, at least in Manhattan, is so much more expensive than lobster. Not questioning what you say, just wondering why it would make sense for them financially to put crab into what they call a lobster dish.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JoanN

          I found small crabs, as shown above, were much cheaper than lobsters at China Town fish markets. For $20, I could buy a BIG bag full of small crabs (like 10 to 15 depending on size) compared to one big lobster or two medium lobsters for the same price.