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Oriental Garden (Elizabeth St.): any recent visitors

famdoc Feb 17, 2012 01:00 PM

Haven't been to Oriental Garden since its name change a few years back but loved what I ate there in the past. Their web site is fancy, polished and impressive for such a small place. And, their menu seems more expensive than in the past.

So, here are the questions: is it still to be considered one of the better seafood places in Chinatown?
If so, what are the stellar dishes (I remember lobster two ways and salt-baked crab)?
Finally, if you were going with a party of only 3 people and wanted to spend less than $100, how would you order (seafood and veggies only...one member of the party does not eat meat).

Lau, are you out there?

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  1. scoopG RE: famdoc Feb 17, 2012 02:23 PM

    Recent reports are positive. Chinese always balance a meal between having different proteins (meat, fish, seafood & tofu) and vegetables along with a myriad number of cooking methods and preparations. Will your non-meat eater eat any vegies from a dish that had meat in it?

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/826909
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/795596

    1. Polecat RE: famdoc Feb 17, 2012 02:38 PM

      Had a recent banquet-style meal here and, believe it or not, the dish known as seasonal vegetable platter was the best dish on the table. It's easily the best pure Chinese veggie dish I've had in a long time. I'd go back for it.

      Everything else was middling to good, nothing spectacular. Seafood is the way to go here. Razor clams with black bean sauce was decent, as was the chef special shrimp (which is mixed with pork).

      P

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      Oriental Garden
      14 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

      1. sgordon RE: famdoc Feb 19, 2012 08:51 AM

        First, I wouldn't order any meat at OG in the first place... even with meat-eaters. It's just not OG's forte. Not that they do it badly, but in the house of a seafood specialist - go with the house's specials.

        I was there on Xmas, and it was pretty solid - not as adventurous as Fuleen or Ping's, but not bad. A couple of the sauces were surprisingly corn-starch-heavy, which usually isn't the case with them, but overall pretty good.

        But if I had $100 to spend before tax/tip/drinks... I'd probably go with:

        Oysters w/ ginger-scallion - $28.95
        Green Mussels in Black Bean Sauce - $18.95
        Chef Wong's Prawns - $24.95
        Watercress (or Spinach) in Preserved Bean Curd Sauce - 15.95

        ...you won't leave stuffed, but with some rice you'll be fine.

        That said, $100 before tax/tip = $77. But keep in mind that if you have two Tsing-Taos each, that's $30 off the total right there. So if we're talking really $100 TOTAL - including tax, tip, and a couple beers each... I'd go somewhere else. OG is easily the most expensive of the Chinatown options. It's cheap compared to eating at, like, Daniel... but I'd normally go in with a minimum budget of $50 per person. Depends how big your eaters are, and how much/if they drink, I guess.

        -----
        Oriental Garden
        14 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

        3 Replies
        1. re: sgordon
          erica RE: sgordon Feb 19, 2012 11:24 AM

          Ok, here's a question: The prawns in the Chef special...are those the typical farm-raised headless Asian/S.American shrimp sold at over town, or are they a more interesting/more tasty variety?

          1. re: erica
            sgordon RE: erica Feb 19, 2012 11:35 AM

            Well, they're not headless when he cooks them - they're quite alive and kicking. There's another prawn dish (an app - the drunken prawns) in which they're mercilessly dispatched right at your table for your entertainment. As to where they come from.... I dunno.

            1. re: sgordon
              erica RE: sgordon Feb 19, 2012 02:29 PM

              Good! Those sound much better than the (usually flavorless) headless farm-raised and previously frozen shrimp sold in many markets here...thanks!!

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