Shanghai Garden in Boynton Beach
Found out about this place from a Chinese chef whose father was the executive chef for Uncle Tai's in Houston. I have lived in Boynton For many years and would never consider this place. They have two menus, one for the retired folks that live in South Florida and a Chinese menu. If you order from the Chinese menu, you will have a great meal. Salt and pepper prawns, chicken feet in black bean sauce, eggplant stuffed with shrimp mousse, housemade chow fun noodles, clams in black bean sauce. Andy and his wife Katy will cook to order if you give them advance notice. By the way, they make all their own dim sum.
re: Alfred G
I have been to Silver Pond several times but have found it dissapointing - can you please elaborate on the dishes that you like to order so I have an idea of what I am missing. Aside from the Salt & Pepper squid everything lese that I have tried is totally bland - another example of a SF restaurant dumbing down the menu for the American palet!! Really good Cantonese or Hong Kong food should be very flavorful but not here. Thanks for your advice.
First, keep in mind that this is Hong Kong style Chinese food. I have found the Silver Pond special cold seafood appetizer to be excellent (can't remember all of the ingredients). Also the Peking Pork Chops, Garlic Shrimp (ask for extra garlic), Honey Duck, Lobster in Black Bean Sauce (stellar), Eggplant in Garlic Sauce, and the list goes on and on.
I am temporarily based in this area and am seeking good Chinese food. Love Shanghai but open to any regional cuisine.
Any recent reports of Shanghai Garden, and any tips on what to order from the Shanghai section of the menu? (Do they have a good red-cooked pork belly, for example?)
Are all menu listings translated?
I think that if you call ahead, Andy will make you anything that you want. Last time there we had baby clams in black bean sauce and beef chow fun. They make their own chow fun noodles. The Chinese menu is translated into English. Anyway, Andy's wife speaks perfect English and can translate any menu item.
Two of us had dinner here last night and although this is by not means a "bad" restaurant, we were disappointed. I should take part of the blame, because judging from the name, Shanghai Gardens, I assumed that they would specialize in Shanghai cuisine. (The menu cover announces that they offer Shanghai and Sichuan dishes). I realized how wrong I was when, upon entering, I asked the pretty young hostess if they had Shanghai dishes on the menu. She looked at me as if I were slightly deranged and asked, "What do you mean..like food from the city of Shanghai? I don't even know what that is!!"
We were seated in the dining room (nearly full at 6pm on New Year's Day), and received menus. Second surprise: The dishes on what they refer to as the "Chinese" section of the menu and, indeed, listed as "Taiwanese," are translated into Vietnamese. There are a few vaguely Taiwanese-sounding beef noodle soups, and a couple of dishes often found in Chinese-Vietnamese restaurants, but I could detect no real regional focus on the menu.
(I later asked the efficient woman who waited on us and she confirmed that the owners were ethnic Chinese from Vietnam. I saw no male person who might have been an owner-just the young woman hostess and a young man at the register--the owner's son, perhaps?? So the owner, Andy, was likely off that night)
I took another feeble stab at the quest for Shanghai food when I asked the waitress if they had kaufu (signature Shanghai appetizer) thinking it might be off menu. She had no idea what I was talking about, so scratch any hope of having Shanghai fare here. This waitress did mention that in the past, they had more "authentic" dishes, but no one ordered them, so they removed them from the menu. Indeed, our fellow diners all looked to be local retirees, or vacationers.
There are quite a few Shanghai dishes on online menus for this restaurant, and these were indeed what drew us here, but these are not offered on the menus we received once inside.
The menus on Yelp and Menuism are very different than the menus we were given:
What we did have was all right: The chicken-with-broccoli special, came complete with just barely decent pork spare rib, pallid won ton soup, and fried spring roll (ok, we are not in Flushing any longer!!). The white meat chicken had a good "velveted" texture that is not as easy to accomplish as it looks. With the above-mentioned accompaniments, this was priced at $15.00 and was decent enough. Ice cream was included.
I ordered: Fried Tofu; deep fried and not at all greasy, and served with a soy-based scallion dipping sauce. ($11 for a generous portion)
Of the several Chinese vegetables on offer last night, I chose Yau Choi, ($12) which was served in a hefty portion, heavy on the stems, with a perhaps too-liberal dose of near raw garlic.
A good amount of the tofu and vegetable was left over; I noticed that the waitress scooped these into a take-away container without even asking if we wanted to bring them home.
Total was $40, before tip.
All in all, a good enough suburban Americanized Chinese restaurant. Friendly service. If we return, I will take the advice of rsanders99, above, and speak with the owner in advance, perhaps he will agree to concoct some tasty southern Vietnamese fare.
Many thanks to all who responded to this thread!!