Hong Kong cafe fare is comfort food for me, but I have to admit that I always gravitate to the same places. I've been going to Baccali Cafe and Rotisserie - Alhambra since it opened in the late 90s. It's still my favorite cafe for the larger portions and unlimited refills. Every once in a while, I might visit Garden Cafe - Alhambra, which I'd been eating at since the mid-90s, but it only offers one refill.
So in May 2007, lil' sis and I decided to try Tasty Garden. Well, I think I was with lil' sis. It's been so long that I can't remember with whom I was dining, but the dishes we ordered were our favorites.
We ordered our usual beef chow fun with dry soy sauce. Mmm. Look at the mound of slightly charred, oily noodles. I just can't replicate that char on the stove at home.
Deep-fried chicken wings with spicy salt.
And a bit of green to balance the meat and carbs, Ong Choy (Chinese Water Spinach Stir-fried with Garlic and Fermented Bean Curd).
In July 2008, we went back with lil' sis' best friend. They normally eat at the Arcadia location together.
I thought the pan-fried lotus root cakes, $9.95, sounded intriguing. The chopped bits of lotus roots added a nice crunch to the meat patties. I have to try this at home! I love lotus roots.
Crispy Chow Mein with Beef, $7.25. I like the crispy parts; lil' sis likes the sauce-laden soft parts. Between the two of us, we often pick this dish clean.
Chinese Deep-Fried Pork Chops with Spicy Salt, $8.25. Juicy pork and crispy coating. It's a nice alternative to crispy chicken wings.
Although, we almost never leave a Hong Kong cafe without ordering deep-fried chicken wings with spicy salt, $6.25.
There is often a crowd waiting outside the doors during peak dining hours attesting to its popularity. While Tasty Garden was fine, it wasn't better than Baccali or Garden Cafe enough to make me change my habits. What can I say? I've been dining at my favorite Hong Kong cafes for more than a decade. When lil' sis is in town, with beef chow fun cravings, we gravitate to the same places too.
Other Hong Kong cafes:
Baccali Cafe and Rotisserie - Alhambra
Garden Cafe - Alhambra
Sunday Bistro - Alhambra
Tasty Garden (Several locations)
288 W. Valley Blvd., Ste 110
Alhambra, CA 91803
Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
1 year ago today, Kenny and Zuke's Delicatessen - Portland - Oregon.
2 years ago today, Battambang Seafood Restaurant - San Gabriel.
3 years ago today, Strawberry Shortcake.