Dining Out

Speedy’s birthday dinner at Emerald Garden Restaurant

A couple of days before his birthday, I asked Speedy what he wanted for dinner and all he could think of was offal. Seriously. I only know one Chinese restaurant that served good crispy pig’s intestines but I doubted if it would be open after 10.00 p.m. See, on his birthday (yesterday), we were going to see a play (our younger daughter, Alex, was involved in the production) at 7.00 p.m. then go out to dinner afterward with the girls. We didn’t expect to be sitting down in some restaurant until after 9.00 p..m.

So, we entertained other options and Speedy voted for Emerald Garden Restaurant on Roxas Boulevard. It’s near the girls’ school (where the play would be performed) and near their rented condo too. Very convenient.

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We’re no strangers to Emerald Garden although I don’t think we’ve dined there during the last ten years. It was when I was pregnant with Sam (she’s 18 today) when we’re Emerald Garden habitues. I was so crazy for their oversized siopao that Speedy would go there for siopao take-out just to satisfy my craving.

So, what did Speedy choose to order last night?

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We had winter melon with black mushrooms and dried scallops soup. Slurp-slurp delicious. Sam and Speedy had second helpings.

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Then, there was fish fillets with black bean sauce. Delicious but there were more mushrooms than fish. Maybe, a price control technique?

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We also had the salt-and-pepper pork spare ribs, a favorite dish whenever we go to a Chinese restaurant. Emerald Garden’s version was soft and succulent but, sadly, tasted too much of MSG. Goodness, they still use MSG there?

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The camaron rebosado was okay. Small shrimps were used (I suppose because they’re cheaper) but the batter was nice and crisp (I only ate one piece because I’m allergic to shrimps and one piece was all that I could safely manage).

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Of course, we had all the main courses with yang chow fried rice rather than plain white rice (neutral plain rice is better for setting off the flavors and textures of Chinese dishes). A bad but delicious habit.

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Finally, the fried noodles. It’s Speedy’s birthday! Of course, we had noodles. Saucy and tasty and generously topped with meat, seafood, mushrooms and vegetables (and a few wayward red-tinged quail eggs).

The bill was P1,337.00. Very reasonable considering that, except for the rice and soup, we didn’t finish the dishes. We had them packed and we reheated the leftovers for lunch today.

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