Thursday, December 25, 2008

YELP – Mandarin Garden (Pasadena, CA)

Christmas day, you're in the mood for a bite but don't want to even look at the kitchen.  Instead you go with the traditional Xmas alternative, Chinese food.  With a big "Grand Opening" written on the menu, Mandarin Garden touts itself as the "Best Delivery Service in Town".  Feeling adventurous, we braved this unproven establishment. 

As good as some places are ordering delivery can sometimes be a journey fraught with miscommunication, shouting and the wrong food.  Thankfully, putting through our order was easy and painless. 30 to 45 minutes was quoted for delivery.

Here are our culinary choices for the night:

- Egg Rolls
- Egg Flower Soup
- Hot & Sour Soup
- Spareribs Shanghai Style
- Kung Pao Chicken w/ brown rice
- Steamed Dumplings (chicken)
- Crispy Walnut Shrimp

It was barely 30 minutes when we heard the knock on our door.  Everything was exactly what we ordered with some pleasant additions.  Cutlery w/ napkins, sauces (Chili, Hot Mustard, Sweet & Sour), and Crispy Noodles.

Let me start off with the disappointing part... the soups.  I was not a fan of them.  They felt watery and the plastic containers they were in gave a weird aftertaste.  If you do decide to try them you must transfer it to a bowl immediately to minimize the plastic flavor.

Now for the good stuff.... everything else.  The steamed dumplings were HUGE and packed with delicious chicken.  The Kung Pao was filled with good pieces of chicken and slices of onion.  It could have been hotter, but I'm a "chili head" so everything can be turned up a couple of notches.  Walnut Shrimp was great (though I've never had the dish before so I have no point of reference) and the spareribs were tasty.  Also, I ended up eating both bags of the crispy noodles (I might have a problem). 

Overall it hit just the right spot.  The food was steaming hot on arrival, flavorful throughout and large in portion size.  Easy ordering with quick delivery will have me coming back for more.

No comments: