28 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02111
We found Asian Garden almost by accident but we are really glad we did. I had gotten stuck in a meeting so we had to delay our usual 11:30 am lunch time and by the time we were in Chinatown trying to find a restaurant it was after 12pm and we just wanted to find a place to have lunch quickly that was not too crowded – and we spotted Asian Garden.
When you enter the restaurant, sad to say, it smells like someone has been smoking cigarettes in there for decades and only just quit last week. Do not let this put you off! Your nose will adjust fairly quickly and you will be treated to an incredibly inexpensive and delicious meal. Also, they have a TV which plays Chinese Soap operas which can give Mexican telenovelas a run for their money when it comes to drama and intense facial expressions. So you are really getting a meal and a show.
We ordered two items off the lunch menu where everything was priced under eight dollars and an order of Peking Ravioli (because – DUMPLINGS).
The Spicy Minced Pork Lo Mein was a delicious and interesting dish that I had never had before. It consisted of very thin vermicelli style noodles topped with minced pork cooked in a rich brown sauce which was surrounded by bright green chinese broccoli. The sauce was rich and flavorful and they weren’t kidding when they said spicy! It was spicier than any of the Sichuan dishes we had at 5 Spices House last week. But the spiciness was not too strong and was nicely balanced by the sweetness of the sauce. The chinese broccoli was cooked to crisp tender perfection.
The Peking Ravioli was good but fairly standard in quality for Chinatown. It was better than your average Chinese takeout but nothing special.
The best dish we had by far at Asian Garden was the Fried Sliced Fish with Bean Curd which was served with rice. This dish consisted of small pieces of fried fish and large triangles of tofu with some thinly sliced carrots and thickly sliced scallions tossed in a salty, delightful black bean sauce. The fish was tasty, though a little denser and chewier than some of the fish dishes I have enjoyed, but it was the tofu that was really the star here. It was very lightly fried but rather than having the spongy texture you often find, the interior was light, fluffy, and had an almost custardy consistency. Perhaps loaded with MSG, but I don’t care.
This is a no frills establishment (when you ask to have your leftovers wrapped up, they just fling the styrofoam containers at you) but the the food is excellent. I cannot wait to experience the fish and bean curd dish again and look forward to trying many of the other interesting items on the menu here.