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For someone who’d probably be disinherited by the Chinese clan for eating Chinese food anywhere else but the family home, I took a chance on China Pavilion after hearing some good reviews from friends.
I can say this is a good place to come for an elegant ambiance. The tableware was all great, definitely classier than mom’s kitchen table.
The test came when my dining companion was off visiting the little boy’s room – I sweet talked the waiter in bringing some items not on the menu, including fresh snow pea shoots. Yum, they passed with flying colors, and my date picked my two custom main dishes as preferred over the one he ordered – Pavilion Beef, which was good, no doubt, but surprises from the kitchen are so much better.
Top left: onion pancakes as an appetizer. A little pricey and plenty good. It’s a good portion for two people, and enough to whet an appetite with two or three friends.
Top right: Pavilion Beef, from the standard menu. The fine pieces of beef are cornstarch coated and fried. The result is slightly crisp and chewy. It was decent, just as anything fried is decent.
Bottom left: 3 Cup Chicken. Not on the standard menu, but a dish often requested by my family when we have Chinese food dining out. I’ve been told this is on the Chinese menu. It certainly didn’t take much description for the waiter to recognize what I was trying to order. It’s chicken in a rich and flavorful sauce made with ginger, garlic and basil.
Bottom right: fresh pea shoot tips. Not on the standard menu. It’s very seasonal, and appears briefly at the asian stalls at the farmers market. When it’s around, eat as much as you can! So good. My gweilo friend enjoyed this dish best, followed by the 3 Cup Chicken.
I’d believe the rumors that their weekend lunch dim sum menu is decent. Nothing like dim sum in bigger asian communities, with the endless options and carts and stamp cards, but let’s look at the other options locally…oh wait, there aren’t any. So there you have it.
Bonus: fortune cookie hinted I’d get lucky!
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