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Wokking On The Run
.::The Guide to Fast, Fresh & Healthy Asian Cuisine::. By Colin Ogg
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From My Wok to Yours - Taking the Mystery Out of Everyday Dining and Meals!!
Friday, June 25, 2010
Formosa Garden, San Antonio
A couple of days ago, my wife and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. While that particular number may be a harbinger of doom, a superstitious warning, or an ominous landmark, it was actually a happy moment for us.
While the Chinese culture does not pay that much homage to extended anniversaries, in this day and age, there are significant “rewards” for reaching those milestones. The most recent major milestone was our tenth, which would have been marked by gifts of tin. The next significant milestone will be the fifteenth, celebrated by showering the couple with crystal.
Kim decided to surprise me by taking me to a restaurant I had never been to. Apparently, many people asked her if she truly believed that such a choice was wise, as I am hyper-critical of my dining experiences.
So to Formosa Garden we went. Formosa Garden has been recognized by several local journalists for the best Chinese food in the area. Many of my friends and acquaintences have also raved about the place, and a couple of those people's opinions actually carry weight with me. So... Why not try them out and see…
The restaurant was welcoming, with food on the menu at a reasonable price. They offer a wide range of Chinese entrees, as well as a variety of sushi. In addition, they have a hibachi dining area that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages. Thankfully, all their food is made MSG free.
I decided to start off with their Spicy Tuna Roll, as I have always enjoyed that particular roll at other restaurants. Their sushi chef did a fantastic job of putting the “spicy” in the Spicy Tuna Roll. It was so overwhelmingly spicy that after the second piece, I could not even taste it. That was a little disappointing, as I had hoped to be able to discern the subtle differences in taste between Formosa Garden and other establishments where I go to enjoy a Spicy Tuna Roll. The roll was also not wrapped as tightly as some that I have eaten before, causing it to be very unstable while held in my chopsticks. (That alone was no small feat, as, due to an injury, I was using my left hand. The loose wrap also caused a few of the pieces to fall apart.
We followed the sushi (Kim had a California Roll as her appetizer, and the Teriyaki chicken as her entrée) with their Pan Fried Dumplings. These were standard pork pot stickers, served hot. Nothing remarkable, but thankfully not overwhelming on the taste.
For my entrée I ordered the Peking Duck. It is served with an appetizer of crispy duck skin wrapped in pancakes and an entrée of boneless roasted duck with vegetables in brown sauce. Unfortunately, most likely because it was mid-week, Formosa Garden did not have the duck available. Bummer…
So back to the menu I went….
And I selected the Seafood Pasta. It was a tasty alternative to the duck, and thankfully, it was good enough for me to get over not being able to quack my way through dinner. The seafood pasta was made with shrimp, scallops, crab meat, squid and mussels, sautéed with vegetables in a brown sauce. It was cooked well, and the vegetables were cooked perfectly. The snow peas, carrots and broccoli were still crunchy. It was a huge serving that, after all of the appetizers, I was relegated to packaging in a take-out box.
As first time experiences go, this one was acceptable. I have decided that one weekend we will have to go back and try their Peking Duck. I must remember to call first to confirm that it is on the menu.
I have also decided that for a thirteenth anniversary, it was a good choice. Now, it is simply a matter of both of us surviving through the next 13 years. And boy, will THAT be one heck of a celebration…
Until Then, Good Eating, Friends…
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