I ventured out to Chinatown with the family for a dinner at Garden Villa Seafood. The parentals have been talking about this place for a while because of it's snake soup. Apparently it's one of the best in town. We ordered the "set dinner" for the six of us for $100, after tax but before gratuity.
The large bowl of snake soup came first and there was enough for at least ten bowls. This is really one of the best winter foods since snake is known, in Chinese medicine, to have heating properties. I think it did work since it seemed like they had turned on the air conditioning at the restaurant, but I felt quite warm post-soup. I don't think there was that much snake inside the soup actually, but I did enjoy the mix of citrus peel, ham, black fungus, and lime leaves on top.
These looked weird. The fried dumplings (I guess) filled with chive and shrimp seemed quite yellow -- I guess it was the from the golden-ness of it being fried. The wrap was quite, and I thought the shrimp lacked the "bounce" and crunch that it needed.
The fried chicken was not bad, with a decently fried exterior. However, I found many pieces to be quite salty since it appeared that they sprinkled a generous amount of salt over it. Not sure why they also gave us a plate of salt separately.
The lamb in clay pot was pretty good, but not as good as that of Taste Good Wonton House. The lamb here was not as soft and tender (albeit already quite good) and there was a bit less lamb. The sauce wasn't as rich, but still nevertheless good.
The vegetable dishes, including the stir fried prawn with vegetables and Buddha's Delight ("luo han zhai") were quite oily and greasy. I was not impressed by these, but at least there was black fungus in the latter.
The stir fried glutinous rice was not bad, but I was already quite full from the two or three bowls of soup (right) and lamb. I found it weird that it had scrambled egg inside, but apparently this is the way it's down on the streets of Hong Kong.
The meal overall was alright. The restaurant itself seemed quite aged and was not fancy. While the snake soup was good, the vegetable dishes were really oily. I feel like most people go to Garden Villa only for the snake soup.
Garden Villa Seafood
127 E Pender Street, #200