Wongs Garden tranquil atmosphere and heaping plates of Chinese food | SierraSun.com

Wongs Garden tranquil atmosphere and heaping plates of Chinese food

Wendy Lautner, arts andamp; entertainment editorThe Chinese symbol of power and feminine beauty, a faux cherry blossom tree adds a cheerful and unique feel to Wongs Garden.

Walking into Wongs Garden is a pleasant surprise. The interior landscape is dominated with elements that bring the natural world into the otherwise dark restaurant space. A faux, expansive, flowering cherry blossom tree stands near the hostess station/cashier stand, its branches splaying over dozens of square feet of ceiling. Large Red Devil fish swim laps in the two large aquariums adorning the partition dividing the restaurant in two. The decor is dark green and seating is available in booths to accomodate four people, at a bar area and in a large dining room area in the back. This is at once a restaurant where you can enjoy pleasant dinner or lunch ambiance with friends or family, sit down alone or grab a bag of Chinese to go.

With five large pages to peruse, the menu seems extensive. All the bases seafood, poultry, beef, pork and vegetables are covered with a variety of dishes featuring each. In addition, theres also a good offering of appetizers, chow mein, fried rice and chow fun (those big fat rice noodles), as well as the Szechuan and Hong Kong dinner for two. Head chef and owner Michael Le has been mastering Chinese cuisine for more than 20 years and the menu features all the standard Szechuan and Mandarin classics. All dinner and lunch specials are served with a choice of house salad or soup, and, of course, a fortune cooke. Many times on the lunch special, theyll also throw in a bonus Crab Rangoon for good measure. Its almost inconceivable to leave hungry, as the portions are very, very generous. But dont worry too much about eating a heaping plate of good food; theres no MSG in any of Wongs dishes.

Wongs features a simple, but encompassing wine and beer list. One selection of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, white zinfandel, merlot, and plum wine is available by both the bottle and the glass. Sake is also available by the glass. On tap, theres Heinekin, New Castle, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Fat Tire. By the bottle, youll find a handful of domestics, plus Tsing Tao, a Chinese beer.

Frequent diners rave about the Sesame Chicken, served in a sweet and spicy sauce, the Walnut Shrimp, lightly fried and sauteed in a sweet creamy sauce, and the Moo Shi Pork, served with two pancakes at lunch or five for dinner. I also highly recommend the Po Po Platter on the appetizer menu for the Wow factor. The platter, featuring a deliciously flaky egg roll, fried prawn, crab Rangoon, foil wrapped chicken and two skewers of tender, terkiyaki beef, is brought to the table with a flaming sterno, ramiken grill in the center. Another Wow factor item, (and Ive heard its good too) is the Seafood Basket. Scallop and shrimp sauteed with fresh vegetables in a delicate brown sauce and presented in the form of a birds nest. It looks really cool.

Portion sizes are enormous (even the house salad actually). Combination lunch specials run around $8 each; appetizers from $5.50 to $10.50 for the Po Po Platter; house specials are either $12.95 or $13.95; and everything else runs between $7.50 for the fried rice dishes to $12.95 for anything seafood.

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