Tong Soon Garden Restaurant – Santa Clara, CA

This is a Chinese restaurant in the middle of Korean establishments~ I was unsure about whether we were walking into a Chinese restaurant or a Korean restaurant that serves some Chinese food.

Turns out to be a Chinese run restaurant but with Korean servers (LOL) and menus were in Chinese, Korean & English.

It was so weird when we got kimchi on the table; and even weirder when it was regular cabbage kimchi and not napa cabbage kimchi~

We ordered:

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Tong Soon Fried Rice $7.95

This is a must order!!! We asked the server for a recommendation on a type of fried rice – and he said this was good. I was skeptical but why not since we can’t make up our mind.

I swear, everything but the kitchen sink went into this fried rice. There was seafood bits, beef, chicken, char siew pork, egg and barely any vegetable (yay).

It was delicious. The beef was very very tender, the rice was perfectly with individual grains all coated with flavour. Perfectly seasoned (no soy or anything else needed to add flavour). We polished this off in minutes!

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Dry Cooked String Beans (w ground pork) $9.25

This dish was a surprise for everyone. We didn’t expect it to be so good that we cleaned the plate (especially since half of us DON’T eat vegetables when given a choice).

Back in my “younger years” in Hamilton, Ontario -m ex roomie used to order spicy long beans w pork from this Chinese restaurant and it blew me away…. It was delicious! And I have not seen the same dish on any menu till now. So I just had to try it.

I was glad I did. It was close enough to what I have had. It had bits of salted pickled veges, chili and minced pork so the dish was salty with a nice kick to it. And the long beans were fried very well as well.

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Walnut Prawns $14.75

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this dish. Normally, I am not a fan of sweet savoury dishes but this was really really good. The shrimp was cooked perfectly; it was tender with a nice coating of some sweet sauce. Then the walnuts were almost candied and then deep fried.

The walnuts were piping hot and when you bite into it, it literally melts in the mouth (no, I am not exaggerating – it MELTS). I just kept eating the walnuts and forgot it was a savoury dish – it was like a yummy snack.

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Salt & Pepper Fish Fillet $12.95

This was ok. I was not crazy about it but it was not bad. I just didn’t enjoy it because it was a little bland. There was very little salt & pepper sprinkled on top. And the fish just tasted like frozen fillets deep fried, but deep fried quite well because it was not dry inside.

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Crispy Chicken $12.75

This was the least favourite dish of the night. We pretty much ate everything and half of this was left on the plate. The chicken was not bad, but the batter was a little too thick.

It did come to the table piping hot and crunchy. But it was just thick salty crunchy chicken w a sauce. The sauce was overpowering with a lot of ginger in it and not much else.

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Total Damage: $75 (including tax & tips)

Personal Rating: 3.25 out of 5 (Pretty darn good)

I guess the dishes are a hit or miss. 3 of them were amazing, 1 was meh, 1 was not good. So I averaged that out to a 3.25~

Service was choppy. When we got there, we were kinda ignored for a good 5 minutes until SK walked to the counter and asked if we could get a table. It took a server a long while to get to us eventhough it was not busy. But the server was a really nice guy and made ordering really easy. And food got to us at record speed.

The prices are quite reasonable, and quantity is very generous.

Other visit

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Tong Soon Garden Restaurant

3240 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95051

(408) 615 9988

Tong Soon Garden on Urbanspoon

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