Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Missed Opportunity

Sorry everyone...I forgot my camera so I didn't get to take pictures when eating at Mini Garden...the Beretania Street location. We were looking for someplace easy and fast for lunch. Went to Sekiya's first but as it was only a little after noon, of course there was no parking. Our second choice was Mini Garden. I like the food there...tastes great and we usually go for the noodles...Hong Kong style. I usually order some kind of stewed noodle...it's simple and tastes great. I like the brisket, my wife orders tendon and my daughter likes to eat it simply with just choy sum. It comes with an accompanying bowl of broth so you can dip and slurp at your heart's content. Other times I might order shrimp wonton or crispy gau gee min or whatever...but I always eat noodles. I know they have other great stuff like a really good vegetarian menu (that I've heard a lot about) that uses bean curd but hey, I like noodles...

One thing to watch out for is the service. I've gone many times during the weekend (usually Sunday) and it's pretty busy but I think they have more help during that time. Recently I've gone during the week and there's not as many people working so service can be good or very bad. The last time I was there, I was in a rush, hadn't eaten all day(and had been fasting for a blood test) and just my luck...my order came when everyone was finishing up their food. The waiter said they forgot my order as they were focusing on a large party of people there. The manager tried to placate us by giving us dessert. And that's another thing...if they know you or if they think that you aren't happy with the food, they might give you dessert...and it's not the regular help that does that...I think it has to be one of the people that run the restaurant. So great food but the service can vary a lot...recommend when you order, you request for no msg...and watch out for parking too...at peak times that small lot fills up fast (they share parking with Fujipan Bakery) and then everyone parks right in front of the restaurant.

Mini Garden, 2065 S. Beretania St.

After eating, we visited Fujipan Bakery next door. Typical Japanese bakery...pastries, cheesecake, loaves of bread, etc. One thing we picked up was Melon Pan. If you're not familiar with that, it literally means "melon bread". I like melon pan (and my daughter too) and we purchased a few for her. What is melon pan? Here's a pic of the ones we bought...

Here's a link to a wikipedia article on melon pan. It's basically a bun that has a sugary sweet crust and most times it has some melon flavoring (well, at least the better ones do). The top is usually cut into a crosshatch pattern. Of course, there are variations...I've seen different kinds with different stuff inside or where the shape is very different. The ones we got are the type you normally see. And, just by looking at them, you know they're gonna be good! (I know some bakeries do smaller ones but they're usually not as good). If you're interested in making your own melon pan, here's a recipe. The recipe tells you to use melon essence...don't know where you find that. Anyway...these are great... The other thing we noticed at the bakery was that they do some small breads(or pastries?) in animal shapes...pretty funny...rabbit, elephant... They were even selling a set as a "zoo"...I think it also had a turtle and something else. We're thinking of coming back and buying that as a gift...just need the right occasion...(and right person).

Fujipan Bakery, 2065 S. Beretania St.

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