We met up with extended family, visiting for the holidays, for a family style meal in Flushing. My mom chose one of her favorite places, Maple Garden Maple Garden. I can understand why it’s one of her favorites after seeing a bill for under $200, that more than satisfied a table of 14 people.

I don’t know the English name for many of these dishes so I tried to take a lot of pictures to facilitate with descriptions. We started with some cold platters, a traditional way to start a proper Chinese meal.

The smoked chicken is one of my dad’s favorites. I didn’t care for the texture but Lon agreed with my dad.

Pig ears is one of my childhood favorites. It’s thinly sliced and marinated with fresh garlic and spicy oil. This sounds weird but I love the crunchiness of the cartilage.

This dish of tiny dried fish, peanuts, and chilis was delicious. I had to try hard to hold back and pace myself since it was only the beginning of the meal.

Yup, broccoli stems actually taste good. They’re super crunchy and should not be thrown away. This one is also marinated with a spicy oil.

…and that was just the starters. Now comes the hot dishes.

Ahh…soup dumplings. These weren’t the best but very good.

This was a really interesting stir-fry of shrimp, snow peas, and fish stomach. It’s hard to describe the fish stomach but the texture is like a crisp sponge that soaks up flavor from the surrounding sauce. It was something different and surprisingly good.

Perfectly cooked Dungeness Crab. One of the best dishes of the night!

Pretty standard sauteed shrimp.

To the left, there’s three dishes. A great Whole fish in a sweet scallion sauce. You can’t beat the flesh of fish that was just plucked out of the water. If you haven’t had “live killed” fish from a Chinese restaurant, you have no idea what fresh fish tastes like. Then there was the simple stir-fry of bean curd, shredded pork, and celery. It’s a nice blend of different textures. The string beans were also cooked nicely with chopped preserved vegetables to add a new flavor.

In all the excitement of eating, I missed taking pictures of two dishes. The Hot Pepper Beef, which is a classic and my cousin Steve’s favorite. It’s a simple spicy dish that’s great over rice. There was also a pork cutlet dish, my least favorite of the night. It was a boring dish and not attractive either.

Honey Ham served over Lotus Seeds is a sweet dish that’s served along side steamed white bread (originally steamed buns) so you can make little sandwiches. The ham here was a bit tough though.

Rice cakes with Shredded Pork and chopped greens (that I don’t know the English name of) is another standard. They did a good job with it but by now, I was so stuffed, I couldn’t eat as much of it as I wanted to.

Terrible picture but they make the best Turnip Pastry ever! It’s a savory pastry that is sometimes eaten as breakfast, sometimes a snack or appetizer, and sometimes an end to a meal, so I can’t really categorize but a must-have if you visit Maple Garden, which I think you should.

posted by jessica at 10:19 PM Filed under Asian, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.