Friday, February 8, 2013

Hunan Garden, HUNAN, not HUMAN!

While Rachel was on a business trip to Tucson last week, I didn't cook much. I do love to cook but watching Ruby, working, writing and visiting my dear Aunt who is ill, added up to very little free time that week. I was, to put it simply, exhuasted! Even this simple task of taking the garbage cans to the street on Wednesday night was just too much. You know the feeling, the one that if you have to do one more thing, no matter how small, it will be the breaking point. I had visions of me and a baseball bat in an antique store.

One evening, just after Ruby woke up from a nap, I knew that we needed to get some dinner. We loaded in the car and headed out. I didn't quite know where we would be going so I called Sous Chefs Sam & Jesse to see if they wanted to join, and to get their ideas. I was craving Chinese food but was still coming up short in my tired brain. There was one easy, default restaurant that I mentioned to Sam but his quick response was "yuck, I am sick of that place." Okay, not that joint. I then thought of this Chinese restaurant that I have driven past for years but have never gone inside. Sam said that he would meet us there. I thought about it because Sam & Jesse always make fun of the name.

Spicy Yu Hsiang Garlic Chicken
As Ruby and I walked into Hunan Garden, I was happy. It was apparent that this was a very authentic place. I immediately was transported back in my mind to a visit to San Francisco back in 2006. On that trip, Rachel and I went to China Town and desired a very authentic meal. We walked into a restaurant and were the only white people there. Ruby and I had the same experience here at Hunan Garden. The interior hasn't likely been updated for about 20 years. Some may be disgusted at this but I love it. This shows that they have a strong following and there is no need for fancy decor to woo people in the door.

Ruby got an bowl of Egg Drop Soup as an appetizer. She loves that soup and finished all of it. I ordered Spicy Yu Hsiang Garlic Chicken with Vegetables and Hunan Pan Fried Noodles with Shredded Pork. What's good food if you can't have cold leftovers for breakfast the next morning? Sam wasn't hungry but came for the company. His mom sent him with money and instructed him to order for her whatever I was having; Flattering! Sam's friend Chris ordered the Moo Shu Pork. We weren't leaving hungry tonight.

To sum it up: Amazing! The Spicy Yu Hsiang Garlic Chicken had carrots, snow peas, mushrooms, brocolli, shrimp and chicken. They got the name correct, it was spicy. The Pan Fried Noodles are good but definitely loaded with a strong soy sauce flavor which makes it a little bitter. Still good but the best part of that dish was the pork. It was sweet and tender. The Moo Shu Pork had tender shreds of pork and eggs mixed with sun dried tiger lily flower, bean sprouts, cabbage and onions. It also comes with four specially prepared thin steamed hot pancakes and hoison sauce. It was delicious. I snuck extra Moo Shu Pork while Chris had to run a quick errand.

As we were wrapping up our meal, the table next to us was just getting their food. I stalled for a bit because I was mesmerized by their order. They got a Hot Pot meal. There was a portable burner with a pot of simmering stock on their table. The ingredients are then placed into the pot and cooked at the table.

A superb Wednesday evening!

Leaving the restaurant was like watching the end of a great movie. You know it's time to go but you wish the moment could last; if but only for a few more minutes.

2121 East 2100 South
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84109

Happy Eating
Hunan Garden on Urbanspoon


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