Wednesday, June 1

Golden Garlic - San Jose

Chinese food restaurants in San Jose seem to be scattered even though we have plenty of ethnic enclaves in our city. There are a few densely populated plazas but none of the restaurants seem to stand out. When we are in the mood for Chinese, we really have to hunt for the hidden gems. 

A few weeks ago, Golden Garlic invited me to try a complimentary meal at their new location on S. De Anza Blvd. It was everything we like in a Chinese food place. Tucked in a corner, simple decor and plates, but great food in large portions. Here are a few of the dishes we tried from the Sichuan and Tianjian cuisine.

($15.95) Diced Beef with Golden Garlic
Their signature dish, the eponymous dish of the restaurant, contained lots of garlic and beef in a special marinade. The cubed beef was extremely tender and flavorful. In contast, the garlic was crunchy but not spicy. This dish is a must-have if you go here. 

($4.95) House Made Jelly Noodle in Chili Sauce
Another must-have and at a very affordable price too is the jelly noodle appetizer. The house made chili and black bean sauce is to die for. It's very spicy and has layers of flavor with the umami of fermented black beans. The noodle has no flavor yet the interesting texture makes it worth while. They give plenty of sauce in this dish so don't waste it. Put it on the rice or other dishes to enhance the flavor too.

($5.95) House Special Fancy Cut Whole Cucumber
This is a standard dish for Chinese restaurants. One of my favorite appetizers and palate cleansers. Golden Garlic does a fancy cut on their large chunks. It was a good mix of sour, sweet, and spicy.

($10.95) Tianjin Mixed Stir Fry
The pork slices were very tender and the cucumber and woodear mushroom had just the right bite.

($12.95) Braised Pocket Tofu
The soft tofu was a good contrast to the other dishes which had stronger flavors. Each tofu piece was larger than it appears in pictures. The sauce was light and not too thick which is how I prefer it.

($12.95) Fish Ball with Tomato Sauce
This is more of a long fish cake. It is flaky inside like a regular filet and breaded then fried on the outside. The sauce does not taste like tomato. It's more sweet and sour. I was impressed with this dish too. I'm not sure I can handle alot at once but a little bit goes well with white rice.

Golden Garlic has a successful location in Milpitas which has been open for 3 years. This location in San Jose has been open for 1 year and I sense much success for them in the future. The prices are fair given that the portion sizes are large and meant for family style dining. All of the dishes were good especially their signature beef and golden garlic as well as the jelly noodle. The service was great and the owner is often there to provide hands on service. We would definitely eat here again. I am very pleased to be able to share their offerings with you.

Golden Garlic
1530 South De Anza Blvd, San Jose, CA

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