Li Garden – CLOSED

Continuing with birthday celebrations, for dinner we headed to Li Garden, located on Victoria Drive near 43rd for an Alaskan King Crab dinner. I was looking forward to this meal because of all the hype behind the “AKC” season. But I think the hype raised my expectations high and I wasn’t too impressed. Maybe I don’t have honed tastebuds, but I didn’t think that the Alaskan King Crab was any better than how regular crabs were prepared. I know the whole story and the danger behind AKC crabbing, but is the crab really worth $15 a pound, let alone someone risking their lives to catch them? Will AKC go the way of Shark Fin – beginning to be banned in places and generally shunned upon?

Our AKC weight 9 pounds and was shown to us before it was cooked.

Our first dish was soup, it had beef shreds and greens. The soup was a sweet and meaty broth. This is typical Chinese dinner meal fare.

We were the only people in the restaurant – I’m assuming because we had a late reservation (8pm) and that they closed at 10. However, it was a saturday. Kind of weird.

The dishes came quick. The AKC was served into three different dishes: the first was the legs steamed and with minced garlic, the innards that was deep fried and had some hot pepper and garlic flavouring and finally the crab shell was filled with rice, curry and left over meat from the king crab.

Deepfried Alaskan King Crab Innards

Curried Rice w/ AKC meat served in the Alaskan King Crab Shell

We ordered some other random dishes:

Sweet and sour pork. Lots of breading, but served fresh and flavourful. The vegetables coloured the dish and was sweet and crunchy.

This large dish of spinach had ridiculous amounts of whole garlic. It really infused within the spinach, but I didn’t like the water/broth because it made the vegetables very watery and soft.

The next dish was beef, potato and some sort of melon served in a hot pot thickish brown stew. The beef was tender and the vegetables were boiled perfectly.

There was another dish of sliced fish, onions and green onions. I’m a bit picky, I don’t enjoy bones in my food (especially when I have to wrestle with them with my chopsticks) so I didn’t try this dish.

There was another dish with fish, boneless and tender, stir fried with vegetables.

This dish is beef sitting atop gai lan. It had a garlic taste to it as well.

I wasn’t entirely sure what this dish was, there were mushrooms and chicken and pork with bones (so obviously I didn’t try it).

Our last dish was pork meatballs with pumpkin. I liked it, it was chock full of pork with some spots of pureed pumpkin inside.

We were also served my favourite Chinese dessert, tapioca pudding with pineapple bun crust. I don’t know the real name of the dish, but I love it! It was crispy on the top and warm and pudding like in the middle.

We also had the obligatory cake! Asian cake with fresh fruit inside is the best kind of cake made (other than my super favourite kinda cake- Goldilocks!).

This place is CASH ONLY, and I’d definitely recommend it for dim sum. It’s a good place if you live nearby.

Happy Birthday to Brian & Albert!!

The food was plentiful, they have a great variety of choices here but I can’t say much taste wise.  I definitely enjoyed the deep fried AKC,  the pork and pumpkin meatballs and the curried rice in the AKC shell. The dessert was also very good, better than a lot of places I’ve eaten.

The restaurant was clean and tidy, but maybe because we were the only ones there? It looks a bit cramped but it’s very easy to walk around the chairs.

For about $28 per person, the AKC dinner plus 8 dishes was not too bad in value.

I think because we were the only ones at the restaurant, the service, was obviously fast. But I’ve been here a couple times before for dim sum and once or twice for regular dinner and I do enjoy the service here. They’re very prompt and polite.


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