Saturday, February 2, 2008

Lunch at Choi Garden

We had a sort-of advance Chinese New Year lunch with the folks at a new restaurant along Annapolis, Greenhills called Choi Garden. The restaurant sits on the lot formerly occupied by Bert Nievera's (as in, Martin Nievera's dad) Country Waffles which closed down several years ago. I think they did not really tear down the physical building structure of the old Country Waffles but just renovated it. And they sure must have spent quite a bit on the renovation -- especially the interior.

I did not bring a camera, but another blogger posted some nice pics when they went there. That blogger was apparently not too happy with the service she got based from her review. So I came with very little expectation on the service. That way, I will not get disappointed. As noted by that other blogger, the restaurant posts a sign outside that says they are on "Dry Run". I guess its a nice way of saying "please ignore our crappy service as we are still learning the ropes".

The dishes listed on their menu look different from your typical Chinese restaurants. Sure, there are the usual sweet-and-sour pork, but the rest look unique. I mean, there's Shask's Fin Suop, Beet with Garlis, Pat-Fried Oyster, etc. (I swear -- those are the actual spellings!). For someone to spend so much on their interior design, surely they could have used or hired a spellchecker. The manager admitted that there's a lot of typo on their menu. When I asked about the Mantis with Yogurt and exactly how its cooked in yogurt, he just said that's a typo error and that should really be Mantis in Egg-white. "Beef" being misspelled as "beet", or "soup" as "suop", I can understand. But "eggwhite" misspelled as "yoghurt"?! That's world's apart.

We initially ordered some appetizers. When the waiter delivered the fried wontons, he spilled some of the sauce on Cols' foot. He did not offer any apology and just went on to do his work like nothing happened. I called the senior waiter/manager's attention to it so that they can correct their waiter's attitude in the future.

All in all, I would say the food was good and would agree with this other blogger who also gave a good review on the food's taste. The fried pigeons are definitely a must-try.

Incidentally, before we left, the lady manager gave us her calling card. It says on the card that they have a website! The URL is www.choigarden. No, I did not make a typo. That's all it says. No tld (.com, .net, etc.) or cctld (.ph,, etc.). I tried typing different permutations on my browser when I got home and none seem to resolve correctly. Maybe their webmaster is the same guy who made the menu. *snicker* *snicker*

The email address printed on the calling card is equally suspect. It says Really now. What's the likelihood of them getting a 4-character Yahoo username like that in 2008? With the millions of Choi's out there in Korea alone, surely that name must have been taken back in the early to mid 90's. Good luck to whoever owns that email address. He'll probably wonder why people will email him about roast pigeons!

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