Tuesday, August 12, 2014

At Lan Garden, fresh lobster tastes even sweeter at 30% off

Fresh lobster smothered in ginger and scallion at Lan Garden, a new Chinese restaurant on Route 46 in Ridgefield.


I made a second visit to Lan Garden, the new Chinese seafood restaurant in Ridgefield that is having a soft opening, in search of lobster.

I had a whole flounder on my first visit last Friday night, when the soft-shell crabs listed on the limited temporary menu weren't available.

They still weren't available on Monday night, but the kitchen did have whole lobster, pan-fried and then smothered in ginger and scallion.

During the soft opening, food is 30% off. The official opening is set for Aug. 26.

The lobster was $23.95 before the discount.

I also ordered yu choy, a Chinese green ($9.95 before the discount).

A complimentary pot of tea and small bowl of white rice completed my meal.

A green called yu choy was tasty, but difficult to eat with chopsticks. I suggested the kitchen cut the stalks into two or three smaller pieces next time. I took most of the dish home, and cut the stalks before I put the leftovers in the refrigerator.

Messy but delicious

The lobster was delicious, and a small fork and cut-outs made it easy to extract the sweet meat from the shells.

But it was messy, and I couldn't get the attention of my waiter to get a second napkin until I had almost finished. 

Manager Leo Lee wet a third napkin so I could clean my hands at the table.

Don't go for the service

During the soft opening, service is casual.

I had the same waiter as on my first visit, and he insisted the restaurant didn't serve dim sum made with shrimp, even though har gow or shrimp dumplings are listed on the menu.

On my first visit, I ordered a steamed whole fish, but got a fried whole fish instead.

I don't know whether that was the kitchen's doing, because the waiter wrote down the proper letter and numbers from the menu.

Only two other customers were in the dining room when I arrived around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, but when I left about an hour later, the restaurant's staff was greeting a steady stream of people.

Lan Garden Restaurant & Bar, 88 Route 46 west, Ridgefield (Grand Avenue); 201-840-8688. Opens at 11 a.m. during soft opening, which is set to end on Aug. 26.

Food is 30% off during soft opening. A liquor license is pending.

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