Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chef Li - San Jose

This restaurant is close to my office but yet I have never really tried it except for one occasion where I did a take out order for their hot and sour soup. Yesterday I had a chance to go there with a friend for lunch.

The place wasn't that busy when we walked in so we were seated immediately. I immediately noticed a sign that says "please don't touch the flowers". Apparently beside operating as restaurant, they also sell potted orchid flower plant. I am not expert on those so no comment on what type of orchid flowers available there.

We ordered from the lunch menu. Each item is served with soup and egg roll and choice of rice or fried rice. I picked eggplant with spicy garlic sauce and my friend chose honey walnut shrimp. She asked if they have other drinks other soda but they only had lemonade so she opted for hot tea instead.

Our orders surprisingly came out pretty fast. Almost less than ten minutes. It felt like having those Japanese bento box where different items would be put on different compartments. But this was Chinese restaurant so they served our lunch on a big platter instead. We shared our main dish so we got to try two different items.

My first impression of the eggplant was how firm the eggplant was. Usually the Chinese style eggplant dish was mushy but packed with flavor. This one was the opposite. Firm but lack of flavor. The sauce that it came with didn't taste of garlic and was more sweet and tangy flavor. The walnut shrimp was okay only. I made it before and I liked mine better. Sorry. The shrimps were coated with a thick batter so I couldn't really taste the shrimp anymore.

It feels to me that their dishes were westernized already. I don't know if they have better dishes that I have yet to discover. It seemed that I may not go back for a long time or maybe I would go back just to do take out on the hot and sour soup.

Chef Li
2033 Camden Ave, San Jose CA 95124
(408) 377-1168