Saturday, February 04, 2006

Universal Hilton

The Universal Hilton by the world famous Universal City and Universal Studios is a great location for travelers out of town looking to enjoy a couple days near a fun theme park. But for many in the southland, it has long been dreaded when associated with a Chinese wedding. Tonight, my impression (and my entire table of 10) of the place has been changed, for the better.

- The Lobster Salad was a delight. The lobster was fresh as was the fruit and the sauce, though creamy, was not overbearing.
- The Braised Lamb Chop was very flavorful and cooked just right. The meat was both succulent and tender.
- The Braised Ying Yang Scallops were not bad: two methods of cooking scallops, both decent. I'm not a big scallops fan but I managed to finish both of them.
- The Prince's Shark Fin Soup with Crabmeat wasn't bad at all. Of course, you could barely spot shark fin in it, but the taste was not bad. I put a little bit of vinegar in mine to improve the flavor, but realistically, the soup was pretty good. It's just that I had some much better shark fin soup the night before (more on that later!) and that unfortunately affected my opinion tonight.
- The Braised Abalone with Fish Maw was excellently done on a bed of lettuce. I very much enjoyed the flavor and thought the fish maw was prepared superbly.
- Garden Vegetables Topped with Conpoy Topping turned out to be broccoli topped with dried scallops. It was another braised type dish but pretty tasty. Nothing to write home about, but not a disappointment other than the fact the garden vegetables were boring.
- Chef's Special Succulent Garlic Roast Chicken wasn't really all that special at all. It was fairly tasty but the chicken was a bit overcooked and could have been presented a little bit better.
- The Steamed Fresh Catch was tasty and the table finished it quickly. The fish was fresh and the sauce just right. They also steamed the fish just right.
- Double Happiness Egg Noodles with Mushrooms was actually very tasty. By this time, everyone was too full to eat, but I managed to put down quite a bit still. Light and springy with just enough flavor, these noodles were a great way to end the meal.
- Puree of Sweet Beans and Lotus Seeds was a fancy name for a sweet dessert that many restaurants will serve at the end of the meal. I didn't think it was that bad although several at the table complained that it was too sweet.

Everyone pretty much was impressed with the meal and thought that a new chef had been hired. Next time someone says we're having a Chinese banquet at the Universal Hilton, I'll remember this experience and not cringe.


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