Last month I had a great meal at Golden Harvest with a couple of friends. As they weren't familiar with Chinese food, I was allowed to take charge of the ordering, so we ended up having some of my favourite dishes.
I've always loved Kung Pou Chicken. The Kung Pou Chicken at Golden Harvest isn't exactly like the kind I am used to, but it's still pretty good. Instead of the usual cashew nuts, they serve their Kung Pou with peanuts and fried sweet buns (man tou). Their version is a little sweeter and not as riddled with dried chillies (and therefore not as spicy) but hits the spot for me nonetheless. The crispy, sauce soaked, sweet buns and peanuts keep the dish interesting because with every scoop, your palate gets a variety of textures and flavours - soft, chewy, nutty, crunchy, sweet, savoury, etc. This time around, I ordered the Kung Pou vegetables instead of chicken (both are equally good), because I had known for days that I wanted to order the Crispy Chicken.
Ah, the Crispy Chicken. Salty, crispy skinned, juicy, tasty chicken pieces. What more could anyone ask for? Mmm, I think this is my favourite dish at Golden Harvest. There's something so incredibly satisfying about biting into a piece of beautifully cooked, crispy skinned chicken. I automatically recall the smell and taste of it (and drool a little) every time I look at the picture. I will need to get a fix very soon.
To offset the savouriness of the chicken, I ordered the Sweet and Sour Pork (the last time I dined here, I made the mistake of ordering a few dishes with the same flavours). It actually looked like and tasted like decent sweet and sour pork, which is more than I can say about the stuff that I've had at other establishments here. The first few years I was here, I was amazed at what some places were passing off as "sweet and sour pork" and incredibly annoyed that for something so common, edible, authentic sweet and sour pork was scarce. Having said that, even in Asia, it is difficult to find a place that serves really good sweet and sour pork. It's probably because it is such a common and simple dish that nobody thinks it's worth the time or effort to pay attention to the details and perfect it. If anyone knows of a place that serves outstanding sweet and sour pork, do tell.
Anyway, at the rate we were yakking, we were lucky that we had all that good food to keep us going. We were very happy with the meal (and the company) and left feeling content with just the right level of 'fullness' in our bellies. No matter the quality, a dining experience is always marred if you are left feeling uncomfortable and/or sick because the food was too rich/much.
Golden Harvest Restaurant
218 George Street