As a few people get to enjoy seeing my male god (aka the eternal Eason Chan) in person this past Sunday (*ahem* you know who you are), I kinda had to head to bed early because the very next day (dreadful Monday) was another stock-up day (which btw, has almost made me lose complete interest in shopping). Monday is supposed be to our only day-off of the week, but since we always have to be on the go to several places in the city to stock-up & take care of various business matters, we rarely get a chance to properly sit down and eat on Mondays. However, this past Monday was slightly different since we’ve finally been able to get a bit of breathing room and so, we decided to try out at one of the few Asian restaurants in Saskatoon.
Vancouver friends, please be warned, the average “Asian” restaurants here might not be sufficient to satisfy an average Vancourite’s palate. =/
Two things came as a surprises at Spicy Garden:
1) No Vietnamese “pop” music playing in the restaurant. However, I supposed the majority in this city is non-Asian, so fair enough;
2) Mandarin Chinese run this restaurant. -___-” What’s coincidentally funny was that even before we confirmed it, I had joked that “perhaps, they’re not authentic Vietnamese-Canadian but Mandarin Chinese-Canadian…similar to how most of Vancouver’s Japanese restaurants are actually run by Mandarin Chinese”. Seriously, really didn’t expect that I would end up being right (albeit, something quite insignificant). O___O”
One thing that was not so surprising, though, was that this restaurant is really just like any typical Asian restaurant that one might find in Saskatoon or even in the hey-days of Vancouver decades (yes, decades) ago –> this place is just another “Chop Suey restaurant” (aka 雜菜館), meaning that none of the dishes are really “authentically Asian”. Instead, it’s more precise to describe the dishes as modifications based on its Asian roots but adapted & localized into Western standard of “acceptable taste”. Ha, a play on Western standard of beauty versus Asian standard of beauty. Anyways, the menu at Spicy Garden certainly offers a good variety of dishes, but any ordinary Asian would find it insulting at worse or somewhat amusingly ridiculous at best that this place would offer anything from Hong-Kong Style Milk Tea, Szechuan cuisine, Cantonese cuisine, Thai cuisine, to (& yes) Vietnamese cuisine…none of which is authentic.
Well, on the bright side, like most restaurants in the province, this place is very accommodating to vegetarians. Unlike Vancouver, where I actually encountered a few supposedly “brilliant” individuals who were bewildered and even borderline disgusted at the mention of “vegetarians”. I’m thankful that none of my friends are like that. ^^
Most Asian restaurants in Saskatoon probably cannot be compared to even the most “plain-Jane” Asian restaurant in Vancouver in terms of taste (& to be fair, Spicy Garden is still better than a lot of the other Asian restaurants that one might find in Saskatoon). However, I would like to acknowledge that restaurants in Saskatoon, in general, are more accommodating to vegetarians than most average restaurants in Vancouver. Also, I would like to acknowledge that the waitresses & waiters at this place are all very friendly and accommodating. ^_____^
We stocked up as usual during this past Monday…but then, on a spur of moment, decided to hire this one as our full-time employee: