Thursday, June 7, 2007

Don't Eat It/Eat It - Sum Yum Gai - 1403 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 305-604-8889

So, the reason we went to Sum Yum Gai is that they have a deal on Thursday nights. You must order at least $10 of food, and that allows you to drink all the beer you want. There's only one choice, though, and it comes from a keg that sits out near the entrance of the restaurant.

I don't want to waste too much of your time on a forgettable eating experience. I will point out that the service was pretty good and the decor is, too. It's a little bit dingy, but this adds to the authentic feeling of the place.

The food is another matter. I don't know how they managed it, but Sum Yum Gai served up an insipid Kung Pao Chicken. That's quite a feat for something known to make George Costanza sweat through a board meeting. The Crab Rangoon tasted like it was filled with artichoke dip, and the Mu-shu Pork was just not very good. The pork had bad texture and the vegetables were not properly proportioned. There was too much onion, if I recall correctly. It just wasn't quite right.

If you're going to go to a restaurant for Chinese food, go to Miss Yip's. It's twice as expensive as Sum Yum Gai, but it's probably 10 times better.

My friends Avi and Vivek have been raving about Yeung's (954 41st St., Miami Beach, FL 305-672-1144) as a cheaper alternative to Miss Yip's. It is their preferred Chinese takeout joint, and they liken it to New York City's affordable, but good, Chinese eateries. Here's the review from the New Times. They gave Yeung's Best Takeout Chinese in 2000.

*Update - For some reason, when you order takeout from Sum Yum Gai, it's great! The General Chong's chicken is delish, as is the wonton soup. The fried rice is average but the spring rolls are too greasy. For some reason I still always get one with my combination dinner. Not sure why. By the way, I ordered from Yeung's once and it was not good. Not good.

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