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Dining

Breakfast, Chinese-style

Emperor’s Garden offers cheap and tasty way to start the day

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Spicy hot sheet jelly.
Shannon Stevens

One of the weekend’s essential components has to be the big-breakfast meet-up with friends. But really—pancakes and eggs, again? Time to branch out.

It only costs about $10 to feel like you’ve trekked halfway around the globe to try something fabulous and unique. Plus, nothing says Sunday-morning breakfast quite like spicy hot sheet jelly!

Emperor’s Garden, in our own Chinatown, offers a breakfast menu daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and stepping into the restaurant on a Saturday or Sunday morning is like a time/space-warp trip to Hong Kong. Jam-packed with families enjoying down-home Chinese breakfast, the restaurant is abuzz with foreign sounds and smells—both inviting and stimulating.

The Details

Restaurant Guide
Emperor’s Garden
4215 Spring Mountain Road, Ste. B203, 889-9812M
Breakfast served daily, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Though the breakfast menu is so reasonably priced that it’s not much of a financial gamble to try something completely unknown, we’ll suggest some savory favorites to make your first outing just a tad less intimidating. (Most breakfast-menu items cost less than $2, and the most expensive items—such as an order of eight dumplings—come in under $6.)

First to check off your paper breakfast menu (ask for it when you walk in): the sweet soybean drink ($1.75) with yu-tiao (deep-fried breadstick, also $1.75). The freshly made soy milk is served in a steaming bowl (add sugar to taste). The breadsticks can be eaten on the side, though we like them best torn up and floated in the hot soy drink.

Chive Box ($3.75) is fabulous fresh from the kitchen or reheated, and resembles an empanada filled with chives, tofu, eggs and noodles. The pan-fried onion pie ($2.95) is a delicious guilty pleasure of greasy/tender/chewy pastry, and the freshly cooked dumplings are warm and satisfying.

Finally, though it may seem a bit on the wild side for a first visit, live on the culinary edge and try the spicy hot sheet jelly ($5.95). This Sichuan treat is as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the palette with its red-pepper oil, hint of vinegar and fresh cilantro garnish.

Bon appetit! Or should we say: xiang shou ni de shi wu!

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