Silver Garden Mongolian is the platonic ideal of Chinese restaurants—the iconic standard.
Decor amounts to a few prints in gilded frames, booths line the wall, and tables sit amongst them. The far corner of the restaurant, past the restrooms is piled with disused booths, tables, chairs, boxes and assorted items.
But the food is cheap, delicious and plentiful.
I ordered the sesame chicken lunch combination plate, which came with soup of the day, chow mein, fried rice, and a spring roll. The others members of my party all had Mongolian barbecue.
The sesame chicken was perfectly wok-fried and bathed in a sweet, slightly-honeyed glaze. The chow mein sat on the plate tightly folded in a gorgeous presentation I have never seen at any other restaurant. The fried rice is exactly what you’d want: rice with just a hint of teriyaki flavor and chunks of egg and meat. The spring roll had crisp skin and hot, colorful vegetables inside. The soup of the day was a chicken cabbage soup, with large pieces of chicken and cabbage strips suspended in a clear chicken broth.
My fellow diners told me that the Mongolian barbecue was easily as good. In addition to the standard water that grill cooks will add, the cook at Silver Garden Mongolian adds a house sauce, which prevents the flavor from being diluted. Another thing that sets Silver Garden apart from other Mongolian barbecues is the separation of light and dark meat chicken on the barbecue line.
My lunch combination plate was $6.95, and was enough food to feed me twice. I ate half of it, felt plenty full, and saved the other half for breakfast the next day. With iced tea, tax and tip, I spent $10. The Mongolian barbecue was $6.50/bowl and came with fried rice, soup and a spring roll.
My only complaint is my bowl of soup had only a single piece of chicken, but the piece was large and easily the amount of chicken one might find in a bowl with shreds of chicken from another restaurant. But I wasn’t there for the soup. I was there for a plate filled with rice, chow mein, and glistening, sweet, lightly-smokey chicken. Silver Garden did not disappoint. It was standard, but a good standard, at a great value.
4321 Madison Ave,
Sacramento, CA 95842
Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
3.5 out of 5 stars