Review: Happy Garden

May 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

Happy Mother’s Day to all those hard working moms out there! I don’t know where I’d be or how I’d have turned out if my mother wasn’t there to teach and nurture me.

For Mother’s Day, my mom wanted to go out to dinner at one of her favorite restaurants called Happy Garden in Oakland. It’s a Chinese restaurant that we’ve been going to for years simply because it’s got amazing food at a reasonable price. You know what that means?

A ton of food.

So we headed out and I decided to bring my camera to document what we ate.

We started off with an order of Yee Fu Wonton soup. It’s almost like your regular wonton soup except for a few things: there aren’t any vegetables in the soup (like bok choy, broccoli, etc.), the broth is more like an egg drop soup with only egg whites, and the wontons are fried to crispy perfection before being dropped into the soup and served immediately.

So. Damn. Good.

The fried flavor adds a delicious layer to the soup and the texture of the still slightly crispy wonton wrapper will make you not want to wonton soup any other way. Next time you go out to your favorite Chinese restaurant, ask to see if they serve Yee Fu Wonton soup because it is a game changer.

Next came the Shrimp in Lobster Sauce.

I’ll admit, I was not a fan of this dish only because I was never a fan of this dish to begin with. It’s one of my dad’s favorites so he thought, “Why not?”. It’s basically sautéed shrimp with onions, bell peppers, boy choy, and egg in a thick brown gravy that I believe is prepared with black beans and shockingly no lobster.

While I didn’t like the dish as a whole, I must say that the sauce on some white rice was pretty tasty.

Next, Salt and Pepper Rock Cod.

Another one of my favorites. It’s rock cod fish that is fried in a really light, yet crispy batter and then tossed with a mixture of cooked pepper, chiles, and garlic. The flavors pair perfectly with the delicateness of the fish which is perfectly cooked.

Right after that came some Sizzling Beef in Black Pepper Sauce.

One of the most entertaining dishes to order, it’s served on a hot sizzling plate when it comes to your table that gradually cools off as you eat. The beef is cut into thick slices and served with onions and green peppers in a spicy brown sauce that is so amazing on rice.

All of these delicious entrees served with perfectly cooked steamed white rice and sweetened hot tea made for an amazing meal. The delicately cut oranges served at the end with fortune cookies were the icing on the cake.

With beer and wine, the bill came to less than $50, so for three  hungry people, that’s pretty great.

I highly encourage anyone to check out Happy Garden if you want some extremely flavorful and affordable Chinese food that will leave you wanting more, even when the buttons on your jeans are practically popping off.

Happy Garden 

4112 MacArthur Blvd
(between 39th Ave & Maybelle Ave)
Oakland, CA 94619

Happy dining,



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