Gourmet Garden's fare is a hit in two languages

Dishes on English menu different from those on Chinese list

Restaurant Profile

February 03, 2000|By Karen Nitkin | Karen Nitkin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Gourmet Garden Sushi Delight is a small restaurant, so patrons tend to notice what other diners are eating. Often, they see dishes that aren't on the regular menu.

There's a simple reason. The clean and casual 40-seat restaurant, in Long Reach Village Center of Columbia, has two menus: one in English, the other in Chinese.

The English-language menu has about 100 items, including such standard Chinese restaurant fare as General Tso's chicken ($8.50) and chicken chow mein ($6.50 for the dinner portion, $4.50 for lunch). Sushi is also featured.

The Chinese-language menu has about 50 items, from dry bean curd with pork ($6.50) to a whole 2-pound fish ($13). Though prices for the two menus are comparable, the offerings are different. The Chinese menu, for example, offers cream cheese wontons for $2.50, while the English menu has pan-fried dumplings for the same price.

The restaurant, which opened about two years ago, has attracted a strong following of Chinese patrons who order from the Chinese menu, said owner Richard Wu. Over time, other diners have requested dishes from that menu, Wu said.

"They see it at the next table and say, `What's that? It's not on the menu,' " he said.

Wu is in the process of translating the Chinese menu into English. The new menus should be available sometime this month, he said.

Wu, who was born in Taiwan and now lives in Ellicott City, describes the food's style as Sichuan and Taiwanese.

Popular dishes from the English menu include sesame chicken, kung pao chicken and roast duck, while popular dishes from the Chinese menu include chicken with basil, soft bean curd and tender bean curd with crab meat in a hot pot, he said. On the English menu, lunch combinations, from $4.75 to $5.75, include a main dish, egg roll and fried rice.

Wu says Gourmet Garden Sushi Delight is the only restaurant in the Columbia area that delivers sushi. The restaurant offers free delivery within a limited area for orders of $15 or higher.

The menu for Gourmet Garden Sushi Delight notes the dishes are cooked without monosodium glutamate and prepared with vegetable oil.

Gourmet Garden Sushi Delight

Where: 8775 Cloud Leap Court, Columbia; 410-997-5005; fax: 410-997-5344.

Hours: Open seven days a week. Lunch: 11: 30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner: 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Prices: Appetizers, $2.50 to $7.50; entrees, $6.50 to $13.95 for dinner and $4.50 and up for lunch.

Credit cards: All major credit cards accepted.

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