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FYI SOUTH Magazine, March 2006.

Delicate Dim Sum At The Elegant Evergarden

1, Lane 336, JhongHua E. Rd., Sec. 3, Tainan City
(Evergreen Plaza Hotel (Tainan), 2F)
(06) 602-3863
Hours:11:30 am-2:30 pm; 5:30 pm-9 pm
Chinese & English menus available.
Credit cards accepted.

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--By Richard Matheson, translated by Annie Liu Photos by Richard Matheson

The Evergarden, the classy Chinese restaurant inside Tainan's Evergreen Plaza Hotel, has added several new dim sum dishes to an already-strong selection of Cantonese delicacies.
The Hong Kong chefs working here use both the freshest possible ingredients and traditional methods. Dumpling skins are flattened not with a roller, but the side of a cleaver, meaning they are thin to the point of being translucent. Meat and seafood fillings are hand sliced, and carefully selected to ensure consistent size and appearance.

Of the new items, especially notable are the Deep Fried Wonton (containing pork and a small amount of shrimp, and best enjoyed with a sweet-and-sour sauce) and the Truffle And Shrimp Rolls (with truffle imported from Japan, shrimp paste, fish paste and bamboo shoots).

Ordering is a la carte, with individual servings priced from NT$70 to NT$120. Generally, each serving consists of three dumplings. Most guests spend between NT$400 and NT$500 per person on food and tea; one of the beauties of dim sum is the ease with which you can judge quantities. There's little danger of overeating because you've mistakenly ordered too much, or of leaving unsatisfied.

There are some unusual appetizers, including pickled tomatoes (prepared by being deep fried, then immersed in ice water to remove the skins, then flavored with plums), and--this writer's favorite--pickled pumpkin. The menu, extensive as it is, isn't the whole story. On each table you'll find a card that lists current specials, chef's recommendations and items not listed on the main menu.

The Evergarden, of course, also serves a wide range of Chinese dishes, including pork, duck, and seafood (from NT$200 to NT$1200). Beers, liquors, and non-alcoholic drinks are available.

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