Plum Blossom


So evidently when you get married, sometimes people want to have dinner the night before.

Do you know how hard it is to find space for 15-20 people around here?

Or, as Albany John has said. Maybe it’s just me… I know our group isn’t a steak and potato type, and his mom, godloveher, actually suggested sushi for the family rehearsal dinner. And lord, I would so jump on that bandwagon, but all the sushi places I like are so tiny, we’d nearly take up the whole thing, and not terribly intimate.

Ok. I think it is me. Man, that boy is kind enough to marry my neurotic patootie.

Right. But Albany John suggested Plum Blossom in Troy, NY because we a) aren’t doing Chinese for the family meal, and b) it’s upscale looking and can kind of accommodate a large group.

So we did a wedding recon mission over the weekend. Didn’t have to wait all that long, but man were they ever busy with seated diners and people getting take out.

I was last there years ago, and they’ve changed the space up so it feels more open. There’s the sunken middle part of the restaurant, and then the upper edge around it for diners to eat at. The way they’ve set it up makes you feel cozy, and not like there are tons of diners around you. The décor isn’t terribly Chinese-y, it almost feels Asian shabby chic (lots of fresh flowers, woodsy décor, mirrors… look, I’m bad at décor descriptions.).

We got their menu, and ok. It was kind of small for a Chinese restaurant, and at first glance it looked like Americanized dishes, with high prices. I also noticed there weren’t many/any other Asian diners, and many of them had the beef and broccoli glop on a plate in front of them.

Oh. No. What was I in for?

I scanned the menu some more, and it just took a little more searching to find dishes I’d normally pick from CCK or Emperor’s and other Chinese joints in the area. Phew. Ok. They DO have real Chinese-ish food, not just beef/chicken/pork and broccoli or General Tso’s.

We ordered and got soups with our meal. Albany John’s ‘rents got sweet and sour soup.

Albany John got the egg drop soup.
And I opted for wonton soup. It had bits of pork on the bottom, but I brought them to the top for your viewing pleasure.
As you can see, the portions are huge for the soup. These were bowls, not cups. My wonton soup was very bland. I needed to add a little soy sauce to liven things up, but there was no beefy flavor. The wonton was really thick, which I normally like, but there was maybe 1 teaspoon of meat inside it, so it was too high on the dough:meat ratio.

Then we got appetizers. Going clockwise from bottom left:
Wontons in a gravy. These were actually one of my favorite dishes. It was kind of like a Chinese take on a hungarian noodle dish. A thick flavorful gravy, and the thick dumplings went well with it.

Vegetable spring rolls. Eh. I didn’t eat them, but Albany John seemed to enjoy it.

Fried squid. This was ok, but it came out lukewarm/cool. They still retained a light crispness, but I was bummed they weren’t hot and fresh out of the fryer. I bet these would be very good when fresh, but as-is, they were just ok.

Our mains came out a bit later. Again, clockwise from bottom left:
Some kind of healthy veggie dish, which was mainly steamed veggies and tofu, served with spicy mustard. Albany John’s dad ordered this, and when it came out I was all “Albany John’s Dad, what is up with this? Steamed veggies? Are you kidding me? Oh, we have got to get more fat in this dish.” And then I plopped some of my fried shrimp on his plate. He’s lost a bunch of weight, and I was just joshing him. Also, he is normally of the James Beard school of cooking whenever we’ve come over, and he also brought half a dozen fat blueberry scones with him earlier in the day. Albany John was even surprised. This was coming out of left field for us.
Bacon wrapped scallops with eggplant. Yum. Albany John’s mom got this dish because she was hoping for some japanese eggplant, and she got it. There was also zucchini in the plate, and it tasted heavily of BACON! Mmmm.
Ma Po Tofu. Albany John wanted some spicy tofu with porky goodness, and he got it. I was impressed – very spicy, not the candied sweet/spicy mapo dofu that other places can serve up.

Fried shrimp. I forget what this was on the menu, but the description made me think “Hey, that sounds like salt and pepper shrimp!”. I asked our waitress if it was like that, and she said yes. I was again really impressed with this food – the shrimp were cooked perfectly, and they also tasted like they were grilled after they were fried. But, they were a little soggy. Still, not bad. Just seemed like the veggies on the plate + heat made them soggy.

I turned over at one point and noticed their impressive security system in place.

Here’s a close up of the scallop – Albany John and his family were fans of the bacon wrapped shrimp. It was ok, but I usually can’t get down with that unless the bacon is fried to a crisp. Still, the scallop was succulent and tasty.

Here’s a close up of the shrimp. Yum. Shrimp really has to suck for me not to like it, and thankfully, it was the opposite of “suck”.
That said, I still thought the prices were a bit high for what you got. I’d much rather forgo the soups and have larger portions on the shrimp. It was $15-16 for the shrimp, and I feel like you get a little more at CCK or Emperor’s for that price.
But, still, you’re paying more for the decor (it is much more upscale than Emperor’s or CCK), fresh flowers (wow they were nice!), and I was happy that there were authentic dishes on the menu. Overall, this will do nicely for the family meeting and greeting dinner.

They also have some tiki drinks on the menu, and I think I will have to try at least one of them at the rehersal dinner.

  1. Mr. Dave said:

    Been there for lunch a couple of times, it has a very reasonable lunch menu. The dumplings were decent when I went which is usually my barometer for success at a Chinese place.

  2. Sounds like a plan! The food looks plenty good, and probably people will be talking too much to notice the eats. How far away is the wedding now?

  3. Grace said:

    i’m glad you found a suitable place! and what a comfort to know they have intense security. 🙂

  4. mr. dave – Albany John really likes their lunches – that was my thinking too. And at least if they’re not talking (goshihopenot) they can shovel tasty food into their mouths! (We’re at near a month now – eek!)Grace – I know, right? Good thing we’re not bringing anything to stay over the night before, hee hee.

  5. Sophie said:

    ooo… i am a tofu super fan! sigh. i want the mapo tofu soooooo badly right now. with rice.

    this is really one of the simplest dishes to make anywhere in the world so long as you can get hold of tofu and sauce package.

    Here I bought a sauce pack so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.

  6. Jessie said:

    Oh man, I used to live right down the street from PB and I used to eat there all the time – my family was friends with the owner. Try the shrimp over green noodles with coconut curry. I still dream about that dish sometimes!

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