new Things I Ate in Cambodia: Plum Blossom: Ooky Midtown Chinese

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Plum Blossom: Ooky Midtown Chinese

Plum Blossom
1830 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 443-8882

Plum Blossom is vastly mediocre. In a city with a pretty healthy contingent of good Chinese places, the fact that this joint gets business is both embarrassing and depressing. Save your money and taste buds and find somewhere else to satisfy your curious late night urge for fried rice, because this ain't your best bet.

And what should you order if forced to visit? Your options are fairly grim. The dumplings are gummy, oversized, and filled with a deeply unfufilling pork and vegetable mixture. The spare ribs are okay, but good luck getting them served to you warm.

(This photo makes them look tastier then they actually are, since I ganked it from their website and all.)

The mixed vegetable (your one vegetarian choice) is abysmal: think overcooked vegetables swimming in glutinous corn syrup. This can be made vaguely edible with chili sauce, but it's still pushing the boundaries of "food." Do not bother with the carbs on the combo plate - the chow mein is grease flavored and the white rice is only useful to sop up sauce, which you really, really don't want to do. The lemongrass items are okay, but suffer from the same pitfall of "gloppy tasteless sauce" that all the other menu items run up against. One okay thing: the teriyaki steak, which is generally edible. Just ask for a knife, because you're going to look pretty stupid gnawing at a huge piece of cow held between a couple of tiny chopsticks.

Upsides? The curry bun from the bakery section isn't half bad if heated up for breakfast. Portions are gigantic, although the odds of you wanting to eat their food for two meals are extremely slim. And everything is cheap, although you sure as hell get what you paid for.

The interior is slick, new and quite attractive, down to the expensive flat screen TV's displaying sports results and menu items. Do not be fooled by the attractive decor. The servers are listless and obviously don't care much, and it will take a while for them to get around to considering taking your order. Bring reading material. Service also is surprisingly unable to get orders out in the correct sequence. We received our appetizers about six minutes after we'd finished (or at least listlessly picked at, in my case) our main courses. Uh, nice going, guys.

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