"We can shoot guns after dinner," I said to my friend J.J. in the parking lot of the strip mall that houses Silver Pond in Lauderhill, the subject of this week's review. In the window, a man gearing up for target practice wore a long-sleeved shirt with Mickey Mouse on the back.
In addition to a shooting range, Oakland Shopping Center houses a handful of interesting shops such as a Bible store and an herbalist who practices acupuncture. But primarily, it's a culinary destination. There's Gou Lou Cheung's Chinese Barbecue for Chinese-style roasted meats. Next door to Silver Pond is Maxin Oriental Bakery, a wan looking
place that offers for some of the most delicious pork bao I've had in
a while, for under $2 each.
On the other side is Saigon City Vietnamese, for terrific spring rolls
and banh mi: roasted pork on a crusty, demi-baguette, served with
cucumber, pickled carrots, jalapenos, fish sauce, and cilantro. Some of
the fun of going to a Vietnamese place is playing with condiments to
achieve that harmony of spicy, sweet, salty, and savory.
Silver Pond Cantonese Restaurant is a destination unto itself.
The restaurant offers two
menus. The white one is Chinese take out's greatest hits. Skip it and go for the green one, the multi-page epic with dishes as diverse
as sea cucumber, abalone, conch, and squid. Seafood is a
specialty, with the entire back wall dedicated to tanks for lobster and
Dungeness crabs. It's really worth rounding up a crowd to sample as many
items from the menu as you can that may appeal to you. I can't wait to go back.
Some advice to heed that I did not: Do not
order the preserved fish unless you want the dining room to yourself.