An Eclectic Asian Oasis in Lauderhill

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"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.

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