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Golden Palace Restaurant (Closed)

700 E. 1st St.
Alamogordo, NM

For some reason the success of Chinese restaurants in the Southwest seems to hinge on providing the largest buffet with the gloppiest sweet and sour sauce. If this is the means Golden Palace needs to use to stay in business, I will not be critical of its giant spread of Americanized dishes. A large menu is also available, though, and some real tresures of Chinese cuisine can be found there as well as some occasional special non-menu items.

I stumbled across one of these true treasures, Steamed Fish with Ginger. Not listed on the menu, and normally available only on Friday night as part of the seafood buffet, I was able to sample a dish that was available on the day I went. This was made with truly high quality fish cooked Chinese style as I have seen in some of the country's better Chinese restaurants. The light sauce and ginger topping was exceptional, and I would have to say the fish was as well.

Szechuan Tofu, one of the vegetarian menu items, was better than average as well. While many restaurants in the Southwest serve a "Szechuan sauce" that is simply a brown sauce with chiles thrown in, the one at Golden Palace came close to the authentic sauces I have tried on the west coast. This one had a thick oil, as opposed to the thin sauce I have been told in many establishments that "Americans like." Sichuanese chefs use this thick oil to balance the hot red chiles, which Golden Palace also used in abundance. This dish should actually be ordered to see the "textbook" Sichuan sauce that is rarely served in the Southwest. At the time I thought it was "too" hot (an embarrasing admission from a "chilehead"), but it seemed to be within the bounds that a true Sichuanese restaurant would serve. Overall this was a pretty impressive dish.

Golden Palace does not serve some of the dishes I would like to have sampled such as hot pots and Hong Kong style noodles. It certainly has more to offer, though, than is evident from the somewhat undistinguished exterior that looks like all the other buffet restaurants in the Rocket City. I have just begun to sample the different dishes myself, but so far they have been better than expected.



Cuisine: Chinese
Cost: $$
Hours: Closed Mon.
Accessible: Yes
Tea: Jasmine (bags)
MSG: Yes
Smoking: No Smoking
Buffet: Yes

Most Recent Visit
Sep. 21, 2006

Number of Visits: 1

Best Item
Steamed Fish with Ginger

Special Ratings
Steamed Fish: with ginger
Szechuan Tofu: