Whenever I’m craving a taste of my home away from home, I head to Silver Palace. Throughout my college years, I lived in China as a study abroad student and learned to appreciate what is truly authentic Chinese cuisine. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a snob when it comes to authenticity. I’ve learned throughout my life that just because something is authentic doesn’t mean it’s better or worse than something that has evolved with time, but sometimes I just crave the type of food I was getting while over there. Sadly, there are very few places in Miami where you can find genuine Chinese food, and those that do offer it are not always doing a good job. Instead, they rely on the fact that their competition is low, and settle for serving food that would otherwise be considered unacceptable. Luckily, such is not the case at Silver Palace.
Located in a small shopping strip off of Miller Drive, this small restaurant is decorated like your typical Chinese restaurant serving Americanized Chinese food. In fact, they do serve this type of food, but a turn of the menu will have you staring at dishes that may seem misplaced to the common diner looking for Kung Pao Chicken and Chop Suey. Although most dishes do remind me of the type of food in China, some have a higher level of success than others. For the best dishes on the menu, order the Crispy Chicken with Garlic Sauce and Sweet and Sour Pork Hong Kong style.
The chicken is served skin-on swimming in a pool of garlic sauce and topped with flash fried thinly sliced garlic. Believe it or not, the potent smell coming from the garlic is overpowered only from the flavor being produced by the sauce that is being absorbed by the bird. Somehow, the skin remains crisp although the chicken is bathed in the sauce, tasting like a garlic version of chip-like pork rinds except coming from poultry. The Sweet and Sour Pork is a less sweet version of the Americanized dish with less breading. Basically, they tone down on what appeals to Americans the most in Chinese cooking and instead focus on a more complex meal that has developing flavors and textures.
Although the food that I’m getting at Silver Palace is not an exact replica of the dishes I used to eat in China, it hints at the food of my former home. It hits the spot when I’m starting to feel nostalgic and fulfills my craving for authentic cuisine.
5771 SW 137th Ave, Miami, FL 33183
(yep, no website)
By food blogger, Santiago Cardona