Wednesday, January 24, 2007

China Garden

China Garden
31 University Ave. East
Waterloo, Ontario N2J 2A2

I can't believe we never write anything about China Garden. How can this be? We have had numerous meals from this restaurants ever since we first came to Waterloo. I still remember "the good old days", biking to China Garden for a bowlful of congee with dough fritters. We are no longer students and we've switched our main transportation tools to cars. Time flies! Still, there are days that we just crave for authentic Cantonese eatery food, and China Garden hasn't changed much since my first visit.

So far we have tried roughly 30% of their items, naturally we order some specific items more often than others:

- congee + dough fritters. I like the house special or shreaded pork with preserved eggs. There were times the congee was too watery, most of time the consistency is ok. And it is such a treat to dip crispy dough fritter into the thick congee then bite into it. :)

- fried rice: at one time we ordered the fried rice with two sauces (one ketchup-based the other cream-based) very frequently but we eventually got tired of it. Nowadays I tend to order salt fish and chicken fried rice and J enjoys the pineapple & chicken fried rice.
- sliced beef flat rice noodle. This is our all-time favorite comfort food, greasy and loads of flavor.
- fried noodles: I like the crispy noodles. As long as I get the crispy bits, I'm happy with any combination.
- beef tendon and brisket: the quantity is small but it normally packs with lots of flavour.
- XO sauce rice noodles. Pan-fried rice noodles with XO sauce and finish with peanut sauce.

Although they claim that they don't use MSG, I can still feel it afterwards(migrane, abnormal thirst and occasional rash). Not like MSG will stop me from having Chinese food completely. : p Btw, if you pay in cash and order $20+ (before tax) for takeout, you get 10% off.


M@ said...

Unfortunately, my one experience at this place was not very good. My wife and I arrived at about 11:55 and ordered a couple of items off the menu. The food arrived around 12:45. In the meantime, numerous tables arrived, ordered, and received their food.

The gent running the dining room assured us numerous times that the food was "coming right up" -- after the first 20 minutes or so. In addition, one item we ordered (I forget what -- spring rolls maybe?) never arrived, and he left them on the bill, and then argued with me when I demanded he take the charge off.

Although the items we ordered were not among the lunch specials, they were pretty standard items -- I'm pretty sure one was the beef with rice noodles come to think of it.

If we had at any time received an apology, or even a concession that the restaurant, not the customer, was the problem, I might have given them a second chance. As it stands, I've never returned, 5 or 6 years later.

Anonymous said...

My favourites are Beef with XO Noodle (ummm) and Fish and Tofu Hot Pot (not as good as the Beef, but when you're eating with folks who won't eat red meat...)

I heard once that often Chinese restaurants who claim they're not using MSG are only half-right -- they may not add MSG when they cook, but the MSG will be found in the commercial soup stocks they use during cooking, so you're getting it anyway. I can absolutely confirm that I often get symptoms of MSG consumption after eating there, but not always. This leads me to believe that it's in one of their ingrediants (and not added) and perhaps not 100% reliably in their ingrediants (perhaps some stock they purchase has more than other stocks?), but I suppose my reactions to MSG could also be pretty widely variable.

I'm surprised at the previous commentor's experience with customer service there. I've found that sometimes the service is a bit absent-minded, but I've never found it to be argumentative or impolite.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sapphire Martini,

I'm new to the area, and use to live in Richmond Hill.

Do you know of any decent chinese restaurants that serve dim-sum?

I have been to a place on Cameron St. but it wasnt that good and over priced.

Any suggestions?