FINE DINING
Consistently Chinese
By Megha Pai
Friday, June 22, 2012

If you are ever in need of a no-fuss, delicious-but-reasonable noodle and rice fix, give China Garden in Al Barsha a go

There are some restaurants that seem like they’ve been around forever. In a place like Dubai, where businesses and people come and go in a matter of months, 27 years is a long time to be around. That’s how long China Garden has been in Dubai.

Consistent would be a good word to describe 
the restaurant’s Karama branch, which is one of the city’s culinary landmarks in its own right. It has been consistently good and cheap. So when we went to review China Garden’s newest branch that cropped up in Al Barsha about a 
year ago, we were curious to see if the consistency had been maintained.

We walk in to the restaurant one afternoon. There is no business of a lunch crowd as the branch is located in a residential area. The décor and ambience are minimalist and non-fussy, much in the fashion of the original branch. The options on the menu are plenty and the prices are spectacularly competitive as ever.

We start off with the 
Crab Hot and Sour and Tom Yum soups that are satisfying. Sesame Prawn Toast, our 
favourite dish from the menu at the old branch, is sufficiently crisp on the outside and soft and meaty on the inside; and the Steamed Chicken Dumplings, that are always a safe bet in a Chinese restaurant, are predictably good.

Next up, a serving of Barbequed Pecking Duck served with cucumber slices and Hoisin sauce and pancake. The duck is tender and juicy and we enjoy the process of wrapping all the ingredients in the pancake 
to take us through till the main course.

The Hot Garlic Chicken and the Mixed Seafood Sizzler make for excellent main course choices. Not being able to make up our minds between Mixed Hakka Noodle and Egg Fried Rice we order both and instantly regret it. The portions are huge and big enough for a ravenous army of, well, four at least. We eat (read: struggle to finish) the main course, when the waiter asks if we would like desserts.

There’s always room 
for dessert! Learning from our previous mistake, we decide to share one 
portion of Darsaan. As expected, the serving is huge. Made of fried wonton skin dipped in sugar syrup, garnished with sesame seeds and served with ice cream, the Darsaan passes muster.

Food semi digested, thanks to some good Jasmine tea, and bill settled, it’s time to decide if the new branch is in line with the consistency ushered in at the old China Garden.

The answer is a resounding yes.- megha@khaleejtimes.com

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