Reviews and Such Chinese Restaurants

North Garden Restaurant

It’s been almost six years since I’ve reviewed North Garden. I decided to check it out again. This time I went for the lunch time Dim Sum. The original review is at the bottom of this one. 

My trip up to North Garden turned out to take longer than I had hoped for since even though the snow had stopped and the streets were basically clean, Winnipeg transit was on Sunday schedule and running well behind on that. I had Thanksgiving/birthday supper fairly early in the evening, so I didn’t order much. I also found, once I got to the restaurant that I had a little trouble getting service. It seemed there wasn’t enough staff on to handle the business.

I didn’t take a picture of the Dim Sum menu, so I’m going to do my best to get all the items correct. While I did have a bit of wait to place my order, once the order was taken, the dishes came out at a good pace. 

Dim Sum Dishes

North Garden Beef Tendon
The Beef Tendon with onions and peppers was the first dish out, and my favourite.

The first dish to come out was Beef Tendon with onions and hot peppers. The tendon was nice and chewy, There was a good bit of hit from the peppers, but the best part was the dish was hot in the just out of the kitchen sense of term. I wolfed this one down.

Gelatinous Pork
The gelatinous pork dish lived up to its name.

The second dish that came was a gelatinous pork item. The gelatinous nature of the dish was quite obvious. This is the kind of dish you might want to share with several people. I found that four was more than I could handle(I took the second two home).

North Garden Short Ribs
The short ribs were a little thicker than I have tried. They were moist and nicely chewy.
Taro Root Cakes
The Taro Root cakes are really tasty, but above my chopstick handling capacity.


Chicken Feet
I only tried a little bit of this in the restaurant. My chicken feet eating ability needs some practice.

My next three all came at the same time. These included Beef Short Ribs, Taro Root cakes, and Chicken Feet. The beef short ribs were my favourite of these threes. I also enjoyed the Taro Root Cakes, but they tended to fall apart when I tried picking them up with the chopsticks. I only ate one of the chicken feet. They are kind of messy, so I’ll try them in my kitchen where I won’t have to worry about how much mess I make.

The final dish. Chicken bits.

The final dish I ordered was chicken that was chopped into little pieces in a somewhat garlicky sauce. I quite enjoyed this dish as well.

I still want to go back again to try their hot and sour soup.

North Garden Review

North Garden restaurant,  specializing in Szechuan cuisine, has long been a favourite of mine.  However, for one reason or another I’ve never written it up.  The last week, I’ve enjoyed food from North Garden twice.  One was takeout and one was dine in. Fortunately, the food in each case was equally good.

The takeout was part of an annual tradition.  Every year on Christmas Eve my brother and his family get together around Chinese food from North Garden.  When my Christmas Eve allows me, I’ve joined them.  This has been a pleasant Christmas tradition for several years.

The dining in experience involved the supper club which I dined with at the King’s Head Pub.  Again, great company adds to the quality of the dining experience.  Which is also true of the family Christmas Eve dinner.

North Garden Food

A great way to start off a meal at the North Garden is with one of their soups.  I’ve tried the Hot ‘n Sour, Corn Chowder, and Deluxe Wonton Soup.  Each of them is quite good, but I think the Hot ‘n Sour being the stand out.

Both of the last two meals involved the Kung Po Chicken.  It’s a little spicy by my standards, but others might find it more so.  As one of my fellow diners commented Monday, the chicken was also incredibly moist.  We also ordered the Mapo Tofu, which is chunks of tofu, in a somewhat spicy sauce.  Another dish with a bit of kick in it was Pan Fried Green Beans with Minced Pork and Chilis, which was made even better by the beans being cooked to the just crisp stage. (As always, approach my comments on spiciness warily, as I really like spicy food).

Ginger beef, a family favourite, featured in both meals.  It was moist with the ginger coming through just enough to give it a little kick.

One thing I like about North Garden is that almost all dishes have some vegetable in them. So, although we only ordered Gai Lan as a vegetable Monday, there were plenty of peppers, onion, and mushrooms spread throughout.

I’m not going to comment on all the dishes that were tried over the last two visits.  I will say, I would order any of them again.  These include: Lemon Chicken, Plain Mixed Vegetables, Dumplings and one or two others.  Put it this way. There isn’t much North Garden doesn’t do well.  I realize, if you don’t like shrimp, you likely won’t like North Garden shrimp dishes.  However, if you are open to new tastes, North Garden is a good place to gain experience with them.

One thing to note, the service is not always the fastest.  Monday, the service was nicely pace, with dishes coming two at a time throughout.  At times however, it has been a little on the slow side.  Nevertheless, the food is worth the wait.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.