New Garden Restaurant (Kingston) – Best Chinese in Kingston (so far)

I was advised very early on that Kingston is devoid of good Chinese food places. If you don’t want sweet and sour pork or chicken balls, you are going to have to pretty much make your own Chinese food. Fortunately J is quite good at it so we haven’t had too many problems but sometimes you feel like Chinese and you don’t want to cook. So what then?

We’ve tried Panda Garden (yea, it was buffet, but even for Chinese buffet it was bad). We’ve tried Silver Wok (my previous favourite but honestly J can cook better). We’ve recently discovered New Garden and I think it is now my favourite Chinese place in Kingston.

It is in the middle of nowhere (high on Division, by the police station). The clientele is very caucasian and very old. There is a bar where you can sit and eat facing a TV. When we went in… we weren’t impressed with the appearance. It was the day after the LMCC and we just wanted to eat and have a good time. The atmosphere of this place was certainly lacking.

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This is the half BBQ duck for $11. Very very fatty. Not a lot of meat. The skin was not crispy. Very oily. Generally a pretty horrible dish. If I had only gotten this, I would not ever come back to this restaurant.

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This is the cha-che gui (fried chicken) for $9. Nicely salted and crispy skin. The meat was juicy and tender. A satisfying dish. Not the best cha-che gui I’ve had but the fact that they even have this dish in Kingston makes me smile.

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This is the beef with Chinese broccoli for $10. Tender beef. Good sauce. Fresh tasting gui-lan. I was quite happy with this dish.

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This is the Sizzling Shrimp and Chinese Eggplant for $12. Fresh and bouncy shrimp. Nice flavours and zip to the sauce. Eggplant was soft and rich. A very nice dish (probably my favourite).

Overall, New Garden Restaurant isn’t the best Chinese food I’ve had… but probably the best I’ve had in Kingston. What puts it a step above Silver Wok is that the stir-fry’s as wok-hay (essentially a really hot wok). Chinese cooking is best when the wok is hot so that the energy of the heat can be transmitted directly to the food. Silver Wok often feels like the food is essentially steamed/poached.

I still prefer J’s cooking but sometimes you just don’t feel like putting in the effort!

Addendum – August 2010

Came back to New Garden after a long day on Wolf Island. The ferry car line-ups were brutal as we tried to get back to Kingston! We were starving by the time we got here. D brought back a fish from Toronto and New Garden was kind enough to cook it for us!

This is the Mixed Meat and Winter Melon Soup for $7.5. Hearty, clear, slightly sweet, and satisfying. It is pretty easy to make this at home: just buy some winter melon from Oriental Grocery, some pork bone and voila. I didn’t love the pork they used in this soup. It reminded me of  char-sieu which is kind of odd.

This is the Sizzling Tender Beef with Ginger and Onion for $10. Not quite sizzling as you can see but the flavours were there. Peppery, saucy, tender pieces of beef with some onions. Great when added to rice. It wasn’t too fatty so you could actually eat each entire piece of beef without having to chew through fat. Also, there was no disgusting texture of tenderizer in this dish which is a big contrast to Jade Garden.

This is the Assorted Seafood with Tofu for $12. The scallops were a bit overdone and stringy but the shrimp were perfectly bouncy and filled with sweet shrimp goodness. Not too salty with nicely crisp vegetables.

This is the fresh fish (unknown cost). This fish is equivalent to anything I’ve had in Calgary or Toronto. The fish was nicely steamed and the meat delicate so that it fell off the bone beautifully. My favourite part though was the sauce. Soy sauce, oil, ginger, green onion all fried up with sugar added. Sweet and salty that pairs well with the fish and is ESPECIALLY good with rice. I used to eat rice with this sauce by itself as a kid. I still do.

If you want Chinese, don’t miss New Garden. You will really like it… if you order the right dishes.

New Garden Restaurant, 779 Division St, Kingston, ON, (613) 542-5664, no website.

New Garden Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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~ by Russ on October 25, 2009.

9 Responses to “New Garden Restaurant (Kingston) – Best Chinese in Kingston (so far)”

  1. i am looking forward to trying this place! i think i can cook better than silver wok and panda!

  2. Might i suggest trying the Jade Garden on Bath Road?

    • Funny you should mention Jade Garden. I’ve been. I really liked it. I forgot my camera. A post to come soon…

  3. new garden is junk anymore when you see the owner at food basics and no frills buying all the reduced produce its kinda scary we tried jade garden on bath rd and was impressed with the food the service and the prices would recommend jade garden to everyone

  4. new garden restaurant was one of the best now its the worst bad service small portions and higher prices it never tastes fresh like before and its dirty and gross inside never use the washrooms if ya can help it this place must pay off the health inspectors to remain open next time your in take a good look around at all the cob webs and dirt and dust im sure you wont return

  5. Since the which to the new oweners,the food is not as good as it was 😦

  6. The cook that was at New Garden has moved to the chinese place in the heights 🙂

  7. New Garden was my favourite Chinese place for many years, but there’s a new crew running it and a new guy cooking and it’s just not good anymore. Someone suggested Lechee Garden and it was even worse. I ordered several dishes to take out and they all tasted the same. No flavour to be found. Used my own sauces to make it edible.

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