Jade Garden

I have been telling interviewing candidates that if you like Chinese food, when you come to Kingston, you better know how to cook it. There is a dearth (great word right!?) of good Chinese places in Kingston. My previous favourite was New Garden (review here). A co-worker of J’s who lived in Kingston for a while got many recommendations to Jade Garden from the Chinese students at Queen’s.

It really doesn’t look like much.  Flourescent light.  A yellowing sign. A corner spot in a small strip mall. The interior is even more dismal. Gaudy Chinese Emperors as placemats, a big TV above the “bar” area, and this cute kid riding his bike around the restaurant. There is even a table designated for this kid with toys, crayons, and candy (presumably it is the owner’s child).

Without the recommendation, I would not have come here.

Jade Garden, Chinese Food, Kingston, Ontario

This is the Sizzling Szechwan Style Tender Pork Loin for $8.95. Unfortunately the dish was not sizzling. The server also dropped the plate on our table, and hence, you can see all the sauce spilling over the edge. The pork was tender, seasoned, and tasty. I only wish that it wasn’t fried. The sauce was hot and the vegetables pretty tasty. This was my favourite dish.
Jade Garden, Chinese Food, Kingston, Ontario

This is the Spicy Garlic Eggplant for $8.15. A vegetarian dish but still very good. The eggplant was nicely fried and the vegetables were reasonable as well. Unfortunately… this had the exact same flavour as the dish above which makes me think that the Szechwan flavours they use is from a package. I am just guessing but I wouldn’t be surprised. Still, it was a great dish.

Jade Garden, Chinese Food, Kingston, Ontario

This is the Vermicelli Singapore Style for $8.25. Cheap! Not quite spicy enough for me but the shrimp was bouncy and tasty. This could really use more heat.

Jade Garden, Chinese Food, Kingston, Ontario

This is the Assorted Seafood with Tofu for $9.95. You really get a lot of food in this dish: fish, pork, shrimp, vegetables, and fried tofu. This was really quite filling but I found it a bit bland. I know. Who ever says that Chinese food needs more salt. Well… this dish did! D was thinking he was getting a hot ceramic bowl so this was a bit of a disappointment in that regard. It was pretty good though and you got a lot of food.

Overall, I think Jade Garden surpasses New Garden for Chinese food in Kingston and hereforth takes the trophy of “Best Chinese…. in Kingston”. The better dishes were the stirfrys so if you like that style of cooking, come here. There are some other interesting dishes (like beef flank noodles and shredded duck with egg on rice) but you have to phone ahead to see if they are in stock.

10 thoughts on “Jade Garden

  • I will keep this place in mind for the next time I need a Chinese take out fix, as the atmosphere doesn't sound worth going in person for! I agree that Kingston is lacking good Chinese food. The Silver Wok has those great cheap combo plates but gave me food poisoning a few years ago and I haven't been back…….and Asian Star is always mediocre. I will definitely put this on my list of places to try!

  • Russ… Really bro, try getting out of the township sometime… The more "adventurous" dishes at VIP are really quite good.

  • I am a huge fan of VIP, but I admit that one of their lures is the convenient proximity to me/downtown. One of the big reasons we asked Russ to become a part of the team is because his dining adventures stretch far beyond that of the downtown, and Kingston for that matter. Perspective beyond downtown Kingston is a good thing, and as he's pointed out, there is fantastic Chinese resto waiting for you out in the K7M.

  • "Bro", good Chinese downtown is pretty much limited to New Garden or Silver Wok for very specific dishes. I haven't been to VIP but I'll check it out. I'd love to hear about the "adventurous" dishes that you get there.

  • I tried some take out from here tonight as I was hopeful about the quality after this post. Here are the pluses: decent prices, decent delivery time to downtown, food was very hot when it arrived and very neatly packed. Minuses: they gave us the wrong noodle dish, the chicken balls were in the orange sauce and thus were mushy, the spareribs had almost no meat but lots of fat and gristle.

    We weren't very "adventurous," however, so I can't comment on the dishes reviewed in this post. For typical comfort food, Jade Garden did not wow me and wasn't worth the wait for delivery. Next time, VIP? When I need a grease fix in 6 months I can at least walk there and burn a few calories pre-pig out.

    • Sorry about your bad experience lagourmandesse. As with many of the Kingston Chinese establishments, you have to be careful with what you get. For that grease fix, my personal favourite is Panda Garden Buffet. You can't get greasier than all-you-can-eat Chinese

  • Hmm, I still find Silver Wok to be the best of what I have tried in town.

    I used to love VIP about 7 years ago or so, but it seemed to be steadily going downhill from 2005 on and I stopped ordering there in 2008. Silver Wok seems to use fresher ingredients and better quality meats than what I last saw at VIP, and the restaurant appears much cleaner inside (I only do take out, never order delivery).

    Any thoughts on Wok-In, anyone? I have heard good things and might give it a try, it's just around the corner from me, so why not?

    • Ryan,

      Try it! It isn't much to see; a few tables and the owner cooking up a storm (you can stand there and watch if you wish), but from what I remember, the food was pretty good, and there was a lot of it :)

      A good spot to grab a quick, tasty lunch.

  • I <3 VIP's singapore noodles with beef and vegetables, and fried wontons. ultimate kingston comfort food.

    • Also a huge fan of VIP, but I think it has something to do with quantity and value. Not sure how the quality stacks up in comparison to places like this, but it certainly is reasonable deal, maybe not the best, but good enough.

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