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.
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.
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.
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.
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.