11 December 2013
City Garden is one of many restaurants in China Town that are sometimes difficult to distinguish from one another. I’ve enjoyed greasy booze-recovery suppers at 3am, an expensive date with chilli mud crab, a family dinner, and birthday parties in City Garden. The boss woman is genuinely friendly and attentive, always moving around to check customers are happy.
The staff were so obliging in allowing us to scatter huge amounts of glitter and decorations on the table for our friend’s surprise party! A couple of us shared wine because the restuarant is BYO and corkage is very reasonable at $2pp. We ordered a bunch of dishes to share, as expected when you’re dining at a Chinese restaurant.
Chilli garlic squid ($16.80)
A solid order is the battered deep-fried squid. The batter was light, crispy, and salty. Lots of yummy crunchy bits of garlic!
Peking spare ribs ($15.80)
It never hurts to order some of the Westernised dishes because everyone generally tucks in without restraint. The peking spare ribs are tender with a slightly crunchy batter. I thought the sauce was a little too sweet and it was smothering the meat, but it’s nothing some steamed white rice doesn’t fix.
Chilli chicken ($14.80)
The chilli chicken was packed full of flavour and the meat was super tender. It can also be ordered with deep-fried chicken!
Sambal kang kong ($15.50)
If we have to order vegies for dinner, then sambal kang kong is definitely my favourite pick. There’s a decent serving of green stuff on the plate and it’s covered in a salty sauce. Ask for more chilli if you can handle it, yum!
Pork belly claypot ($16.50)
While the pork belly claypot is a legit Cantonese dish, some people found the taste of pickled cabbage quite unusual. I enjoyed the tender fatty meat, rich gravy, and fermented flavour from the vegies. Probably not the safest choice unless you have more adventurous friends.
Sizzling garlic prawns ($19.80)
Excuse the foggy photo because the plate was happily sizzling away! This dish is fairly unexciting but also inoffensive. Decent serving of prawns.
Golden soft shell crab (large for $59.60)
The regular size of soft shell crab ($29.80) wouldn’t have been enough at our large table of 10 people. Instead, we munched on a couple of pieces from the large plate. Salted egg soft shell crab has been my absolute fav order from City Garden for over 5 years. Always crunchy, salty, and served piping hot.
Sizzling Japanese bean curd (large for $31)
The regular sizzling tofu ($15.50) wouldn’t have been large enough so we ordered the large. This is miles better than the mediocre version served next door at Billy Lee’s. Everyone loved the silky tofu, golden batter, thick sauce, and large serving of pork mince.
We paid for steamed white rice ($2 each) and bolay cha (my fav Chinese tea, $1 each). All together, the meal was roughly $20 per person which is awesome value. Huge variety of dishes, friendly service (but you get more attention sitting downstairs), and consistently tasty food. City Garden holds a special place in my heart and belly!
Likes: golden soft shell crab, friendly service, late opening hours, BYO
Value for money: awesome
Overall: stands well above the numerous mediocre Chinese restaurants!
11 Chungwah Lane
(08) 9227 8145