Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Empress Garden, Herne Bay

It's Sunday again, the difficult day to find for food as most restaurants are closed on Sunday in Auckland area. It took us quite a while before ending up with dinner at Empress Garden.

One advice if you want to dine at Empress Garden, is to always call up and make a reservation. Why? The restaurant is always almost full. Therefore to avoid any disappointment, ALWAYS call to make a reservation before hand.

As this is a Chinese cuisine restaurant, it is no surprise that red lanterns are being decorated around the restaurant to create the oriental atmosphere. The restaurant is also divided into various sections and rooms, which makes the restaurant looks cramp.

Whenever we were at the restaurant, one signature dish that we must order is no order than the Peking Duck. Not only us, you can see almost all the tables will have Peking Duck as one of their main, as this is the restaurant main signature dish. If you had ordered a whole Peking Duck, you have a choice of having it for 2 or 3 course. However, if you ordered half a Peking Duck, you have a choice of having it for 1 or 2 course.

Since there were only 3 of us, we ordered half a Peking Duck with only one course. This is because, the 2nd course that we can choose from doesn't seems interesting to us. The Peking Duck is always served with a plate of spring onion and cucumber, sweet bean sauce and pancakes. The reason why we like this dish is because we enjoy the crispy skin and succulent flesh from the Peking Duck which was always being well roasted.

This restaurant provides all day dim sum menu, where you can order it at anytime of the day. However, there's only a dozen of selection for you to choose from. It's not an official yum char place to be. We ordered a spring onion pancake from their dim sum menu to try it out. It comes with a plate of two spring onion pancake. The pancake are made from heaps of spring onion being wrapped with a thick wanton skin, and deep fried it before serving. The pancake was really crispy. However, the pastry of the pancake is too thick to my liking.

Meanwhile, for our main, we ordered a spicy fish fillet with crispy vegetable leaves. This was a good dish as it isn't very spicy and there's sourness taste from the vinegar that makes it very appetising. Besides, the crispy vegetables leaves, which in my opinion, was the "kai lan" leaves that were being sliced finely and being deep fried till crispy. It makes a good combination.

And the last main that we ordered was the deep fried stuff bean curd with mince prawn. By eating just the bean curd itself, the prawn tasted too salty to my liking. However, pairing it with rice neutralises the saltiness.

After all, it was a satisfying dinner and we didn't managed to finish all the food. We need to take away the remaining deep fried stuff bean curd with mice prawn and spring onion pancake.

Empress Garden
227, Jervois Road,
Herne Bay,

Phone: 09 376 5550

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