DinnerAlvin Garden

[rating:4]

Alvin Garden is what used to be Xiang Cuisine — now re-branded with an updated decor. The food remains more or less the same: well executed dishes from the Hunan region of China with intense heat that will likely satisfy anyone who has love for some spicy goodness.


(Top to bottom: 1. Julienned seaweed marinated with garlic and peppers. 2. Stir fried green beans with generous amounts of chili peppers.)

We ordered the spicy pan fried green beans with minced pork, a familiar dish that’s been heaped with chili and seasoned with salty, preserved vegetables. Next, fish (Ling Cod) head with tofu, a spicy stew served in a mini wok over a portable flame. Followed by some appetizer sized dishes: dried bean curd with celery marinated in vinegar, and seaweed with ginger and garlic.

Finally we had chicken in spicy sauce: diced chicken (bones and all) swimming in a spicy broth, and a pot of rice to balance out the heat and saltiness. We initially asked for all of our dishes to be very spicy, but the waitress suggested a medium heat instead. We normally ignore that advice, but this time felt the server knew best.


(Top to bottom: 1. Chicken in spicy sauce. 2. Dried bean curd with celery.)

Luckily, we listened to our server and had our dishes served in medium heat, as they were extremely spicy, but fantastic. Overall, we enjoyed all the dishes at Alvin Garden except the spicy dried bean curd with celery. This dish had a strangely familiar sour flavour (similar to balsamic vinegar). The combination of balsamic vinegar and Chinese spices was too odd for us. You also have to watch out for all the meat and fish dishes that are served diced with the bones still in it. Those not used to it, will be fishing bones out with each bite.

Our bill including taxes and tips came to just under $55. Alvin Garden isn’t the cheapest Chinese restaurant around, but it’s well worth it. Make a pit stop to the ATM, though, they’re cash only for bills under $50.

Perfect for: Fiery, home cooked Hunan style dishes to keep your belly warm.

The Details

4850 Imperial Street, Burnaby
604.437.0828

Alvin Garden on Urbanspoon

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