DinnerRose Garden Seafood Restaurant


Rose Garden Seafood Restaurant on Kingsway is one of those Chinese restaurants you want to know about. The one that doesn’t win a bunch of awards, or hasn’t been fawned upon ad nauseam by the same circle of local media. It’s the one that is packed with customers that don’t speak English. It’s a dive with crappy decor, hand scribbled specials written in Chinese taped to the wall and grumpy staff — but solid food that can feed an army, or a family if you don’t happen to have an army handy.

(Clockwise: 1. Seafood Chow Mein. 2. Stir Fried Fish and Seasonal Vegetables. 3. Tsing Tao Beer.)

There were five of us. So naturally we selected the set meal for six, which included  soup, a chef’s special and dessert making it nine dishes, really. The daily soup was a pretty typical Chinese soup with mushrooms, bean curd, and pork: tasty, if not a bit oily. Next, the jellyfish marinated in sesame oil and light vinegar served side by side with Char Siu (Barbeque Pork).

Wok fried bok choy arrived looking haphazardly plated, but was flavourful and wonderfully smoky from being woked at extremely high temperatures. Similarly, the stir fried white fish and bok choy was equally well done.

(Top to bottom: 1. Sweet and Sour Pork. 2. Steamed tilapia with shredded ginger, green onions and a light soy sauce.)

The chow mein arrived with gargantuan chunks of seafood, vegetables and pork — noodles still crispy, and just the right amount of sauce for flavour without drowning out the dish. Sweet and sour pork is a guilty pleasure and Rose Garden’s doesn’t disappoint with a sauce that appears lighter, but more flavourful and chunks of crispy pork that’s still tender.

Salt and peppery prawns followed: generous-sized prawns deep fried, then woked with a salt and pepper mix. The flavour was nice, but the prawns were a bit overcooked. For our bonus dish, we had steamed Tilapia with a light soy sauce. The fish is steamed whole with bones in, so you’ll need either a spoon or some Mr. Miyagi-like chopstick skills to get at it. But it’s worth it — the tender fish meat is subtly flavoured by the light soy sauce and enhanced when eaten together with the shredded green onions and ginger.

(Top to bottom: 1. Some kind of soup. It’s delicious. 2. Deep fried salt and peppery prawns.)

The dessert was red bean soup. It was okay, but an anti-climactic way to end what was an otherwise enjoyable meal. Dinner came to around $22 per person including tax, tips and two beers. At first, it may seem rather pricey, but considering we were completely stuffed and still had half  the dinner to doggy bag home, it’s a pretty decent value. For some reason though, after 11:00pm — they only take cash. So if you roll with the late night crowd, be sure to roll with a wad of paper.

Perfect for: Big, family style Chinese dinner.

The Details

3415 Kingsway, Vancouver

Rose Garden Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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