Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Shining Garden 麥田餐廳 (2nd visit)


Occasionally Most of the time when I revisit a restaurant out of convenience, I tend to forget some of the… well, crappy dishes that I have ordered before. The worst part is, as I am eating, I read my post and think "damn, it really tastes the same and I should not have ordered it!". So, when looking for a Chinese restaurant to revisit, BF and I pulled over and did the smart thing, to look over some of my blog posts. As it turns out, most of the restaurants are only average (excluding my regulars). However, surprisingly Shining Garden has a rating of 4/5?! For those who hate on my negative posts read my blog, it is really rare for me to rate a restaurant as 4/5. Moreover, to quote my previous visit to Shining Garden, the cream and butter sauce as well as the supreme broth, tastes "properly made". I honestly could not wait to drive down here (even though we were actually already in the area!).

On a weekend, Shining Garden was packed which was the complete opposite of our first visit! We arrived at 8:30pm and waited twenty minutes to half an hour for a seat. As we stood waiting, one of the waitresses came up to us and said hello in Chinese, but in the way like "hey I know you!!". We did not recognize her and thought it was a bit funny.

Shining Garden can pretty much accommodate any type of group. There are booth seating arrangements for tables of less than four, a few tables in the centre for groups of more than five, and private rooms for more than seven. I definitely recommend making reservations and getting a room for larger parties!

The soup has a clear, chicken and pork broth with some cuts of tender tasting carrot and hairy melon. I really like the soup because it tastes light as well as healthy and not bland or salty.

Trying to learn how to order for only two people, I stressed between the cream and butter sauce or the supreme broth because according to my last post, both taste well executed and quite good. In the end, I went with the cream and butter since it is my favourite.
When the lobster arrived, the sauce did not look very white and had the color of a supreme broth. After a quick taste, hmm… the sauce tastes creamy as well as buttery, with a nice addition of a supreme broth? Naa, it tastes more like a house broth. Either way, the sauce tastes flavourful and very delicious, with a more dominate cream and butter flavour. Although on my last visit, both sauces were separate and not mixed. As for the lobster, the meat tastes perfectly cooked as well as springy. Most may think that live lobster will always taste the same unless it is overcooked, but this time, the meat tastes extra fresh and easily popped out of the shell. As for the sauce, on my next visits, it will not matter if a bit of house broth is added or not since with or without it, tastes just as good.

The pork belly has been stewed for long enough, tastes amazingly fatty as well as tender (including the lean portion) and delicious. Underneath the pork belly is a bed of preserved vegetables which taste well rinsed and not too salty. There is also some napa cabbage at the bottom of the dish which tastes delicious because of the sauce, and I am never a fan of napa! Shining Garden has one of the better tasting pork belly dishes because the lean portion of the meat actually tastes tender!

The egg tofu is deep fried rather than steamed and tastes soft with a nice light crispiness. Underneath the egg tofu is a layer of broccoli which tastes fresh with a nice crunch, just the way I like it. As for the sauce, it has an extremely flavourful dry scallop taste and is pretty good, neither salty nor watery. Moreover, there are some slices of Chinese mushroom along with shredded carrot, and enoki mushroom which have a nice snap. This dish is well made, tasty and one of my favourites. By the way, this tastes 10x better than Top Cantonese's and costs less!

1.80LB STEAMED TILAPIA ($18.00).
The tilapia tastes fresh and is well steamed, resulting in moist and flaky meat. By the way, I love pink tilapia much more than black because the meat has a slightly lighter taste. Furthermore, I think it is cute how the waitress put the pink tail on the side of the plate like that when she was deboning the fish. As in she actually deliberately presented the fish like that.

We were disappointed when the waitress mentioned that the kitchen was too busy to make this; however, when we asked if we could wait until the kitchen was less busy, she went to ask another staff member. It turns out that our waitress ended up asking the lady who said hello to us earlier and she said, "if the kitchen is too busy, I'll make it for them myself!". How nice of her right?!
In a way, the claypot can seem like a simple dish. However, some restaurants can easily mess it up. For it to taste good, the rice is put in the claypot with a perfect amount of water and preserved meat is added, then slow cooked for a fused flavour. The key is to make sure the water does not overflow and the rice does not burn. Shining Garden makes this perfectly. The claypot has a nice smoked meat aroma and the rice has a fused flavourful smoked meat taste, in every bite. As for the broccoli, the vegetable has a nice crunch and again, a smoked meat taste. The claypot tastes exactly the same as the first visit and I am glad to have introduced BF to this because he loves these.

The dessert soup is served steaming hot and tastes slightly sweet with a nice thickness, definitely not watered down. Also, there is a generous amount of diced taro which tastes tender and tapioca pearls. These taste so much better than the generic red and green bean dessert soups.

TOTAL: $101.40 + TIP $20.60 = $122.00.

We tipped 20% overall because the staff was friendly and oddly remembered us. Plus, the food was pretty good! In addition, that waitress who went out of her way just to make us the claypot dish...! Seriously, how nice of her? I hope Shining Garden can stay consistent with the food along with the service (the staff was not only friendly to us, but to everyone at the restaurant). I do not see why the restaurant cannot be consistent however, considering that we came here on a full house and the food was just as good as the first visit. This is definitely one of my regular restaurants now. By the way, I visited Cindy's Palace tonight… the food tasted below average and the bill was exactly the same amount! I really recommend visiting Shining Garden. We actually wanted to revisit tonight after only coming here a couple of days ago, but I think the restaurant is closed on Tuesdays!

- Friendly owners and staff
- Consistent an really good food
- Restaurant has a few private rooms
- Prices are very reasonable and of course I am not complaining. However, I would be more than glad to pay an extra $3.00 to $5.00 for what the restaurant charges! 

- Parking may be hard to find if the restaurant is packed

- First post on Shining Garden [here]
- Third revisit post on Shining Garden [here]
- Fourth revisit post on Shining Garden [here]
- Our waitress remembered us from the last visit and when we wanted a lobster less than 3 1/4lb, she even said "last time you guys wanted a bigger one!"

Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5

Shining Garden Restaurant 麥田餐廳 on Urbanspoon


  1. Don't understand how the both of you eat so much…… but good for me because I can see the whole menu. I took the kiddies and hubby down and everything was great, try the green beans next time!

    1. Awe yay! Glad you guys liked it. I may order the green beans… but like steamed broccoli so much more LOL. What else did you guys order?



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...