Chan's Garden is a newly opened restaurant serving a menu of authentic Chinese cuisine in a modern space.
We went to Chan's Garden for dinner recently -- a first-time visit for us. With it's bright sign, we found it easy to spot at it's Columbia Street location.
Once inside, we found a rather bright and stark decor -- bare, mostly-undecorated, white (or off-white) walls, with booths (the table rather 'high' for some of us short types!!), and lines of tables & chairs. My first reaction was memories of the cafeteria-style restaurants of a good many years ago -- no decor or ambience, but a spotlessly-clean, neat, and orderly set-up.
Upon entering, we found service to be prompt and friendly. We (a threesome) accepted being seated in a booth -- menus, glasses of water, a pot of tea and cups, and 'tableware' (dinner plates, knives and forks, and napkins), were quickly provided. We asked for bowls, and chopsticks - our request was accommodated promptly.
For a starter (while we "researched" the menu), we (two of us) ordered Chinese beer, and an order of deep-fried wonton to share. The beer was good - light, cold, and "hit-the-spot" - the wonton appetizer was 'ok'.
For dinner, we ordered to share: crispy ginger beef, szechuan prawns, seafood chop suey, and the house special egg foo young. The food arrived rather quickly (I would say, rather too quickly!!!). The dishes looked colourful, and the servings a good size.
The food presentations were the 'good' part of the meal, the food preparations the 'not-so-good' part.
--- the crispy ginger beef was gooey, greasy, and lacking in 'real' ginger flavour -- the szechuan prawn dish - consisted of some unshelled prawns, immersed in a thick, and quite terrible-tasting sauce, surrounded by broccoli -- the seafood chop suey - some rather decently-prepared pieces of fish, seafoods, and veggies, but too much gooey and greasy sauce -- the egg foo young - uncooked inside, and a total yuck!
Overall: friendly and accommodating service, served up in stark and cold ambience, decent presentations of food, that, in our opinion, was certainly not prepared as well, or taste as good as it looked.
Based on this dining experience, I just cannot see us returning again.
My gosh, what a huge disappointment. After reading the one review before this one right here on dinehere and after receiving a nice glossy handout delivered to my home recently , my dining partner and I decided to give this place a whirl the other night.
Arrived around 8pm to a nearly empty restaurant and were asked immediatly, before we even had our coats off , if we wanted water. We must say the service was pleasant and solid for the entire stay despite the staff horseing around in the kitchen and by the til , laughing and having just a great old time. At least it must be a fun place to work.
We ordered the dinner for two, included two spring rolls, pork fried rice, chicken chowmein and sweet and sour pork. First to arrive the spring rolls. These were your standard bulk purchased "Wings" style spring rolls, greasy and just plain blah. A short time later the remainder of our dishes arrived.
Not sure if they are trying to conserve energy back in the kitchen but "everything" was barely warm. Nothing was piping hot. The veggies in the chicken chow mein weren't even cooked. The broccoli and cauliflower were raw, same for the zuchini. We should of asked for ranch dressing because these veggies should of been dipped in something not served in what is suppose to be a hot chicken dish.
The pork fried rice was truly unspectacular, you can find much better at any food court. The sweet and sour pork was a smallish order with little bits of battered pork in your standard grocery store purchased sweet and sour sauce.
In three words, terrible chinese food. All of that plus a hot and sour soup for around 35.00 bucks.
As for the ambience, very clean and tidy, cafeteria style with four tv's playing Sportsnet and the music of QMFM playing in the background. Oye. Get me outta here.
I went for a quick lunch a while back and had one of their three lunch specials for around $8. It started great with one of the best hot and sour soups I've had. Just right in every regard. The Szechuan chicken was not. The chicken tasted like the roast pieces you buy from the grocery store that they're selling you at half price b/c it's been around for 3 days. It tasted off so I didn't finish it. That's maybe a first for me. The veg and rice were ok. But the sauce was bland like from a package. And not b/c I'd just had spicy soup. The wait staff were very pleasant and accommodating and the ambiance just fine. I will go back for sure to have the soup but maybe that only.
FINALLY! Have worked in New West for years and could never find GREAT Chinese. No offense to Manchu Wok in the mall, but this place is AMAZING. I just got back from picking up a Combo F. 6 HUGE Deep Fried Prawns (with probably the best dipping sauce I have ever had!) Pork Fried Rice and Ginger Beef. OUTSTANDING. I have finished my lunch and have enough for my kids to have a snack when I get home! For just over 10 dollars this was fantastic. Staff are all very pleasant. Restaurant is very clean. Great EAT IN ONLY lunch specials that are Reeeeeally well priced! And they come with soup! INCLUDED!
I will be back and so will other members of my staff that have tried mine!
I wish Chan's Garden tons of luck! I cant wait to try some other things on the menu! Happy Friday!
PS: I added a photo for you to see!