China Garden Review!!

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Earlier in the week, I had the pleasure of discovering the absolute splendor of dining at Jerome’s very own China Garden. I had an previous connection to the restaurant staff itself, so I was beyond pleasantly surprised when I actually had the opportunity to go and see whether or not the food was as good as my friend had made it seem. Despite the restaurant being so accessible and I being so hungry, I was denying myself the glorious leisure of trying it out for myself; as I believed that such a delightful experience should be saved for a momentous occasion: eating for the sake of a food review seemed like a good prospect in my mind. On a scale of one to ten, China Garden receives a 9.5; and I would recommend it as the pinnacle of fine dining in Jerome for some different reasons:

 

Atmosphere: 5/5

Immediately upon entering, I felt the atmosphere change from the grim and dull exterior of the Ridley’s parking lot into a bite-sized oriental landscape. East Asian influences were strung all around, apparent in the traditional paintings hung on the walls and customary statues and lanterns strewn across the establishment. The atmosphere creates a warm and welcoming environment that draws customers towards achieving a state of happiness before even touching a plate.

 

Service: 5/5

Another factor that defined my experience was the wonderful service that I received myself: and also overheard other customers receive. The waiter was very nice, and despite providing on-the-job training to someone that day, she was very attentive and responsive to my requests. When asked about whether I should pick between one dish or the other, she gave me a concise and honest answer that I ended up quite enjoying in the end. Also, while not directly affecting me, I overheard an elderly man ask about a million questions about the dishes on the menu, and each time she had an answer ready; so feel free to go eat without hesitation, as you can enjoy the food even without any prior knowledge of anything to do with Chinese food.

 

Food: 5/5

It pains me greatly writing this section, as I fear that I will go to sleep hungry writing about the enjoyment that I had with the food here. The cuisine that is served here meets both of the criteria set for the perfect meal: delicious food and good value. To quote the waitress when I inquired about how much was served on the plate, she told me that, “I wouldn’t leave hungry,” and that I’d probably need a to-go box; I thought she was lying, as I’m a heavy eater, and I was sure that a $9.95 meal would do little to satisfy my hunger: I was happily wrong. When I ordered a #6 plate of fried shrimp, pork rice, mandarin chicken, and the spicy beef, I was surprised at the amount of food that was presented to me, a sizable plate that was split in thirds with my food, and they spared no space on the plate. Everything on my plate was beyond enjoyable, the beef with vegetables was mixed to perfection, with the flavors of the vegetables clashing with the subtle flavor of the beef, which was softer and more enjoyable than traditional Hispanic or New York style steak, the rice went beyond what it was meant for, instead of being a side dish to fall back on when the other flavors got too strong, it instead acted as somewhat of a main dish, served with pieces of pork, it had perfect synergy when its semi-bland taste contrasted against the spiciness of the beef or the sweetness of the chicken. Speaking of which, the mandarin chicken was the main reason I ordered the dish I did, and it went beyond my expectations, served with an abundance of the course’s signature sweet glaze, the crunchy-on-the-outside but soft-on-the-inside texture of the chicken was immaculate, and it made for a dining experience that I can simply not forget. The fried shrimp was also delicious, with the soft shrimp on the inside being coated with a crunchy fried outer layer that provided an easy-to-eat appetizer.

 

Final Verdict:

Overall, I would say that the China Garden serves as Jerome’s premier choice in fine dining, and sets an example for what other establishments should provide in an ascended eating experience. For the reasons above, and others, (like easy accessibility with a drive thru and delivery) the restaurant receives the highest honors from the esteemed “Salazar Culinary Rating System” and will receive my frequent patronage for as long as it stands.

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