Joy Garden is located on Francis Street in Northbridge and is a famous Chinese restaurant amongst the Asian community. It’s been around for ages and is quite popular for its dimsum (there is normally a long queue waiting on the weekends). I’d tried the dimsum, lunch and dinner here before but for some strange reason, it has never really been my choice of restaurant and so I haven’t been back for a couple of years and have almost forgotten about this place. However, on this occasion, my friend suggested for us to have a meal here as he knew the boss and have heard good stuff from his clients so off we went one Sunday evening to celebrate another friend’s birthday.
Joy Garden is like a typical Chinese restaurant, filled with square and big round tables covered with white cloth situated at close proximity to each other and matched with red synthetic covered chairs. As this restaurant is also famous for its seafood, they have big aquariums up front filled with lobsters, crabs, fish and eels which kept the kids that were with us occupied in between the dinner. Another thing I noticed was that they have hung on the walls photos of the owner with famous Chinese celebrities that have visited the restaurant (can’t remember exactly who they were but I think one of them was Emil Chau) so I guess it shows how famous this restaurant is if celebrities are even dining here!
For food that night, we each get to choose a dish and we came up with the following, not really authentic Chinese dishes as per say but slightly aussified. Short review of the food is written next to the dish. As with any big Chinese restaurants in Northbridge, you would normally get complimentary soup at the start and it was no different in this case. The soup actually tasted good!
- Peking Pork Spare Ribs – Big portion of meat deep fried in batter and poured over with a thick and sweet red sauce, tasted just right.
- Sizzling Japanese Beancurd with Chicken – This dish came as a surprise to us as it was filled with chillies (the kids couldn’t eat any so they were quite disappointed).
- Sambal Kangkung – Normally my favourite vegetable dish but this wasn’t spicy enough so you didn’t get the oomphed.
- Salt and Pepper Squid - Big chunk of squids deep fried in a special batter, perfect!
- Chinese Fried Chicken – This was nice especially dipped with the special salt that came with it.
- Yam Duck – This wasn’t as nice as expected, too much yam on the duck and the sauce was bland. Quite disappointing.
- Beef Hor Fun (flat white rice noodles) with Egg Sauce - We ordered this for the kids on the table so I didn’t get to taste any.
- King Prawn Fried Noodle - Ditto as with the Beef Hor Fun but this dish looks particularly yummy even just looking at the photo! I’m sure it tasted the same.
Overall it was an average meal for me but everyone else was happy (maybe I’m being too picky). We got complimentary fruits at the end (another common treat) and I was half expecting them to give us some red bean soup too (some restaurants do!) but it didn’t happen that night. Service was good and the food came quick. I am pretty sure they serve much more authentic Chinese food which we actually spyed and saw on the table next door - it was just that we didn’t really know how to order them. Maybe we should have ask for recommendations from the lady boss!
Rating by: N.L.
Telephone: 08 9227 8638
Address: 65 Francis Street, Northbridge