HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
What's your latest food project? Share your adventure
TELL US

Cantoon Garden now South China Garden?

r
robertgoulet Jan 10, 2010 04:34 PM

I was in Chinatown this morning visiting a few different restaurants to try to figure out where I want to have a birthday party. I've been meaning to make it to Cantoon Garden for a while, but when I stopped by today I saw that the awning had been changed to read "South China Garden," and the take out menus all have white tape over "Cantoon". I was also surprised that nobody in there seemed to speak much English based on other posts I've seen that said otherwise.

I asked, and they said it's still the same restaurant -- but has anyone been since they changed the name?

Also, if anybody has some recs for where to hold a party for about 15 in chinatown, I'd love to hear it. Looking for good homestyle banquet Cantonese. For various reasons, Flushing isn't an option. I've looked at previous threads and seen consistent recs for Cantoon Garden, Oriental Garden, 6 Chatham Square, Amazing 66 and Congee Village. Any recent experiences, or guidance on how to go about organizing a dinner like this without speaking Chinese, would be much appreciated.

  1. s
    StheJ Jan 10, 2010 05:06 PM

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/679270

    1. l
      Lau Jan 10, 2010 06:18 PM

      supposedly according to the post that StheJ everything is the same. I'll be going there on weds and i'll let you know if it truly is exactly the same

      btw not everyone at CG speaks english well, in fact the hostess does not speak english well at all, but most of the servers speak decent english

      2 Replies
      1. re: Lau
        r
        robertgoulet Jan 10, 2010 08:57 PM

        ah, guess i should have scrolled down a bit further before posting. look forward to seeing your review after wednesday.

        1. re: Lau
          Chandavkl Jan 11, 2010 03:32 AM

          Noticed a couple of minor menu tweaks, e.g., no more chicken with pineapple (as opposed to sweet and sour chicken). Probably just an update of what they were actually serving before.

        2. l
          Lau Jan 14, 2010 10:50 AM

          fyi i ate here last night. Everything is exactly the same, the menus, the waiters, the managers, the cooks and most importantly the food

          the chinese name is the same as well, only the english name changed

          3 Replies
          1. re: Lau
            erica Jan 14, 2010 01:10 PM

            Our group ate here last night with a special CH guest. The consensus: Superb! "Why did we wait so long to visit this place?" My favorite dish was the salt-baked squid. Another noteworthy dish that may or may not have been mentiioned here before is the roasted green peppers stuffed with fish paste. Addictive!

            1. re: Lau
              r
              robertgoulet Jan 15, 2010 06:11 AM

              I decided to stop in last night after seeing your review and had a fantastic meal. I went by myself, which is admittedly not the best way to do a family style meal, but brought home the leftovers and have quite a tasty lunch for myself today. Ordered the Lobster XO sauce (they gave me 1 lobster for $14), salt baked squid, and the preserved meat casserole with rice. All were fantastic. I still haven't eaten at Imperial Palace, but this was delicious. The casserole with rice was a steal for something like $6 -- a huge bowl of rice with chinese sausage, vegetables and what I think was cured pork. Looking forward to going back soon and exploring more of the menu.

              1. re: robertgoulet
                l
                Lau Jan 15, 2010 06:51 AM

                glad you enjoyed your meal there.

                IP is my favorite, but its a different type of cantonese seafood restaurant than CG. It's more refined and the flavors will be more subtle. Both are good.

            2. s
              StheJ Jan 16, 2010 07:15 AM

              Went to South China Garden last week and everything was the same... We had the lobster in xo sauce, salt baked squid and black pepper soft shelled crabs. The lobster and the squid were excellent, but the crabs were a little bland although very well prepared.

              1. l
                Lau Nov 29, 2010 05:54 PM

                my revised review on South China Garden (Cantoon Garden): http://www.lauhound.com/2010/11/south...

                -----
                South China Garden
                22 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

                12 Replies
                1. re: Lau
                  erica Dec 25, 2010 03:50 AM

                  Using the tip sheet from Hound Lau, I had a very good dinner here last night:
                  --Fried Stuffed Peppers were indeed, very spicy.
                  Peking Pork chops were a guilty pleasure.
                  Salt-Baked Squid delicious as usual.
                  Fried Tofu--crispy outside, creamy inside..excellent
                  Fish head soup with tofu--not a favorite
                  Black bass from the tank (2 pounds @$20 per pound) prepared wtih ginger and scallions--I thought this was only ok--not enough flavor
                  An order of Gai Lan

                  The total bill before tip was $135 for five persons.

                  As usual, I was tuned to the dishes that people around us were eating and I spied a few very interesting times at the next table. Thank you to the patient waiter who gave me their names. Each of these looked excellent and will be on my ever-growing list for next time:

                  Mixed Fungus with Vegetable (looked like mei fun but the thin things were enoki/needle mushrooms; this is one of the specials at Imperial Garden but here it is on the regular menu)

                  Sizzling oysters--these also looked like the gigantic creatures served at Imperial Garden.

                  Clam Casserole with Satay Sauce--the waiter told us that we should order a casserole next time. I will take his advice!

                  Baked Chicken with Coconut--this looked unusual since I had rarely, if ever, seen a baked chicken dish in a Cantonese restaurant. Prepared in an oval dish with crust on top. Can someone tell me more about this?

                  Service was very good, we were not rushed in the least.

                  1. re: erica
                    l
                    Lau Dec 25, 2010 09:13 AM

                    glad you enjoyed, btw next time you order fish get the 黃龍魚 (huang long yu - yellow dragon fish) that i have in my post even if you're planning on getting a different preparation, the meat is much better quality.

                    i havent tried any of those dishes, so i can't say how they are. The service is quite good there, they don't have much turnover in the staff and all of them are usually pretty helpful, they are also pretty fluent in english if that is an issue

                    1. re: Lau
                      erica Dec 25, 2010 01:31 PM

                      I don't see that fish on my paper menu--is that something from the tank, or is on the regular in-house menu? Or is it one of the Chinese-language specials on the wall? Is there an English name for that fish??

                      Do you think that $40 was pricey for the fish we had, or is that about the right price for a 2-pound fish? Just curious, as I have rarely selected items from a tank...

                      PLEASE try the mixed mushrooms--they looked amazing! I will try them next time, as well as attempt to delve into the casseroles...

                      You need to join us again as our honored guest!

                      1. re: erica
                        l
                        Lau Dec 25, 2010 01:39 PM

                        oh its not on the menu, its listed on the wall and its listed on the tanks, but i think only in chinese, im not sure what its called in english, but the meat is much better quality

                        $40 sounds about right as that is how much the 黃龍魚 is

                        1. re: Lau
                          b
                          bearmi Dec 25, 2010 02:10 PM

                          I haven't been to Cantoon Garden/South China Garden for a long time... but I am glad to hear that the quality is still good. Thanks guys for giving me the update. I should try to visit next time I am in Chinatown with my friends.

                          1. re: bearmi
                            p
                            Pan Dec 25, 2010 11:11 PM

                            Which Chinese restaurants have you been going to lately?

                            1. re: Pan
                              b
                              bearmi Dec 26, 2010 06:35 PM

                              Ha.. you got me with this one! I have been on a road a lot and also busy with work so I don't go to Chinatown much these days (well, also mostly because I don't enjoy the tourist crowd and the smell plus recent spike in violent incidents in Manhattan. I know.. you city folks can call me the "Upstate" or "Suburban" Person.. haha .. I don't care) But, back to the subject, I have been going to Dim Sum Go Go, Chinatown Brasserie and Noodle Village (on Mott) the last few months when I am down in the Village / Chinatown area. I also have been eating at Sushi-den in midtown a lot so, at times, I kind of by-passed Chinese when I am in Manhattan.

                              In addition to that, for Chinese food, I have been going to Aberdeen a lot. It's in White Plains, NY, in Westchester County, where I live. Also, I have been eating with my Chinese friends in NJ and we go to Hunan Cottage (Shanghainese/Taiwanese on Route 46 in Fairfield, NJ), Qin Dynasty (Cantonese, also on Route 46 in Parsippany, NJ), and Chef Jon's (Shanghainese, on Route 10 in Whippany, NJ). Honestly, the Chinese food in NJ really isn't bad when compared with Chinatown (sometimes better) (and they take credit cards!!) but you do need to drive there and there isn't much to do afterward unless you go to the Mall at Short Hills to do some shopping :)

                              -----
                              Dim Sum Go Go
                              5 E Broadway, New York, NY 10038

                              Noodle Village
                              13 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

                              Chinatown Brasserie
                              380 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

                              1. re: bearmi
                                p
                                Pan Dec 26, 2010 08:11 PM

                                I was at Dim Sum Go Go on Tuesday. I last went to Noodle Village a few weeks ago, but I've been there only twice so far. What do you like there?

                                I haven't been to Chinatown Brasserie in a long time, due to its expense.

                                As for areas outside the city limits, I don't drive, and I go to New Jersey chiefly to visit my cousins in Teaneck and eat at their house. Back in the day, I used to go to college at Purchase, but that was in the 80s, and I didn't know of any good Chinese restaurants in White Plains in those days.

                                -----
                                Dim Sum Go Go
                                5 E Broadway, New York, NY 10038

                                Noodle Village
                                13 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

                                Chinatown Brasserie
                                380 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

                                1. re: Pan
                                  b
                                  bearmi Dec 26, 2010 09:11 PM

                                  I like the tri-colored dumplings at the Noodle Village. I also like their clay pot rice with pork ribs. The rice was nice and crispy and it's a pretty big portion. Again, it's more of an acquired taste but their dumplings had big chunks of shrimp and a chewy texture, which give them a more "premium" taste in my opinion but I know some folks would rather see minced shrimp and less chewy texture, which is generally undesirable in western cuisine. In addition, I have ordered their congee (I think minced beef but I could be wrong...) a few times and I like them too.

                                  My last visit to Chinatown Brasserie was just ok... some of the dumplings were good but others were a little mushy/sticky, which was a little disappointing considering the price I paid but I will probably give them another chance. The service was fine and I got my own table to sit. That sure beats sharing tables with strangers and tourists in Chinatown... ha... And, most importantly, the bathroom was clean and didn't smell!

                                  White Plains has changed a lot the last few years so it's totally different from the 80's (or even the late 90's!) There are a lot of chain restaurants but you can find some acceptable Asian restauants (Korean/Chinese/Japanese) locally.
                                  I thinK NJ and Westchester are pretty much off limits for folks who live in the city unless they have a car and have a reason to be in these areas (for work or visiting family/friends). Otherwise, they can easily find alternatives within Manhattan.. and, if not, in Flushing, especially in terms of Chinese food. For those of us who don't live in the city, they are just local options when we don't feel like dealing with the traffic and crowds in the city.

                                  -----
                                  Noodle Village
                                  13 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

                                  Chinatown Brasserie
                                  380 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

                          2. re: Lau
                            erica Dec 26, 2010 05:15 AM

                            Lau thanks! I don't know how I missed it-the dragon fish is the first dish on your list!
                            Many thanks! Will print out the Chinese characters and ask for this next time!

                            1. re: Lau
                              sing me a bar Dec 26, 2010 07:51 AM

                              Lau, Merry Christmas and wishes for a very lucky & prosperous New Year. NOW, have you tried Legend, the new Szechuan place on 7th Ave & 15th St mentioned in another thread? I am a devotee of Cantoon/ So. China thanks to your recommendation. I LOVE the slightly cranky lady up front, the chaos and the eccentric servers. In short, it's my kind of place; easy on the ambiance, heavy on the taste & value.

                              1. re: sing me a bar
                                l
                                Lau Dec 26, 2010 09:46 AM

                                i have not tried legend although i plan on it at some point

                                glad you like cg / scg, happy holidays to you as well

                    Show Hidden Posts