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Jardin Tiki, the review you've all been waiting for!!!

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Some friends and I decided to get together and have a go at the infamous Jardin Tiki Chinese buffet (5300, sherbrooke east).

We battled the elements, snow, wind and the cold ...

From the plastic Easter Island statue to the dusty dragon with the kitshy ligthing from japanese paper lamps to christmas (island) ligths , you have it all, including a small pond with barely alive turtles!!! (yeah, we saw some of them move!)

The food, do we really have to talk about it ?

It is Chinese buffet central, from chicken with red sauce to sweet sticky overcooked spare-ribs to onion rings with some brown-ish fried rice and unnameable vegetables and the usual non Chinese offerings, pasta, fries, hot-dogs in VH sauce or hot dogs wrapped in bacon ...

The only redeemable good thing are the drinks, while not super-extra-ordinary original, they are good and tasty, in fake coconut, or in real pineapples

Crowd : weird mix of people, some odd couples, some families, a big group of "teens", some retirees; the night started quite empty, but when we left it was relatively full (weather not helping).

$ : cheap, dirt cheap, even with the booze... $40-ish buffet + 2 drinks

Go at your own risk: :-)

Max.

 
 
 
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  1. Ah, tiki drinks. Back home in Atlanta, going to Trader Vic's was a fun kitschy thing to do (still is, considering the length of that drink menu). But ordering the food there was pretty much what you're describing, only designed to be more "upscale" (it wasn't).

    Still, sounds fun! Thanks!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Peaches to Poutine

      I'd really like to try Tradec Vic's eventually!

      1. re: CaptCrunch

        Just go for the drinks. Not the costly Polynesian-inflected menu.

    2. This place is definitely worth experiencing once, but it's a good idea to eat something beforehand.

      1. Thanks for the review. Not sure if I want to check it out now or stay away... forever. ;-)

        Just looked at their website. Chocolate ├ęclairs and jello for dessert, huh?

        "It goes without saying that we want all of our customers to eat well, but we also want them to have a memorable time. We feature live Latino music to warm up the atmosphere on Saturday nights, and we organize the annual Rockabilly Festival."

        Certainly sounds... eclectic.

        13 Replies
        1. re: kpzoo

          I think it sounds fun! But I'd go more for the atmosphere (such as it were) and the hooch before I'd make a beeline there for food.

          1. re: kpzoo

            Thanks for the review, but i don't understand the... hmmm... hype? The why-we-are-even-talking-about-this-place reason?

            This seems like exactly every chinese buffet we had in my childhood living in the subburbs. Re-Buffet Kirin or (wow this takes me back) Stanza, who served anything under the sun.

            Is this new to montreal downtowners? Did i completly miss something that was new or different about this place?

            1. re: SourberryLily

              because it is kitschy and nostalgic? is that so hard to believe? you don't see how this might be different from le stanza? thinking helmets people.

              1. re: SourberryLily

                1) Its one of the last remaining "tiki-place" in the island of Montreal. They bought a lot of the decor of other places that closed (among them, according to legend, the famed Kon Tiki). Tiki was a 50's fad that started when american troops came back from the pacific and some people had the idea of bringing in fake polynesian/hawaian inspired drinks/decor... it even had its own music! (exotica... see les baxter and martin denny https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5FRc...

                )

                2) The drinks are pretty cheap and classic. You'll find most the the old stanby and it won't break your budget(except the dry ice volcano... to my great deception...!)

                3) The place is huge and will accommodate large groups.

                4) The place still brings in crowds for its inexpensive buffet. It is also located near a popular neighborhood (Hochelaga-Maisonneuve) that tends to have lower brow favorites.

                5) There is a resurgence in 20's to 50'S memorabilia, music and trends (rockabily, jive, big band) that can only help it.

                1. re: CaptCrunch

                  They don't do dry ice drinks ... :-(

                  1. re: CaptCrunch

                    Oh ok, so the decor and nostalgia. Fair enough!

                    1. re: SourberryLily

                      Yes, it is definitely not for the food. I was there once, several years ago, with a group of adult students I was teaching, not far from there.

                      I have no desire whatsoever to return, but it was funny to see. I have a vague memory of going to a downtown Tiki place when I was a little girl (being served some kind of cute, boozeless drink). Does anyone remember one in downtown Mtl? (This is decades ago).

                      1. re: lagatta

                        Yes, it was the famed Kon Tiki in the Sheraton (apparently Jardin Tiki bought a lot of Kon Tiki's stuff when it closed). Apparently it was quite fashionable at the time and my father actually proposed there.

                        Was surprised to find a copy of their menu online!

                        http://critiki.com/pictures/?loc_id=1...

                        Picture of the front:

                        http://critiki.com/images/locations/1...

                        1. re: CaptCrunch

                          Yes, definitely that!

                          Would you happen to know opening and closing years?

                          1. re: lagatta

                            Opened in 1960. Closed in 1986

                            "The Kon-Tiki shut down in 1986 when the Mount Royal Sheraton closed its doors. The auction that followed netted less than $100,000 on merchandise valued at over a million. The furniture and d├ęcor lived on in other local restaurants. Today, you can still be greeted by Tiki warriors at the Jardin Tiki, sit in the same chairs and still hear the waterfall with the canoes hanging from the ceiling. The menu has changed and they don't serve Kon-Tiki Daiquiris but Tiki culture has found a way to survive in Montreal."

                            http://www.portfolio-remix.com/antoni...

                        2. re: lagatta

                          The most famous was the Kon-Tiki in the old Sheraton Mount Royal (now Les Cours Mont-Royal), but there must have been others when the fad/craze was in full swing.

                          1. re: lagatta

                            Anyone remember the Bali Hai? (not to be confused with the Fountainhead....)

                          2. re: SourberryLily

                            Yep!

                    2. I've been to this place twice, and maybe the strangest part is that the second time we couldn't get a table. Bizarre.

                      1. That restaurant has been around forever it seems. The buffet concept seems to have fallen out of flavour, and favour in the Montreal area.

                        1. I really don't think the food has changed there... we just got used to better stuff.

                          Its classic in its own way... a red sauce sugary goopy msg filled chinese/canadian place... just like in my childhood at a place called Kenny Wong.

                          That being said, I like to go there at least once a year for the cheap laughs and cheap booze. Also I admit I like the whole tiki/hawaillan shirt vibe. (guilty as charged).

                          1. Wait, so it's "cheap, dirty cheap" but it costs $40? Confused!

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: nikkori

                              1 buffet @ 13-ish (all you can eat, ...)
                              2 drinks @ 9-ish ( i think I ordered the most expensive tiki-grog)
                              tx+tips.

                              Max.

                              1. re: Maximilien

                                Thats pretty cheap indeed. Was that lunch hour special?.

                                1. re: SourberryLily

                                  lunch is $11.

                                2. re: Maximilien

                                  You mean the most expensive drinks are only $4.50 each? Suddenly it all makes sense.... Actually, the decor looks like something worth checking out at least once.

                                  1. re: Shattered

                                    no, 9 each.

                                    1. re: Shattered

                                      Last time it was between 6 and 8 dollars per drink.

                                      The menu looked like this.