The Purple Garden is one of the more consistently good buffets in Greater Victoria. Of course, it is occasionally great, which also makes it one of the areas more inconsistently great buffets. Having been dining at this restaurant for upwards of three years now, I can honestly say it is worth every penny. Not only is it well priced under ten dollars for lunch and thirteen dollars for dinner, it also has one of the best selection of meat dishes offered in the city.
Their green beans with sliced barbecued pork is abundant with meat, and the pork is lightly glazed in sauce, giving the dish a tad bit of sweetness. The egg rolls are thick and crunchy as the people at Purple Garden have not fallen into the recent Victoria-buffet fad of dishing out mini-rolls that taste like shit. A good egg roll is a tell-tale sign of a healthy buffet.
Szechuan eggplant is another unique dish that the Garden offers. The eggplant is cooked until it is almost mushy, and holds together because of the tough skin of the vegetable. It is also soaking in sweet szechuan sauce that shockingly doesn't overpower the taste.
However with its merits come some recurring problems. The deep fried prawns, like the deep fried chicken balls, are probably fried in twice the batter they should be, as the batter is under-cooked and doughy near the meat. This is a problem that never seems to go away.
Mandarin pork chops, golden brown fried chicken wings, celery chicken, ginger fried beef and sweet and sour pork round out the buffet. The chicken wings are excellent, and the ginger fried beef is crunchy despite being doused in sauce. The mandarin style pork chops, are full pork chops covered in tangy sauce. A definite plate completer.
Another outstanding item that Purple Garden offers are deep fried fish fillets. Big chunks of fish, battered to perfection, and excellent with a side of your favorite sauce. Some Chinese restaurants in Victoria can charge anywhere from 12-20 dollars for a nice plate of fried fish. The quality of the fish might not be the same, but my taste buds couldn't tell the difference.
All of the rice and noodle dishes here are fairly consistent. The Shanghai thick noodles are cooked well with nice slices of beef, and the chow mein is quite standard as is the pork fried rice. Purple Garden also has a fountain drink area and hard ice cream. The ice cream can be a bit of a bitch to scoop. Dessert wise, you're looking at the typical rice crispy squares and bowls of jello.
While it isn't up to the level that Maygold Village is, Purple Garden is still one of the top Chinese buffets in Victoria.
Price for Dinner: $12.95 + tax