Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Purple Garden, 138-1551 Cedar Hill X Road, Victoria B.C- (250) 477-8866 -

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


Anonymous said...

Yay for Purple Garden! Still don't know what you see in May Gold, though. The yummy steak sauce does NOT make up for the otherwise shitty buffet I've had there every time I've been...oh well, to each their own. Keep up the good work!

Gaetano said...

haa! yeah man thanks

Anonymous said...

Must be super inconsistent like you say it is. I went for the first time in a long time in February. It was actually the worst experience I've ever had at any Chinese buffet. I was actually praying while I was eating, that I wouldn't be blessed with food poisoning. And I'm Chinese too, been to China, eaten at sketchy places, never worried about getting sick, never got sick blah blah blah.

All the food was dried out. Some of the dishes tasted borderline sour (dishes that are definitely not supposed to taste sour). Sweet and sour pork aka freaking hard little pebbles was horrible. When I paid the bill, I felt like I just bent over and got raped. It was so bad I felt sorry for them because the actual service was good. Which is why I didn't say anything... I normally would have...

Gaetano said...

haha oh man that sucks. sory to hear about that experience. ive definitfly felt that kind of pain before

Matt Baer said...

I love how the prawns and chicken balls have too much batter on them. The goeyness is extremely pleasing in my books.

Buuuuut I don't really eat there anymore. Too much pressure to eat too much deep fried food. I don't like paying 13 bucks to feel like shit.

Anonymous said...

Is that a fucking Wax Museums shirt!!! Somebody in Victoria actually knows who The Wax Museums are? Seriously...drop me an email..

James said...

I went there tonight on this sites rating of 4/5

Im ashamed to have lived in victoria for almost 10 years and to have never seen or heard of this place.

I went down 1 side of the buffet table and filled my plate with so many good looking things i didn't have room for anything from the 2nd side. Oh and the spring rolls are by far better than any of the ones I've had anywhere else in Victoria

eater said...

A friend of mine went to May Gold last night on the recommendation of this blog... she said it was awful.
I had opportunity to dine at Purple Garden tonight, and I will agree with the comment above, it's outstanding as far as buffets go. Huge selection, tasty food, desserts, soft drinks. And a nice atmosphere. Very very good spring rolls, and the prawns aren't deep fried! 4.5/5

Anonymous said...

Wasn't bad or that good...worst part was I was suckered in by their "Biggest Chinese buffet in Victoria", that was disappointing.

Might go back....if I can get over the lies in their ad that got me there in the first place.

Anonymous said...

We have eaten at the Purple Garden several times because it's close by where we live. They have a decent assortment of foods and the food is tastey enough. Unfortunately I go away from there feeling unwell. They, like so many chinese food restaurants seem to use a lot of MSG. I suppose some people are unaffected by that stuff by my wife and I are not of that group. Too bad, it would otherwise be acceptable.