Sherman's Food Adventures: Mui Garden

Mui Garden

*Location now closed*

Okay, what exactly is Chinese-style curry anyways? Well, it is definitely not "real" curry, such as the ones you find at authentic Indian restaurants. Chinese curry is usually yellow and quite mild. However, within that Chinese-style curry, there is another version that more resembles Malay/Thai curry, which uses coconut milk. This smooth curry is what Mui Garden is famous for. Sure, there are other places that serve similar curries such as Curry King and Cafe Glouchester; but Mui Garden arguably has one the best smooth curries in town. Now, this type of curry isn't for everyone. It's not spicy like a Thai green curry and it really doesn't have complex flavours like an Indian Curry. In fact, it's sort of bland.

I personally can appreciate all types of curry and I enjoy all of them. In addition to their curry, Mui Garden serves up items you would find in a typical Hong Kong-style cafe such as fried rice, noodles, spaghetti, sandwiches and a variety of drinks. Another signature dish is their Hainanese chicken, which is just as popular as their curry. Naturally, we ordered both the Beef Brisket Curry and the Hainanese Chicken, since it is what Mui Garden is known for. As mentioned before, the curry is very mild and velvety smooth. The smoothness can be attributed to the liberal use of coconut milk in the dish. This is definitely not low-fat eating! You have a choice between plain white rice and chicken oil rice. The chicken oil rice is usually served with the Hainanese chicken. The rice is essentially cooked in fatty chicken broth which is left over from cooking the chicken. Again, it's not low-fat eating; but it's ever so good. The beef brisket itself is remarkably tender. This is due to the fattiness of the meat itself and slow braising. The potatoes in the curry are also done perfectly; they are in one piece and still quite soft.

The Hainanese chicken was quite meaty for free-range chicken. Generally, free-range chicken are quite lean and the meat is a bit chewy. I don't mind this type of chicken; however, there are people who prefer the juicier, regular type of chicken. We also had the stir-fried Chinese broccoli and it was done perfectly. It was still crunchy and had lots of garlic flavour. However, it was a bit oily, they could have used a bit less oil and it would have still been good. The last dish was Steamed Tofu with Seafood and Chicken. This dish was pleasant to eat, but it was very bland. I know the premise of this dish is delicate flavours with delicate textures. However, it was way too delicate to the point that it tasted like nothing. I've been to Mui Garden a few times and if you stick with their popular dishes, they are indeed pretty good. However, I'm not convinced that their other dishes are really that good. I would say they are acceptable. There are other places with better food and at lower prices. With that being said, Mui Garden is another solid choice for Chinese food.

The Good:
- One of the best smooth Chinese-style (Malay/Thai inspired) curries around
- Good free-range Hainanese chicken
- Very comprehensive menu

The Bad:
- Prices are bit high for mostly average food
- Service is decent, but they need more staff
- Parking is limited
- Cash only

Mui Garden
4327 North Road
Burnaby, B.C.

Business Hours:
11:00am - 9:30pm (7 days a week)

Mui Garden on Urbanspoon