So after an exhaustive 6-day non-stop eating adventure, you'd think the last thing I would do is go out to eat. You see there, you got it all wrong. That is exactly what I was going to do! Shortly after being picked up from the airport and hugging everyone in my family, we headed out for dinner. We ended up at Deer Garden in Coquitlam. When we still lived in Coquitlam, this was one of the few places where you could get decent Chinese food consistently. Sure, there is Kirin; but it's pricey and inconsistent. There's Poco Ocean; but you have to guess when they are open and they have all of 10 tables. And yes, there is Hon's; but please don't get me started... One thing you'll find at Deer Garden is that there are never enough parking spots and there is usually a lineup. Furthermore, you'll find that there are not nearly enough staff for how busy it gets here. In fact, there really wasn't anyone greeting at the front. That would probably explain the server who acknowledged people lining up with a bit of indifference and never came back to take parties to their tables. Everyone was a bit confounded by it. Do we seat ourselves???
When we finally sat down, we went for their meal for 4 which includes soup, rice, choice of 4 dishes and dessert. The 2 most popular dishes here are Free Range Chicken and Malaysian Style Curry Brisket. Very similar to Mui Garden. I personally thought that the chicken is better than Mui Garden. It seemed meatier and was quite tender, which is surprising since free range chicken can be a bit chewy. The accompanying grated ginger added the necessary bite to the modestly seasoned chicken. For those who are unfamiliar to "Chinese-style" Malaysian curry, it is a smooth concoction consisting of coconut milk and yellow curry. Not really all that spicy, it's quite mild and creamy. The one here tastes more robust than the mild one at Mui Garden; however, the meat was not really all that tender. Furthermore, I think they need to have a talk with the prep guy. There were pieces of brisket in there that were so huge, a knife and fork was needed.
We had a love/hate relationship with the Satay Beef with Vermicelli Hot Pot. We loved the bountiful amount of tender beef slices. We hated that the vermicelli was more limp than a 80-year old who just ran out of viagra. We tried picking it up with chopsticks, a fork and a spoon. All we got were clumps of dissolved vermicelli. Not good. Thank goodness, everything looked "up" when we got the Seafood and Tofu Hot Pot. There were large shrimp, scallops and squid resting on a bed of soft tofu. This dish was delicately seasoned and would've went well with some hot sauce. Another pretty solid meal at Deer Garden. Considering where it is located, there is not much to choose from. Despite the indifferent service, it is more than acceptable Chinese food, especially the free-range chicken and curry brisket.
- Decent portions
- Food ain't bad
- Prices are reasonable
- Service is both lacking and indifferent
- Not enough parking