2018-02-21 / Restaurant of the Week

J.J. Garden

J.J. Garden is one of the very few sit-down Chinese restaurants in western Queens that recalls a time before take-out ruled the city. When I was growing up, going “out” for Chinese food was a family treat bestowed on us for festive Friday nights, birthdays, and after ball games. Thankfully, J.J. Garden has kept up this tradition for 22 years, conveniently located in the Jackson Heights Shopping Center where there’s plenty of free parking. Your hosts, Jessica and Jerry, split the work between the phone that rings off the hook for takeout orders and the dining-in crowd, where you’ll find me on a regular basis. J.J. Garden is the perfect place to celebrate the Lunar New Year with the family and friends!

Tables are dressed in starched, white linens, while Jerry and the rest of the friendly, welcoming staff are clad in white shirts and black bow ties to serve you in style. The full bar offers fabulous cocktails along with wine and beer, another great reason to eat at J.J. Garden! Shake off the work day in the peaceful dining room with a refreshing cocktail such as a mai tai, frosty piña colada, scorpion or zombie, all elegantly festooned with tiny umbrellas and fruit skewers. The Zombie is my favorite, made with rum, and Jerry makes it just right. A traditional pot of tea is also brought to your table, along with fried noodles and sauces to munch on as you consider the extensive menu.

J.J. Garden features dishes from all regions of China and all are prepared on the spot using the freshest ingredients and presented to you steaming hot. If you have trouble deciding amongst all the tempting choices, your waiter can help. Start with a selection of their fabulous dumplings, filled with either pork, seafood, vegetables or chicken, which are delicious dipped into soy sauce. Juicy, tender pork ribs get their flavor from savory seasoning and the barbecue grill. J.J. Garden has great egg rolls, crispy, light spring rolls and savory scallion pancakes, all light and flavorful and perfect for sharing. Cold sesame noodles are popular, as are their soups, including wonton soup, hot and sour soup, or egg drop soup, or Cantonese style noodle soup.

Chinese cuisine is as diverse as it is delicious, and the skilled chefs at J.J. Garden prepare dozens of regional entrees including seafood dishes, meat, poultry, pork, vegetable and noodle dishes, all cooked to order and beautifully presented on sparkling platters. Whether you like it spicy or mild, there’s something to delight you. Spicy chicken or beef with orange, or shrimp and pork Hunan style is an abundantly flavorful dish. Share a succulent Peking duck amongst family or have fun rolling up your own pancakes with tangy Moo Shu pork, which is mildly seasoned. Shredded pork with string beans and garlic sauce is delicious, spooned over white or brown rice. The same is true of sesame chicken, lightly pan-fried and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds, while the lemon chicken is light and citrusy.

The “Chef’s Specialties” menu features some of my favorites such as “Happy Family,” a delicious mélange of tender, sliced beef, chicken, roast pork, lobster, shrimp, and broccoli in a golden brown sauce served with your choice of white or brown rice ($14.95). “Seafood Delight” is a treat for the eyes as well as the palate, consisting of perfectly cooked calamari, juicy scallops, shrimp, lobster and vegetables in a light, white wine sauce ($15.50). If you’re watching your weight, there’s a healthy spa menu with lighter items such as the Vegetarian Long Life delight, and Grasp at Good Luck with chicken, carrots, and snow peas ($10). Kids love J.J. Garden’s cuisine, and the noodle options include wide noodles called chow fun, and spaghetti-type noodles called lo mein. Angel hair noodles called mei fun are prepared Singapore style with curry, or with vegetables or seafood.

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at J.J. Garden, open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, from 11:00 am to 10:30 pm on weekdays, until 11:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and from noon until 10:00 pm on Sundays. There are lunch specials served from 11:00 am until 3:30 pm starting at just $6 that include soup or salad, main course and rice. Fast free delivery is available, but for a unique dining-in experience, visit J.J. Garden, enjoy a festive cocktail and an authentic Chinese meal served by a kind wait staff in a clean, comfortable, nicely-appointed dining room. They have a private dining room for business luncheons too. Celebrate Lunar New Year, year of the dog, or any night in style at J.J. Garden.

75-21 31st Avenue
Jackson Heights  718.898.6686

www.jjchansgarden.com

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