The real spectacle happens in the dining room where you are pampered by Jerry, veteran waiter and bartender extraordinaire. Enjoy a cool, refreshing Mai Tai, smooth and creamy Piña Colada, Scorpion or Zombie, all elegantly festooned with tiny umbrellas and fruit skewers. Owner Jessica Chan and Angela are always on hand to greet patrons and insure a pleasant dining experience. The menu features the fine cuisine of Jessica's native Hong Kong, with other dishes from the Canton and Sichuan regions of China. All I know is that everything is delicious, prepared on the spot with the freshest ingredients and served piping hot and pretty as a picture.
The bi-lingual menu features a wide selection of appetizers, such as tender, handmade dumplings stuffed with your choice of pork, vegetables, chicken or seafood ($5.25). Dim sum is a Hong Kong tradition served here all day. Plates of steamed pork buns, shrimp dumplings, cold noodles with sesame sauce and scallion pancakes all make for a tasty lunch. Spicy hot and sour soup will clear your sinuses while the minced chicken and corn soup will be a hit with the kids. Tender ribs are slowly barbecued with a tangy sauce and spices until the meat comes right off the bone. Of course, classic egg rolls and spring rolls are always crispy, never greasy.
Main courses served in the dining room include a fabulous array of seafood dishes, meat, poultry, pork and noodle dishes, all served in grand style. The hard part is deciding among the chef's specialties such as J.J. Garden shrimp. These plump, tender shrimp are prepared in a delicate white sauce with candied walnuts and offer plenty to share ($12.95). Big, juicy scallops are prepared with a rich garlic sauce, with black bean sauce, in a zesty Hunan sauce or with mixed fresh vegetables. One of my favorite dishes is the chef's special salt and pepper prawns, scallops and calamari. These tender crustaceans and calamari are dusted with a light breading that includes sea salt and black pepper, and then delicately fried to a crisp, golden finish that is not the least bit greasy and every bit delicious and addictive. Calamari can also be prepared in Hong Kong sauce which is delicious with rice. Sweet lobster is also served here in your choice of ginger and scallion sauce, spicy garlic sauce, black bean sauce or with their famous salt and pepper breading. The highlight of the seafood menu is undoubtedly the whole fish, fried and served in its entirety. The whole sea bass is topped with spicy sauce, while the whole flounder is topped with vegetables and pineapple, in a sweet and sour sauce. Chinese cuisine is meant to be shared so put everything in the middle of the table and dig in.
If you prefer meat, Hong Kong style T-bone steak is prepared to order with the house sauce, and served already sliced, around the bone for all to enjoy along with colorful vegetables ($15.95). Tiny braised beef ribs are tender and delicious, as is the beef with peanuts in a spicy sauce ($10.50). Peking pork chops are also a culinary treat, just ask Jerry to recommend something for you and you'll be pleasantly surprised. J.J. Garden has Peking Duck, expertly prepared in about 40 minutes time, but well worth the wait for this succulent, perfectly seasoned duck.
Buddhist delight is a mélange of colorful vegetables, black mushrooms and tofu in a delicate sauce to satisfy anyone eschewing meat. Pan-fried noodles with vegetables or vegetable chow mein are other great options, and once again, the food at J.J. Garden is neither greasy nor salty, so there's no reason not to enjoy lunch or dinner here as often as you like. J.J. Garden is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, from 11:00am to 10:30pm on weekdays, until 11:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and from noon until 10:00pm on Sundays. There are lunch specials served from 11:00am until 3:30pm starting at just $5. Grab a take-out menu next time you're in the Jackson Heights Shopping Center or just visit their Web site. For exotic cocktails, and expertly prepared Chinese seafood, meat and poultry dishes, visit or call J.J. Garden and leave the cooking to them.