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Oriental Gardens (Closed)
1225 Griffin Ave.
Enumclaw, WA

Cost: $$ 20 Chinese Tea: Oolong (brewed) house
MSG: Yes
Szechuan Delight:
Hot and Sour Soup:
11-Jun-06 1
Oriental Gardens is the type of Chinese restaurant that could just as easily have been popular in the 1950's as today. The menu and the interior décor look as if they have been intact for several decades, with the exception of the prices. Normally this type of Chinese restaurant should be avoided at all costs, but fortunately Oriental Gardens has some things going for it that make it much better than would be expected for this type of restaurant.

The main thing Oriental Gardens has going for it seems to be the cook, who is recognized as one of the best in Enumclaw. I have been told that even his American dishes are better than at many of the other restaurants in town, with the fried chicken being the most well known.

The Szechuan Delight was recommended to me as a way to combine tofu and one of the chef's best sauces. It also comes with sliced pork and chicken, but not in such large quantities that it changes the flavor as a tofu dish. I enjoyed the sauce quite a bit, and was surprised it was so spicy after sampling some of the dumbed-down "Mexican" food in town over the years.

The food here is not very cutting-edge, but I thought it was good and is not limited to Cantonese as is the case with many 1950's style Chinese restaurants. I suspect the Cantonese food served at Oriental Gardens is quite good, though, based on the sampling I have tried.

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