Having financially recovered from the winter holidays, we decided to review a place which is slightly more upscale. We hadn’t had any asian food in a while, so after a quick look on Google Maps, we decided on China Garden. This restaurant is not located in the centre of Geneva, however it is still easily accessible by bus or tram from Cornavin. We were eager to taste some authentic Chinese food.
This restaurant is located inside a shopping centre near the Hotel Intercontinental and can be easily accessed from Cornavin by taking the bus 5 or 8, which takes about 15 minutes. The facade of the restaurant is nothing special and may be easily missed, however, the interior is relatively modern and tastefully decorated with some Chinese artefacts and paintings. The dining area also features a large window, which lets plenty of natural light into the restaurant, which really brightens it up on a sunny day, although it may get quite hot in the summer months.
Seb: “I started off with two Nems, or Vietnamese spring roll. They had a pork and vegetable filling and came with a sort of spicy vinegar dipping sauce and some salad leaves. The outside of the rolls was very crisp and flakey, and the stuffing was very tasty and quite light overall. Dousing them in the vinegar brought out some more complex flavours in the dish and added some welcome heat. I consider this to be the perfect starter, as it fills you just enough to make you hungrier for the rest of the meal. For my main course, I ordered the Crispy Duck with white rice. As I bit into the duck, I was surprised by how tender it was; the meat was cooked to perfection and nearly melted in your mouth, whilst the skin added a deliciously crispy texture. This dish came with a mysterious dark sauce, which I believe to be made with fermented plums, which, when spooned over the duck, added a rich, sweet and smoky flavour. Their fantastic fermented chilli sauce is also available, and when I combined both these sauces, the duck, and the rice together, it created an amalgamation of different flavour profiles, all complementing each other to create one of the best dishes I have ever had. Once I finished my duck, I tried some of my friend’s Crispy Prawns with Chinese Spices, and they too were moreish, especially with some of the chilli sauce added on top of them. After this meal, I was way too full for dessert, which goes to show that the portions in the restaurant are quite generous. Although the prices are on the higher side, the food offered in this establishment is well worth the money, and the staff is also very friendly and welcoming, which is why I give it a final rating of 10/10. Highly recommended.”
Samuel: “I ordered the vegetable spring roll as starters and the sizzling Mongolian chicken with steamed rice. When the spring roll arrived, I was surprised by how they served it, since I got one single very large spring roll instead of 2 or 3 smaller ones. As I first bit into it, I found it to be very hot, though after it cooled down I found there to be a nice selection of vegetables within it, which all tasted great together. Along with their signature spicy sauce, I found that it was a great starter for my main meal. Then, for the main course, the sizzling Mongolian chicken arrived on a hot stone, which created a bit of a scene, dispersing a delicious aroma into the air around us; it was a delicious looking meal of beautifully cooked portions of chicken, with an assortment of vegetables on the side. Then, after having prepared my plate with chicken, rice, and a wealthy amount of spicy sauce, I gave it a taste. The combination of the perfectly seasoned chicken and the additional heat from the sauce made a very flavourful and satisfying meal. Besides the food itself, the price is in the higher range, but is understandable for what they provide. Along with the friendly service, I would rate this restaurant a 9.5/10.”
Zak: “Served on a platter of lettuce and carrot, and paired with a thin mustard sauce, the six plentiful “grilled beef dumplings” were the first to come. The texture of the meat was beautifully rendered, and the thin cuts of onion inside highlighted the dish’s strong flavour. This aspect was only improved by the thin slices of dough that covered the meat, which had a faint, but noticeable roast, savouring the dish and making it just that bit more well-rounded. I found them to taste best paired with slight cuts of the salad and some soy sauce since I found the mustard sauce too sweet for the dish. Moving onto my main course, I enjoyed a decently-sized portion of the “spicy duck”. The meat was very tender and came covered in a sweet and spicy sauce, accompanied by pepper and lentil slices that settled the sweetness and spiciness together into a nice mellow blend. This main course almost quelled my hunger, but I still had the “crispy prawns with Chinese spices” to go, which came in a very large and price-appropriate serving. Once again served on a lettuce leaf, I found myself enjoying the harmony with which the dishes were built. Among it sat thick, crispy prawns, cooked to perfection and adorned with spicy and salty spices that made my taste-buds bloom. Surprisingly, I found that the mustard sauce from my starter worked best with the prawns since it made up for their lack of sweetness, producing a wonderful dish. Overall, although the prices were decently high, with the food being excellent and adequately priced, the restaurant serene and quiet, and the server fast and quick to respond, I genuinely find it difficult to rate it anything other than a 10/10.
All in all, we were extremely impressed with the food offered at China Garden. It is our highest-rated restaurant to date, and one that will be extremely hard to beat. The only downside that we could think of is that it is located in an area which most people would not go to, but it is still easily accessible via public transport. If you want some delicious, authentic Chinese food, look no further than this restaurant, it really is fantastic.
Av. De-Budé 15, 1202 Genève
- Samuel, Seb & Zakhar