Reviews for Empress Garden Restaurant
by Geve Narielwalla
Except for the difficulty getting parking and the fact the place is more a stand alone old world charm house, what I liked most about this place is the most cheery hostess one can expect. The food is typically Chinese and the other reviews about a great Beijing duck are quite right.. maybe less use of soya sauce.
by Ron Redel
7 days ago
We have been to this restaurant about 5 times and sadly it just keeps getting worse.
It is over priced and the dishes just seem to be strange.
The duck and pancakes which costs 40.00 for a half half duck is basically a plate of fat, they give you lots of pancakes but only enough bits ie cucumber and onion for about 4 pancakes and if you ask for more they charge you!
The Char sui pork is something very different served on a bed of peanuts and swimming in oil!
Everything came in its own sweet time so that our vegetable dish came at the end of our meal.
I think the food is really overrated and over priced.
A real shame.
by Daniel Hu
26 days ago
Great place for Beijing Duck. Legitimate Beijingnese Duck. Definitely also try the Duck soup after, Other dishes are also quite nice and authentic. One of the best Beijing duck restaurants in Auckland.
by SH Kim
2 months ago
Empress Garden is excellent and a great place for a big group.The Peking duck is the most great food there, then you must try and feel the real peking duck taste! Super delicious!Prices are quite reasonable, but unfortunately, there was an extra charge for spring onion dish. Normally the whole Spring onion in New World, or any other shops sell it for $1-$2.50. However, some small pieces (like 13 small pieces that you can even actually count its numbers) of Spring onions in small dish like small tea cup charges you extra $6. This is the most unreasonable in the restaurant. Except the Spring onions, it is the best restaurant serving you with the best taste of great Asian food.
by Dining Enthusiast
3 months ago
The place to go in Auckland for Peking duck.
Grab a bunch of friends, pre-order your Peking duck, turn up and enjoy. Easy.
by Manic Diner
3 months ago
Whenever there's a special celebration to be had, our family head over to Empress Garden for their AHHH-MAZING peking duck. These guys know how to prepare a delicious duck. It is without a doubt a must order on their menu. We usually skip breakfast and go all out at this restaurant and order other items on the menu like their stewed whole blue cod fish, minced pork with lettuce, steamed pork dumplings, sesame pockets with duck, beef fried noodles to name a few. They get pretty busy yet I still find their service pretty timely and efficient. A great restaurant for big groups.
by Kevin Kantono
4 months ago
Nice setting and food. Excellent service. Had 2 course Peking duck menu, provided with the duck skin and pancake, with the duck meat cooked with shanghai noodle. And had salt pepper fish (was too salty), long bean with olives, and fried rice. The rest of the menu is fine. It was 5 person dining, with 5 course and spent 130nzd, which is ok for the price I suppose.
by Mrs. Passionfruit
7 months ago
Empress Garden is excellent when you're in big groups--even really big groups (imagine two circle rotating tables combined into one). The staff is very accommodating although some of them speak little English; but fast service wins! It's no date spot though; it's very loud and noisy with possible kids and babies around and dim yellow lighting that makes it a pain for no-flash photography. I reckon this is a popular spot for Asian families big gathering!
The food is excellent, in big sharing portions and good value for your money. Their peking duck is a must order; juicy and tender with crispy skin. Their deep fried duck carcass is delicious; it goes well with your drinks. It's also BYO here--more reason to come with your buddies! Order lots of dishes and have fun sharing with the rotating table; something that brings me back to my childhood family gathering dinner in Asia.
by Auckland Based Critic
11 months ago
PEKING DUCK PEKING DUCK PEKING DUCK
If you order anything else and not order a PEKING DUCK then I will personally give you 1 star out of 5!
Pre-book your seats, order your duck, make them cook it the way you like it and eat up!
Great to take a Cantonese girl out on a date!
Wait time: 4/5
Food Quality: 5/5
Food Quantity: 5/5
Price range: $30+ pp
by Keith Beh
May 23, 2013
We went here for a family dinner on a Saturday night and the place was very busy so be sure to book and order your Peking duck in advance. The Peking duck was absolutely delightful although I am told that the skin should really be wafer thin to qualify as the best Peking duck.
We had the 3 courses - the duck in pancakes, the duck with noodles and the duck carcass deep fried spicy. The pancakes were very appetising and we got quite a few wraps each amongst the 5 of us. The noodles were a bit oily but not bad. The deep fried carcass was tasty but I would suggest ordering the soup instead.
We ordered spicy chicken but it turned out to be like sweet and sour which none of us are fond of. Well sized portions and we spent about $110 for the 5 of us for dinner (no drinks ordered).
Service was pretty good for a Chinese restaurant. The place is really neat as it was an old house so has a nice homely atmosphere. Looks like it would have been stunning 10 years ago but the decor is fairly tired by now. Dining is split into 2 rooms so probably not suitable for large functions but perfect for family gatherings, birthdays etc.
As a side note, we were charged $3 for fresh chillis which is quite a hefty charge compared to other Chinese restaurants that don't charge or charge $1. There was nothing special about the chillis and although we requested it and we weren't told about the charge before ordering it.
Mar 15, 2013
The service is sketchy, the rest of the dishes on the menu are decent without hitting a high note. But go for the duck, it is glorious. Empress Garden have the best Peking Duck first course in Auckland, and the sang choi bao are also excellent
by Whitecat X
Feb 23, 2013
Actually a little better than very good. I've ever tried Peking Duck in Beijing, Shang Hai and Hong Kong. Comparing with them Empress Garden serves not enough for those authentic Peking Duck but I still support them with their good $ performance, attentive service, and their generous BYO acceptance. You should go with a group of more than four people to enjoy their food. Don't forget your own wine bottle (a little corkage fee) and order the two course dinner(Peking duck, stir-fried duck w/veges) and fried rice to finish up.
You'll get 100% satisfied and surprised to see the reasonable charge.
by Jerry Hart
Oct 16, 2012
Had a wonderful evening - shared a number of dishes. Tasty and fresh. Restaurant was busy but did not mind waiting a bit.
Enjoyed the vegetarian options. Will return.
by Michelle Lee-Brown
Jul 08, 2012
Visited this fantastic restaurant for the second time this evening. The Peking Duck is delicious and great value! The service is excellent as well. Will definitely be back! We had kids with us this time and they loved it too.
by Orca1 K.
Jun 27, 2012
This is my family restaurant where we have celebrated many, many G8 occasions be it with family or overseas whanua. Where everybody has raved bout the Peking Duck & other superb dishes, not to mention the awesum service by the Staff. So somewhat blown away by by David's & another reader Claire's comments - the Peking duck is literally to die for! So tender, melts in your mouth, the fresh cucumber slices & finely shredded spring onions alongside pancakes complements the whole dish superbly :)
If the Empress Garden Peking Duck wasn't to rave for - the North & South magz wouldnt have it as TOP 10 restaurant conservative yrs running, David.
Yes, the restaurant runs a roaring trade & can get extremely busy at times, where waitress do get harried & orders may be slightly delayed, chinese tea may be slopped onto table without intent. BUT we have never experienced a routine of- come, gobble your food, go" kind of service.... Perhaps Claire, instead of rubbishing a restaurant on website... take it up with Management first? Because I don't think Empress Garden would be in business if their offered the kind of experience u mentioned on a daily basis. AND this restaurant has survived the nz market incl. Recession & their have been around for a very long time.
Apr 27, 2012
This restaurant is known for its peking duck but I find their duck pretty average and too expensive. There are a number of chinese restaurant that serve better peking duck and charge nearly half that price. The environment and service was good though. The other dishes were above average though.
Aug 22, 2011
came here especially for the peking duck and it did not disappoint. We chose the peking duck 2 ways - first course is the compulsory with pancake and 2nd course we chose fried with Shanghai Noodle. SUPER YUMMY. We also ordered some fried dumplings but they were disappointing being soggy on top... Good atmosphere Chinese restaurant - go for the duck for sure!
by Wayne Bevins
Aug 08, 2011
Had many recommendations to go to this restaurant to try their Peking Duck. My partner and I went there for lunch yesterday and found the Peking Duck and the service to be outstanding. We had the two course Peking Duck menu and it was absolutely delicious. Absolutely fantastic value at $70.00 and Christine who waited on us was very pleasant and friendly. We will definitely be back to try more of the menu.
Sep 10, 2010
The Pecking Duck is A DEF MUST TRY :-)
by Claire Bergquist
Mar 20, 2010
This has been one of our favorite restaurants for years however having to pre order things like duck is now not really necessary so it is irritating that you have to do this to get the great duck!
But the one thing that has really put us off this restaurant is the sittings you must be there at a set time and leave by a set time, this make money for the owners but doesn't give a good dining out experience so do take aways best option, no hurrying or feeling like you are inconveniencing the staff by eating to slowly, get the food and enjoy at your pace at your place.
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