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Empress Garden Restaurant

4 star rating 32 reviews

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09 3765550

227 Jervois Road, Herne Bay, Auckland

12 Noon to 2:30 PM, 5:30 PM to 10 PM


Reviews for Empress Garden Restaurant

4 star rating
by Hazz R
one month ago

The best place in Auckland for Peking Duck, in my opinion. It's better to go with a bigger group to take advantage of the 3 courses offered, although the duck and pancakes is a treat by itself. The other menu items are great tasting and well worth eating if you don't like duck, so it's not a wasted night out.

5 star rating
by Vi Linh Hoang
2 months ago

I've been here twice and every time I left with a happy stomach ☺️ I think this place is the definition of Chinese finest cuisine, comfort food yet elegant presentation. Their pecking duck 2-3 courses option is a MUST TRY! ❀️ The dishes are all super tasty and surprisingly not very oily like I think they would be. Other than the pecking duck, I have tried BBQ pork fried rice, stir fried pak choy and chicken corn soup. No regrets there! 😊 This place is located in a residential neighbourhood so there are plenty of parkings around. Also, both times I visits there were no need for reservation, which is unexpected for a quality restaurant like this, awesome! As for prices, 20-30$ per person is reasonable to me given the portion and quality of the food 😊 I would definitely come back often ^.^

4 star rating
by Sheena
2 months ago

I was taken here for a surprise on my birthday! The dishes were all ordered by my two friends but we had two courses of Peking duck, the normal wraps and the lettuce wraps, a plate of vegetables and a plate of beef noodles.

We were greeted as we walked in the door, but my friends had made a reservation so we had a table straight away. The restaurant got quite busy nearing peak dinner time though!
The Peking duck was delicious and I had so many wraps to myself! (I'M NOT COMPLAINING HAHA). The chef even brought out the duck to show us beforehand!
The noodles were slightly oilier than I would've liked but they were still nice. The vegetable plate was good too.

Definitely coming back for more Peking duck!

5 star rating
by Ronald Tan
4 months ago

One of the best Peking duck you can find in New Zealand. Nice and cosy place, the service was great. The other dishes on the menu are pretty basic. The Peking duck is a real good deal.

4 star rating
by Vitale Eti
4 months ago

We went tonight and luckily found parking straight away, EGR was packed so we decided to order take out instead, the staff were whizzing around like fireflies and our food was made pretty promptly. We ordered steamed pork balls, barbecue pork buns and the barbecue pork fried noodles. Very, very tasty, can't wait to go back for lunch to try the Peking duck.

5 star rating
by Kerry Kirwan
5 months ago

Very tasty Chinese food with a huge menu to choose from.  I was part of a group of 9 and there was no problem with delays in getting our food.  Every dish was very good - the seafood with combination vegetables even came in an edible basket.  Noisy and very busy, not the place for a romantic evening but perfect for a family get-together.

5 star rating
by Lauren
5 months ago

I have been here countless times over the years and can happily say that this is my one of my all time favourite restaurants. The staff are incredibly friendly and no matter how busy it is, the food always comes out relatively fast. Whenever I come here I always order the Peking duck and it never disappoints. The pieces of meat are a generous size and will leave no one hungry.

5 star rating
by Mu
6 months ago

Best duck soup ever tasted in Auckland!!! The milky color and fresh taste can tell you they really do some work about it. The sauce with duck is plum sauce, not like Beijing style but much fresher tho :3

4 star rating
by Frank
7 months ago

A long standing icon in Herne Bay, this Chinese restaurant (only one in the Herne?) looks like it has been there for decades, with its olde world charm..Somewhat out of the way, but still manages to attract a good clientele. Is most famous for having the best Peking Duck in Auckland, not sure if that is still the case, although the people next to us ordered it :-) They did brush with the ratings agency briefly, but seems like they have no problem attracting Asian customers which is a good sign. Our quick meal was tasty, service great and their menu varied so will be back!

4 star rating
by Katie Kiley
7 months ago

I am seriously addicted to the Steam Pork Dumplings. Also I would never go anywhere else for Peking Duck. Dine in or takeout, the food is so tasty.

4 star rating
by Delyce
7 months ago

By far my favourite place in Auckland for peking duck! Empress Garden offer different peking duck courses and bring out the duck to show you. The dishes are scrumptious and more then filling. We often order side dishes which means we generally don't end up finishing. I love the peking ducks wraps the most and highly recommend them. A great place for dinners with friends and family

4 star rating
by Geve Narielwalla
11 months ago

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.

1 star rating
by Ron Redel
11 months 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.

4 star rating
by Daniel Hu
Nov 24, 2014

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.

4 star rating
by SH Kim
Oct 10, 2014

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.

4 star rating
by Dining Enthusiast
Sep 07, 2014

The place to go in Auckland for Peking duck.

Grab a bunch of friends, pre-order your Peking duck, turn up and enjoy. Easy.

5 star rating
by Manic Diner
Aug 26, 2014

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.

4 star rating
by Kevin Kantono
Aug 05, 2014

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.

4 star rating
by Mrs. Passionfruit
May 22, 2014

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.

0 star rating
by Denys McEneaney
Apr 05, 2014

Fabulous place amazing Peking duck!

5 star rating
by Tony Ma
Jan 07, 2014


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!

Service: 5/5
Wait time: 4/5
Environment: 3/5
Food Quality: 5/5
Food Quantity: 5/5
Price range: $30+ pp

4 star rating
by Keith
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.

5 star rating
by Gus
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

4 star rating
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.

4 star rating
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.

5 star rating
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.

5 star rating
by Orca1
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.

3 star rating
by David
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.

3 star rating
by Lillian
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!

5 star rating
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.

4 star rating
by MistressOfSpices
Sep 10, 2010

The Pecking Duck is A DEF MUST TRY :-)

3 star rating
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.