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China Garden

/ Updated on September 5, 2015

Up to now, I have avoided writing about the small Chinese carryouts here in the Cape Region. No real reason, other than the fact that I hadn't tried them all. But many of the emails I receive about China Garden in the Villages of Five Points are positive, so why not. Is this fine-dining Chinese? Of course not. I call it neighborhood Chinese, and after three visits I have to agree that this neighborhood Chinese place is OK, though it certainly has its ups and downs.

In the appetizer department, we like the fried wontons; crunchy and meaty. They are served with the tasty sweet/sour sauce for dipping. The first time we ordered the BBQ ribs they were sticky, tender and meaty. The second time we ordered them they were tough and a few were freezer-burned. So we are not sure of the consistency there. However, the roast pork fried rice has been perfect every time. The egg rolls are the standard neighborhood Chinese food egg rolls, and I happen to like that variety – especially with the particularly spicy hot mustard they offer. The shrimp toast has been lightly crunchy and flavorful every time we have ordered it.

Egg foo young is definitely a neighborhood Chinese staple. If you like it, you will very much like China Garden's. (If you do takeout, give the gravy about 10 seconds in the microwave to loosen it up before using it. As with all gravies, it loses its appeal when it cools.) The sweet & sour dishes and the lemon dishes all use the same well-fried chunks of meat (we usually get the chicken), and one of the stars of the show at China Garden is the lemon sauce that accompanies the lemon chicken. They wisely serve it on the side so it doesn't get the meat soggy, and it is richly flavorful with an almost vanilla-like sweet lemon kick.

Sadly I can't say the same about the kung pao chicken. Though I ordered it “extra spicy” (at Confucius in Rehoboth that request would take your head off – a good thing…), it was virtually without taste. Beautifully presented, by the way, with little corns-on-the-cob and crispy water chestnuts, but pleasing only to the eye. I want to go back and get some of the Szechuan preparations; maybe they have more personality. (Note that I am NOT comparing China Garden and Confucius in Rehoboth. They are two completely different types of restaurants at two completely different price points. I am only referring to the request for more spice.)

My recommendation is to use China Garden primarily for takeout. They have it down to a system, and though my new friend Harry P. (a China Garden takeout regular) says that there are occasional mixups, the orders are put together quickly and packaged very well. Both times we ordered takeout it was perfect. On the other hand, the sit-down service is well-meaning, but clumsy and confused. Dishes come out of the kitchen in no particular order; for example, on our last visit there were only 2 deuces (that's 4 people) seated in the entire restaurant and the polite but harried-for-no-apparent-reason server managed to mix up all our meals – to the point of setting them down in front of the wrong person, then scampering back to retrieve them and then redeposit them in front of the correct recipient. Definitely a no-no! Technically the dish should be taken back to the kitchen and remade, but a quick look at the original recipient of my entree revealed no obvious physical maladies, so we chose to find the whole thing charming. And I'm still alive to tell you about it.

One very positive aspect of China Garden is that they offer just about every dish in whole or half portions. Fun for ordering lots of stuff and sharing. And that extends to the dine-in experience also. Take a look at the gallery for some of their dishes. China Garden offers almost 200 single dishes, combination platters, chef's specials and lunch combos. And all the required neighborhood Chinese dishes are there: the sweet & sours; the egg foo youngs; the lo meins; Szechuan platters; pork, chicken and seafood. Even dim sum bites, chow meins and the very American chop sueys.

China Garden is located in the Food Lion Shopping Center at the Villages of Five Points in Lewes. They are open 7 days: M-Thu. 11-10, Fri. & Sat. 11-11 and Sunday noon – 10. Call your order in at 302-645-6445 or 302-645-6591. Note that the “service” rating is for dine-in only. The service rating for carryout is 5 STARS.

Price range: inexpensive (L., D.)

The Rehoboth Foodie

About the Author

"My goal is to promote Rehoboth Beach dining while remaining honest and impartial. I don’t gush unless a place deserves it, and I don’t pull punches, either. With so many good places to eat around here, it just doesn’t make sense to waste the calories — or the money — on anything less." View all articles written by The Rehoboth Foodie

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  1. Avatar Chris says:

    Just checked it out today and all I can say is… WOW! It’s definitely not a super fancy restaurant, but the food I was served looked really good, and tasted great too. I did the dine-in option, food came quickly. I’ll have to do a takeout next time. Thanks for posting this article!

  2. Avatar Roger says:

    first and foremost , We were going to order there and as we walked up all we could see was the dirty windows and unclean floor , that stopped us from even going in , So if is clean , eat all you wish , if it’s dirty , you better stay home

  3. Avatar Barbara says:

    I stop in here a lot. I order my food and run in the grocery store and by the time I’m done the food is all ready to go. It’s always just right, soups are good and portions generous. I have never eaten in. If they sold wine perhaps I would. Try the shrimp with lobster sauce or the chicken with cashews.

  4. Avatar Mei-Ling says:

    I’m sorry I have to disagree with the Foodie on this one. We have had a condo at Five Points for 10 years, and at first tried CG for a quick Friday night takeout when we rolled into town. The food was ok but always very greasy and boilerplate (Fujiang provence recipes that are standard across this country with 1 brown sauce and 1 red sauce). My fingers always swelled afterwards and I’ve gotten sick from the food. Very American and salty.
    We love Hing Wang on Kings Highway because they make their sauces to order, and leave out all MSG. Plus if you ask, they will prepare any dish to order, with reduced sodium and oil. The Mrs. makes her own authentic Chinese hot sauce, just like my mother did. She also grows her own vegetables for their dishes. It’s about as authentic Chinese takeout as you can get around here.

  5. Avatar Ronnie says:

    I’ve never cared for this Take-Out. The best I’ve had is in Milton, DE. If I’m going for Take-Out Sushi/Chinese I’m going to Taste Garden in Long Neck.

  6. Avatar Janet says:

    We’ve been down in lower slower Delaware for 9 years now… we’ve been all around from Milton to Rehoboth and Lewes for Chinese Food. We have found that China Garden is the only one that is consistent with their food quality. We have had quite a variety of their dishes, appetizers, and soups, their combination lunches and combination dinners. Their portions are large, even when you order a small order of something, they pack it in!!!! Their shrimp is always fresh and cooked perfectly in whatever dish you order and never has a funny taste or smell. The wontons in the soup are the soft dough kind, not that hard rigid dough like other establishments. Their special lo mein and special fried rice are the best, hands down!!! Their Singapore Chow Mei Fun is excellent!!! We have their take-out at least once a week. When I have leftover spare ribs I use them in my tomato sauce they season the sauce perfectly, and they are to die for!!!! I guess by now you can tell that we love everything they make!!! I wouldn’t hesitate to try anything on their menu!!!

  7. Avatar Robgreeneyes says:

    I have been driving the extra distance from Rehoboth to this place for some time now, for my periodic Chinese food fix. Everything has been good and quite reasonable. Friends I’ve told about are also in agreement. Now it will become too busy. Darn, my secret’s out now. LOL

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