Oriental Garden Chinese Restaurant Lunch Review: Delicious East Asian Cuisine in Northampton now Includes Dim Sum

Newly refurbished Oriental Garden Chinese Restaurant in Northampton is a favourite spot for lovers of dim sum – the quintessential Chinese lunch. Dim Sum is a Chinese style of eating where three or four portions are served in steam baskets, best enjoyed with warm Chinese tea. Customers come in groups to share this lunch, communal-style. Oriental Garden Chinese Restaurant, which used to be Dragon Inn, now offers dim sum on their lunch menu. Plenty of Chinese customers visit this restaurant, which is a sure sign that Oriental Garden Chinese Restaurant is serving great authentic Asian cuisine.

Elegant Ambience & Friendly Service

This renovated Chinese restaurant has a spacious and elegant appearance. With large airy windows and dragon decorations along the wall, Oriental Garden Chinese Restaurant looks just like the kind of restaurant found in Asia, with food that is similarly authentic. Their service is faultless. Quick service is given even during busy hours, and their waiters are always friendly and warm.

Right Sized Portions of Dim Sum

Traditionally dim sum is served on carts pushed by waiters, but this is not practised in the West. To order dim sum at Oriental Garden Chinese Restaurant, customers fill out a form with quantities required, helped by a menu with photos of each dim sum dish. As each dish is served, its name is struck off the form. The great thing about dim sum here is they come in portions that are just right. A bowl of congee (or ‘jook’) is neither too much nor too little. The Cheung Fun (rice noodle rolls) are plentiful enough. Oriental Garden Chinese Restaurant’s ingredients are mostly sourced locally, and freshly prepared daily onsite. Each dish costs between £2.20 and £3.50, which works out to a very affordable Chinese restaurant meal at lunchtime.

Dim Sum with a Twist

Chef Master Lai likes experimenting with new ideas, which explains some unusual dim sum dishes. Special Cheung Fun dishes include Enoki & Scallop Cheung Fun, Fried Dough Cheung Fun and Vietnamese Cheung Fun. Vietnamese Cheung Fun comes with minced pork and mushroom, complete with light sauce. Other interesting dim sum dishes include Steamed Mini Glutinous Rice Rolls and Beef Honeycomb & Pork Crackling in Satay Sauce. Chinese customers may be big on Chicken Claws in Wine Sauce, Ox Tripe with Ginger & Spring Onion and Beef Stomach in Satay Sauce but these exotic ingredients will probably elude Western customers. English customers are best sticking to tried and true dim sum like ‘Har Kau’ Prawn Dumplings, Egg Tarts and Roast Pork ‘Char Siu’ Buns. Dim sum dishes served here are warm and exquisite to the palate.

Crispy Belly Pork & other Lunch Options

Besides dim sum, Oriental Garden Chinese Restaurant also has a great lunchtime menu. The Crispy Belly Pork with Steamed Rice is recommended – the pork is beautifully turned out, with a scrumptious yet tender roasted skin. This is a gorgeous dish difficult to find in England, even in London. Roast Chef Jin Hai Su has specialised in cooking Chinese roasts for more than 15 years, which shows in these dishes. Customers with a good appetite may like Two or Three Mixed Meats with Rice or Noodles. Other tasty lunchtime favourites are ‘Ho Fun’ or Fried Crispy Noodles with Mixed Meats, Soya Sauce Chicken and Roast Duck with Steamed Rice. This restaurant also caters to events. Customers must remember that certain dinner dishes, like Suckling Pig (a Chinese favourite for celebrations) must be ordered well beforehand. Oriental Garden Chinese Restaurant is open daily from noon-11.30pm and 11.30am-10.30pm on Sundays. There is free parking at Park Inn Hotel from 5pm.