Boston >Food & Dining > Empire Garden Restaurant
690 Washington St, Boston, MA | Directions 0211142.351301 -71.062754
Mon. - Sun. 8:30am - 10pm
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Central, Chinatown / Leather District, Chinatown
You can find better – Empire Garden was the first dim sum restaurant I went to in Boston, and many of my friends can say the same. You go there, you get a dim sum experience with neat-o ambiance, and you peace out, like with all dim sum restaurants. However, a lot of the dim sum fare is just plain... okay. It'll fill you up and the prices are comparable, but the variety is less likely to wow you unless you bring along a token Cantonese friend who will find you the rarer stuff.
In short, Empire Garden is great for large parties and the newbie dim summer, but if you want a more adventurous dim sum experience, I'd look elsewhere in Chinatown for it.
Great Dim Sum! – I went to Emperor's Garden (or Empire Garden - depending on which sign you read) this afternoon for my first ever Dim Sum experience. After reading some of the reviews on here beforehand I was a little nervous about what to expect. I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised. The actual restaurant was giant and beautiful in that old 50's extravagant sort of way. We were seated right away and the carts started going by immediately. We tried many different dishes but my favorites were the chinese brocoli, BBQ pork and a banana leaf stuffed with steamed rice and other yummy things! And as it is my motto to try everything once, I even tried a chickens foot!
All in all it was a great meal! We ate so much and when the bill came, we were all shocked to find out we only owed $10 a piece! Needless to say, I'm a newly born Dim Sum fan! Xie xie Emperor Garden!
one of the best – one of the ONLY two dim sum spots i would frequent in boston c-town area. decent dim sum, good rice/noodle dishes for sharing, large enough area to ensure seating in most cases. one can also take the time to reminisce the old days when this place was still a theater--they kept most of the interior decor.
Don't mind the smell... – So, I know what the other reviewer means. Walking up the stairs, I commented to my friends that it smelled like a mixture of basil and garbage, Nonetheless, when we walked into the theater, we were blown away. We were not expecting that. . . Anyway, once we got upstairs, we couldn't smell anything unpleasant anymore. The drinks were good and reasonably priced, and the food was your average, tasty Chinese fare. It made for a very pleasant evening, and we will be going back. Can't wait to try the dim-sum.
Fresh and authentic Chinese cuisine and dim sum, served in an old theater. – In Short
A diverse crowd (everyone from Asian families in from suburbia to hungry downtown couples) passes through a gleaming marble lobby into a cavernous dining room. Unusual menu offerings include bean curd skin rolls filled with a variety of ingredients, stewed tripe with hot green chiles and lobster har gow (pillows of rice flour dough filled with big chunks of shellfish). Service is not as frenetic as some other dim sum palaces.
Don't bother – The first thing you realize as you walk up the stairs to the old theatre to the restaurant is that the whole building stinks. Fish in garbage. That was almost enough to turn me and my friends away. However, I wanted to see the theatre design and figured we'd get use to the stench. We did manage to forget the stench a little, but overall the food was just not good enough to help us forget. While it's definitely a nice price and they had a good variety, it's just not worth the stink of fish in garbage while you eat. Nothing is, I've realized. I couldn't even appreciate the theatre decor cause I was so unimpressed by everything else.
Yum Yum Dim Sum – I have been to a few of the places around Chinatown for various types of meals. Honestly, the best places tend to be the hole in the wall types. That said, so far, Emperor Garden is my favorite of the Dim Sum category. This is no hole in the wall. It is a beautifully ornate building with a bustling crowd that is a great mix of people. In my experience, the staff speaks English well enough to understand what you're saying as long as you speak slowly. What I like best about the food is the variation of Dim Sum that they have to offer. There are lots of choices from the very traditional palate pleasers (steamed tripe) to the very american palate pleasers (shrimp or pork dumplings - also traditional but more palatable to american tastes). It's definitely worth the wait.
Dim sum in the old pagoda – Since dim sum is my religion on Sunday when it's not football season, I'm pleased that Boston offers a few good options. Emperor's Garden is one of them. Chau Chau City probably has the best food overall, but Emperor's Garden is in a converted old theater and is a really neat space. I'd probably avoid anything seafood based here, with the exception of shrimp dumplings, but everything else is safe. One odd thing is that service is kind of pushy. It almost seems like the ladies pushing the cart are incented to get you to take their dishes. They have the best silky tofu desserts of any of the dim sum houses. Also, get there early or be prepared to wait 15 or 20 minutes.
Great Dim Sum – Just moved up here from NY, and were surprised to find an improved Dim Sum scene here in Boston which has proven itself to be a wasteland of gastronomy in every other cuisine beyond baked beans. Everything at Emperer Garden was bigger, tastier and less grisly than NY. Actual meat- no tendons and fat in the dumplings! Also, mandarin-speaking servers helps.
Good place for dim sum – I went there after I saw citysearch's review. I wrote down what the editor recommended in English and ask them for those dim sum. We did have difficulties to translate those English names to Chinese, but the waitor, waitress and managers there tried their best to find out what exactly I wanted.
The food is good and cheap. I order five different kinds of dim sum for 12 bucks, and I warped what I left as next week's breakfast. The enviroment seems cleanner the one I used to go. Overall, it is a good palace to try. I like the Shanghai pork buns the most.
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