Located in a small shopping centre on Old Perth Road, Bassendean, North Garden turns out consistently good food. The decor is typical of a suburban Chinese restaurant, and nothing to excite, but the friendly and welcoming staff, headed by owner Joanne, and simple, tasty food are more than enough to precipitate repeat visits.
Lady FWO and I ventured down that way a few evenings ago and she settled in while I went off to the nearby BWS to pick up a bottle of wine to accompany our meal. North Garden is unlicensed but wine glasses were promptly brought out and we examined the menu.
We were quite hungry that night so decided on one entree and three mains. As a starter we went for deep fried vegetarian spring rolls; followed by Chilli prawns; Singapore beef; and Satay seafood, together with a small bowl of steamed rice.
The four spring rolls were crispy and filled with a mixture of vegetables, nicely cooked, still moist and full of flavour. The dipping sauce – a mild, sweetish chilli – complemented the rolls nicely.
Spring rolls are a fixture in most Chinese restaurants and these were certainly of good quality, and a cut above some we have tried.
The Chilli prawns – shelled Kings – were well cooked, still firm to the bite, with flecks of chilli flakes scattered throughout and the accompanying vegetables were crunchy and fresh. I ordered extra chilli on the side – Lady FWO not having my tolerance for chilli – and these gave a little more zing, but even without that the dish was nicely spiced, and well put together.
The Singapore beef was extremely tender and piled high on the serving plate. It was was full of meaty, juicy flavours, well integrated spices, and altogether was a delicious, robust and zesty plate of food.
Our final dish, the satay, was not quite as successful. The sauce was quite thin, a little watery in fact, and lacked the rich peanut flavours we were expecting; the spices seemed a little raw. The seafood itself was well cooked, tender, juicy and fresh, but the satay spices did not meet our expectations and this let the dish down.
North Garden is a popular little neighbourhood restaurant which turns out well cooked food; the staff are friendly and engaging. We like it; it is well worth a visit and we will continue to return.