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Garden-fresh Asean fusion

June 2009

The entranceway to Asean Garden is a large, sunny, stone terrace. As you enter there are comfy booths to the left and a bar that stretches the length of the restaurant to your right. At the back, there is a colourful fish tank (the contents are not for eating) and the kitchen, open to viewing. The owner greeted us immediately and led us to a table at the centre of the restaurant.

Asean Garden offers three different menus and options. The lunch special includes soup, a spring roll and rice and starts at $7.25; the all-you-can-eat option is $22.95 Sunday through Thursday and $25.95 Friday and Saturday. This is not your buffet style. You order from the menu and choose from sushi, Thai, Chinese, dim sum and Szechuan dishes. Of course, you can also order à la carte; main dishes start at $11.

The chef has 20 years of experience, which is evident in the taste. Everything is fresh, from the sushi to ever ything in the all-you-can-eat choices. The owner told us the fish is never frozen. Chicken dishes are made from all white meat jumbo chicken breasts.

Upstairs, a large dining area for parties and catering seats up to 85.

We got the royal treatment. We sampled a variety of dishes from the all-you-can-eat option. First came rainbow and veggie maki. The presentation was beautiful with the wasabi sculpted into the shape of a leaf, soy sauce in teapot-shaped dish, and the rolls arranged in a circle with lettuce adornments. The chilled, just-prepared sushi was excellent. It was served with the good kind of chopsticks that don’t break apart and splinter in your hand.

Next came the salt and pepper squid. It was a little bit spicy, but not excessively so and arrived garnished with red and green peppers and onions. The squid was breaded and not too salty.

The last dish we tried was the Pad Thai, served with jumbo shrimp, lime, nuts and tofu. It was hearty and the sauce was thick.

Asean Garden is located at 5828 Sherbrooke W., corner Regent, in NDG. The restaurant delivers to Montreal West, NDG, Hampstead and downtown. Open daily from 11am to 2:30pm and from 5 to 11pm Thursday to Saturday; 5 to 10pm Sunday to Wednesday. Info: 514-487-8868



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