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Mings Garden Chinese Restaurant – Deptford, NJ

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A consistent, safe choice for predictable fare

Ming’s Garden Chinese Restaurant
Deptford, NJ
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Meal: Dinner / Weekday / 7pm
Price: $16.75 (Pickup – For Two – No Tip)

If you’re finding it hard to locate a reliable Chinese food purveyor in the Deptford area, Ming’s Garden should end your search. Over the last three years, Ming’s has been solid in my restaurant ‘rotation’ (everbody has one, and that’s why you need Chewru to broaden your horizons!) and was a favorite of my best friend Mike, who we tragically lost last year. While Mike and I loved to grab ‘Ming Gahh’den’ as one of our preferred spots, in retrospect I think I enjoyed the company much more than the food. That’s not to take anything away from Ming’s, but after visiting some new Chinese dine-in and take-out restaurants over the last year, Ming’s has indeed slipped a few spots against its peers.

Ming’s is located in a strip mall not very far from the massive Deptford Mall complex. It’s not difficult to find (you can get there several ways), but like a lot of smaller Chinese places it’s really geared towards takeout-only. There are a few wrought-iron-like tables to sit at, but it’s not suitable for a group and if you’re close enough to go there to get takeout, you might as well just go home and be more comfortable. On this particular occasion, we ordered quarts of chicken and broccoli and general tso’s tofu, along with a pizza roll (because Autumn doesn’t like egg rolls) and two egg rolls that come free for spending $15 or more. The soft-speaking owner notified us it would be ready in ten minutes, and when we walked in the door it was indeed waiting for us. For those with mobility issues, Ming’s offers free deliveries on orders over $10.

The rub on Ming’s, as far as Mike and I were concerned, was that they had real trouble packing everything up. On numerous occasions, we’ve had leaks and spills of various magnitudes. Lids popping off, bags dripping with sauce — yikes! Thankfully, our most recent visit had no problems and everything looked secure. The jury remains out on whether this will be consistent practice from now on, but we’re optimistic. As far as the food goes, everything was pretty good. The general tso’s tofu was dripping with a medium-weight (not too thick, not watery) sauce which was pretty good. The tofu could have been pan fried a little longer but I still very much enjoyed it. I want to note that the tofu they serve is the extra firm variety, unlike some that use the softer type that just doesnt work for me. The chicken and broccoli was good, not amazing, and benefited from some ground pepper. The pizza roll was a larger version of what you’d get from tottino’s in the supermarket, and the egg rolls, while good, were wrapped pretty loosely and didnt seem fried as long as they needed to be in my preference. The included white rice (no brown rice is available) was cooked well and of ample quantity to service both of our meals.

We love the free egg rolls at a very easy-to-reach $15 sales target, and like most Chinese places the entrees are more than large enough for one or two meals. With one egg roll already down, I couldn’t finish more than half of the tofu and rice, and Autumn managed even less of her chicken (which I ate for lunch the next day). At about $7 and $8 respectively, the entrees seemed fairly priced. Some of the the seafood dishes seem a bit pricey though, notably the ‘Seven Stars Around the Moon’ which clocks in at over $18 (for a quart!).

Pros:

– Very consistent taste each time around
– 2 free egg rolls after just $15 (which is really two standard entrees)
– Polite store staff
– Fast order pickup
– Free delivery over $10
– One of Mike’s favorites

Cons:

– No brown rice
– Packing can be dicey
– Sit-down area is really for show
– Middle of the road quality
– Seafood dishes can get expensive

Guru’s Score: 3.1 Chews
★★★☆☆
Subjective rating: It’ll keep your socks on, but still leave you full.

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Mings Garden Chinese Restaurant - Deptford, NJ, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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