• Rose Garden

435 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne 3000
03 9329 1560

Every time I walk past Rose Garden, I see its tables full.  Others wait on the footpath for takeaway.  Crowded, hectic and Chinese – Rose Garden is the authentic experience.

There is a complete menu, but the dishes are also printed on brightly coloured A4 sheets stuck to the walls.  Note the tacky clip art pictures: a happy pig for pork dishes, a smiling broccoli for vegetables, and random ones too thanks to the limitations of the clip art library.

Despite having been to Rose Garden many times, I nearly always order the same dish: eggplant with tofu and rice noodles.  It is not that they don’t have vegetarian choices.  They have many.  Stir-fried vegetables, rice with vegetables, eggplant and tofu with rice – there is even a vegetarian section on the menu.  It is more that I cannot resist the combination of some of my favourite ingredients in a slippery, tasty ensemble.

The thick rice noodles are wok fried with a charcoal flavour.  The eggplant and tofu are soft and enjoyable.  The flavours are subtle.  Lots of chilli oil cannot go astray.  They are generous with the ‘soong’ so that the dish is a nice balance of noodle and topping.

Tables are often packed at meal times, but the food comes out quickly and the vibe hurries the eaters along.  Otherwise, take-away can be a good option.

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