The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

Asian Garden, a new Shorewood restaurant

The exterior of Asian Garden is a small, unassuming brick building on the corner of Oakland and Menlo, hiding an interior that appears far more spacious. We were seated by a cheerful waitress who was quick to offer recommendations. Ambient music floated throughout the area, and the walls were carefully decorated with a variety of paintings of nature.

Asian Garden recently replaced East Garden, a Chinese restaurant in the same location. Instead of focusing solely on Chinese food, Asian Garden combines Thai and other Asian cuisines. On its website, Asian Garden boasts of its fresh ingredients, chef expertise, and unique dishes such as Pineapple Fried Rice. 

We sat at a deep wooden booth in warm lighting, and the waitress returned quickly to take our order. Except for the pad thai, the food arrived within 20 minutes, within the time the waitress estimated when we asked.

We shared an appetizer of vegetarian spring rolls. They were fresh, and the outer layer of rice paper held lettuce and carrots, among other vegetables, and clear rice noodles. They were served with a creamy peanut sauce. We also split a honeydew fruit tea. Asian Garden offered an assortment of drinks, including boba, fresh coconut water, and three different types of Naab Vaam, a Vietnamese dessert with coconut cream, tapioca, and cendol, which is a string-shaped, dark green jelly. They also offered a number of alcoholic drinks.

Sonia ordered the red curry, a traditionally Thai dish made of red curry paste, coconut milk, and traditional vegetables. A green variant is also available. Unfortunately, baby corn, Sonia’s least favorite food, was not listed as an ingredient on the menu but showed up in the curry in large amounts. Besides that mishap, the rest of the curry was delicious– the Thai eggplant, green peppers and mushrooms were tender and perfectly cooked, mixing well with the strong, flavorful broth. She ordered a spice level of three, which was sufficient. The portions were quite large, enough for another meal of leftovers! Like a friend who had eaten at the restaurant before had noted, the curries are very full-flavored. We recommend ordering curry when in the mood for a sensational experience.

Anita ordered the Pad See Ew, which contained flat, wild rice noodles with broccoli and eggs and mixed with what their menu called their “special sauce,” which was smooth, thin, and savory. It also included carrots and onions, although not listed on the menu. She ordered it with a spice level of one, and it fit the description perfectly, with hardly any spice but still a noticeable amount. However, that was to be expected, as there were five spice levels. The noodles were a smooth texture and the broccoli was a burst of flavor when she ate it. Again, we ended up taking much of it home due to the plentiful portions. 

Asian Garden claims that it has the best pad thai in the Shorewood area. It may just have the only pad thai in the Shorewood area, but it earned the title of best pad thai we had eaten — it was delicious, especially when we spritzed lime juice on it while eating leftovers. We ordered a spice level of 1, which was very mild. The pad thai came with a sweet and savory sauce, along with scattered, crushed peanuts and fresh bean sprouts.

Overall, Asian Garden is a solid pick for your next night out. Their biggest weakness was the unclear menu, which didn’t list all of the ingredients that were within the dish (baby corn!!!!). However, its dishes offered a delicious experience, and we would recommend the restaurant.