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“Good food - Great atmosphere - Average service” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Peking Garden

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Peking Garden
604 W Main St, Collinsville, IL 62234-3021
618-345-0804
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Ranked #30 of 72 restaurants in Collinsville
Cuisines: Chinese
Restaurant details
Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
“Good food - Great atmosphere - Average service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

In town for a visit and I realized it had been a long time since I visited Peking Garden - so long in fact, that I'd forgotten why I hadn't returned before.

After all it is such a charming presence, among the otherwise cookie-cutter, corporate restaurants in this town.

Deciding to stop in 'early' for dinner, I arrived about 515pm. The freshly painted, deep red, wide ramp and historic steps are a welcoming entrance, off Main Street in Downtown Collinsville.

The foyer leads the more curious to wander in further, as the decor is colorful, sparkling, and attractive. Think old of the extravagant Peking from exotic Mid Century movies: chandeliers, white linen tablecloths, bamboo, rock garden, etched glass dividers, etc.

As I approached the dining room, I was met by a very terse "Are you eating here? or Carry-Out??" I was so thrown by the unfriendly 'welcome,' that I responded "Either way is fine for me." (?) Apparently, this woman is the owner (I discovered later from other diners).

After gathering my senses, I told her that I'd come for a sit-down dinner - preferably Moo Shu Pork I said. She led me into a small, but rather grand Dining Room. The ambiance was very pleasant, so it shook the initial feeling of being unwelcome off.

I checked the large menu, and indeed they serve Moo Shu Pork - $10.95 (as of Nov 2013), deciding to pay the extra $2.95 for Soup, Egg Roll, Crab Rangoon, and Tea.

The hot tea was very rancid and over-steeped. I only made it through a few sips the entire meal. It was definitely a cheaper Black Tea, not Jasmine, or other Chinese tea. Fortunately, she brought a glass of water along which became my beverage for the meal.

When she realized she'd forgotten to ask which soup I'd prefer (Egg Drop, Wonton, or Hot & Sour), I thought I felt a bit of lilt in her manner. I ordered the Wonton soup, which was delicious!!

I figured out soon enough that very literally (at least on a week night), these two owners do everything by themselves. Another two tables with two people came along shortly after I arrived; and she ended up being pretty busy.

By the time my Egg Roll and Crab Rangoon came, she was marching around as if it were all too much. What I couldn't understand was that her demeanor was the same with every customer - curt and rather rude..?

The older couple across from me quietly mentioned to each other that they felt rushed when she had demanded to know what they wanted for dinner, and was already walking away while the wife was deciding on her choice.

Then the couple of young teenage girls seated near me, who were obviously enjoying a fun night of dining out alone, were treated with the same apparent apathetic indifference.

The Egg Roll could have been better (a bit too deep-friend for me, and not much flavor inside) - same for the Crab Rangoon.

It took a lot for me to disassociate this poor service from what could be a good meal.

So when the Moo Shu and Pancakes arrived in steaming, stainless pedestal servers, I was upbeat again. The entree was wonderful. It's one of my favorite Chinese dishes - and it was good (only suggestion would be to add mushrooms).

The portion was too much for me for one meal. So I asked for To-Go boxes. She was quick to bring those; and I hurried along to pack up. The first time she smiled, was when she brought the check to me, leaving me stunned.

While she scurried back into the kitchen, I asked the teenagers if they were 'Regulars.' One of the girls nodded, and then added "She's always like this." Soooo, my theory that this was just an 'off-night' for the female owner, was shot.

Really?? How terse, unfriendly, unwelcoming owners can stay in business is beyond me - even if the food IS good. Perhaps it is their Carry-Out business that sustains them? After all, she was eager for me to carry out when I arrived!

The prices are above average cost for this suburban Southern Illinois town. I'm guessing since Collinsville sits off of 3 Major Interstates, hotel advertising helps bring in many one-time customers.

And they will find a charming, pleasant atmosphere, above-average priced good food, and rather unfriendly service.

I don't plan to return...unless I crave Moo Shu Pork again during my visit here - then it will be Call-In and Carry-Out.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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6 reviews from our community

83% Recommend
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Good Lunch”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

My group of four stopped here for lunch. The service was fast and friendly. The food was reasonably priced. I had the General Tsao's Chicken and enjoyed it. I've eaten lunch here several times and never had a complaint.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saline, Michigan, United States
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
“Excellent chinese away from home”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

Late at night we found ourselves off the beaten path in Collinsville, IL our our way home to Michigan with a taste for chinese food. We located Peking Garden and were very pleased that we did. The food was excellent, as good as any we had in a long time. The egg rolls could have been better but the egg drop an wonton soup could not be beat. A shared order of Beef with Pea Pods more than filled the bill, which was more than a fair price. We will be back.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Fairview Heights, Illinois
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Quaint and Upscale”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2012

The food was delicious. I had the seafood delight with big pieces of shrimp, scallops, and imatation crab meat with white rice. My husband had the mongolian beef, which I tasted and it was very good. It's in a old house with small round tables with white linen table cloths and looks very elegant. This would be a great place for a guy to take a date. It's a little pricey you could probably get just as good chinese food at your local takeout.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Collinsville, Illinois
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
“The Best Chinese Food In Collinsville”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2008

The Best Chinese Food In Collinsville.

Great food, great carryout. It is also a nice little place to eat. Inside has nice decor and atmosphere.

Great prices.

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