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“Perfection, every time!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Zen Gardens

Zen Gardens
7 Fayette Dr, Ste 2, South Burlington, VT 05403-6981
802-862-8886
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Cuisines: Chinese
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Tucson, Arizona
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Perfection, every time!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

My wife and I have been going to Zen Gardens about 3-4 times a year for the last 4 years. Every time we go we have a wonderful experience. This place is just spectacular. This place is a NOT a fast food type of restaurant either. Let me start off by saying that this particular building as changed ownerships many times, I remember when it was Cactus Pete's several years ago. But............................

We've enjoyed plates full -- and I do mean full of food, and at reasonable prices too. I really enjoy the General Tso' Chicken, and the Dragon / Phoenix dinner meals. They have some cocktails, although I've noticed the prices on those have come up a bit.

I enjoy the decor and ambiance of the dinning area, and the small koi pond in the entrance is something that might fascinate kids, but kind of disgusts us since it's somewhat dirty. But I appreciate that this place is not packed and noisy like a mainstream downtown restaurant. The servers are highly attentive and polite. Although since it's not often busy, they do seem to stand around talking, but that doesn't bother us any. Overall we always recommend this place as a great place to eat and we will continue to dine here for as long as they stay!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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25 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    15
    6
    1
    3
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Crown Point, New York
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Food is not what we expected, very poor”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013 via mobile

We eat out a lot and will never go back. We have found better quality in a mall. We give it a negative rating because of the quality of food.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2012

After reading all the rave reviews, I decided to go to Zen Garden for my birthday. I won't even bother loading the pictures I took. Lets start with the wonton soup: broth was nice, wonton tasted like it had been pulled out of the freezer. No vegetables in the broth. Daughter had the sweet and sour soup and said it was just OK. Ordered fried wontons with spicy sauce: average. Ordered chicken wings: crispy and hot, very tasty. Detected come curry or cumin or something. For our entrees we ordered General Tso's chicken based upon previous reviews and were not disappointed. The batter was thin an crisp and not over laden with sauce. We also ordered the Spicy Eggplant - and were not impressed. The eggplant skin was tough. The China Express a mile down the road has spoiled us with their tender version. OH--and a side note--we ordered the eggplant only after we had ordered our meal because the waiter gave us a heads-up that NONE of the meat entrees were served with ANY vegetables. (really??), forcing us to spend another $15. We also ordered the Crispy Pork based on my experience with a similar sounding dish in one of my favorite Columbus, OH Chinese restaurants, Sunflower. FAIL. This dish was dry and tough. The pork was too thin to be batter-dipped and sauced. Gross.

Over all, the final insult was when the bill came for out sub-par meal for $76...and I had not even paid a tip yet. Needless to say, we wont be back.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Burlington, Vermont
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Authentic Chinese Food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

Zen Gardens is hidden away behind McDonald's - but lots of us have found it, with delightful results! This is NOT your standard "Chinese" menu of egg rolls and chop suey. Instead, try tangerine shrimp, seafood in a (noodle) bird's nest, salt and pepper shrimp and scallops, duck in plum sauce, or their authentic take on sweet and sour shrimp (huge shrimp in a light pineapple sauce, not the usual sticky red stuff). Portions are generous, brown and white rice are both readily available, and there is an entire page of vegetarian options where tofu or seitan are substituted for meat in dishes like General Tso's Chicken. They even have a page of really authentic Chinese dishes (shredded jelly fish, anyone?) Every time we go, we try something different - and we're never disappointed. Our grandsons (5 and 8) also love it.

Wine and cocktails are both available. And servers are knowledgeable about the dishes, so feel free to ask if you're not sure what something is. A final note - if the quality of a Chinese restaurant can be judged partly by the number of Oriental families eating there, Zen Gardens may deserve a 6-star rating! While we see many couples, we also see lots of families, including multi-generational Chinese families. Zen Gardens offers an exceptional experience, and the price is surprisingly moderate for the quality (and quantity) of the food.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Vernon Hills, Illinois
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Outstanding Mandarin Cuisine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

Looking for decent Asian cusine in the South Burlington area, we read some pretty lousy reviews on Tripadvisor and other sites for the handful of Asian restaurants in this category. Most importantly, we were looking for a good spot that also served wine (many are BYOB). We came across Zen Gardens and wre encouraged by positive reviews. We called the restaurant and the waiter who answered was quite friendly and assured us we'd be very happy if we came in. We did and we were. The restaurant is indeed tucked behind McDonald's in a strip mall, but it is a large facility and hard to miss. The establishment was nicely decorated and the menu expansive. The entrees and soup we chose were well-prepared and all ingredients were quite fresh (chicken, vegetables, tofu, etc.). They offered brown rice as well - a nice healhier option. Our server - an engineering student - offered exceptional service and was quite polite. If you have a taste for Chinese food, Zen Gardens will not disappoint.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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