Sarah O'Malley

Sarah O’Malley is a fourth-year Journalism student from Boston, MA who has since moved to Orono, ME to study at the University of Maine. She is a staff writer for the Culture section and enjoys attending events, meeting new people, and learning more about UMaine and its students. In her free time she enjoys hiking, cooking, watching documentaries, and playing with dogs.

Who doesn’t love a hot meal that you can eat in the comfort of your home, wearing cozy pajamas and binge watching the new “Stranger Things” season? Orono’s own China Garden can help you with that. The restaurant, located just off 1-95 on Stillwater Avenue in the same complex as Spotlight Cinemas and Dollar Tree, specializes in vegetarian Chinese food and is very popular for takeout. Although they don’t offer delivery services, their takeout food is worth the drive over.

Their menu offers a wide array of classic Chinese-American dishes, and with the option of easy online ordering through their website, it’s just a click away. Their appetizer options include spring rolls, egg rolls (both vegetarian and porkbased), teriyaki beef, vegetarian dumplings, pork dumplings, crispy fried wontons, teriyaki chicken, boneless spareribs, fried chicken wings, chicken fingers, crab Rangoon, scallion pancakes, sugar-coated fried dough, fried vegetables and a Pu Pu platter (consisting of boneless spareribs, teriyaki chicken, fried chicken wings, chicken fingers, egg rolls and crab Rangoon). The dumplings are a great option with both vegetarian and meat varieties. You can order them fried or steamed and they are served piping hot and juicy with special dumpling sauce. Scallion pancakes and crab Rangoon are also highly recommended and are staples of most Chinese-American takeout restaurants.

Although the restaurant specializes in vegetarian meals, they also have beef, poultry, lamb, seafood, pork and house special delicacies. Combination platters are very popular for larger parties, and China Garden also offers daily lunch specials.  

While all the food offered is delicious, they are a few dishes that stand out. If you are vegetarian, the Bean Curd Home Style is an adventurous yet rewarding dish, with deep-fried tofu stir-fried with bok choy, pepper and mushrooms in a hot and spicy sauce. For those who want to stick to what they know there are copious fried rice and lo mein options, served both vegetarian and meat style.

For anyone who is interested in protein, the Moo Shi Pork is a stir-fried pork dish served with six paper-thin pancakes to wrap the contents in. Think of this dish as a savory Chinese take on French crepes. Mongolian beef is also a popular choice for a hearty, meaty dish, and is described as “sliced tender beef fillet sauteed with pepper, onion, and scallions in a savory seasoned sauce.” General Tso’s chicken is also offered, and made with a special egg batter before being served with a sweet and spicy sauce.

Chinese takeout has long been the first choice of college students looking to feast on spicy, saucy, savory dishes, and China Garden doesn’t disappoint. For anyone who doesn’t mind picking up their order at their location, you will certainly reap the rewards of mouth-wateringly amazing Chinese food.