Lam’s Garden (https://www.lams-garden.com/) is a respected and venerated Chinese restaurant in Orlando, on the border of two of the city’s best foodie neighborhoods, Mills 50 and the Milk District. It is in the shopping plaza with iFresh Market (a really good Asian grocery store, not to be confused with Fresh Market) and my beloved Chicken Fire, on the northeast corner of East Colonial Drive and Bumby Avenue.
But me being a lifelong late bloomer, I only recently visited Lam’s Garden for the first time. (I told an older man that after my meal, and he said “How? We’ve been here since 1975!”) Well, better late than never, because it was really good.
I thought it was very old-school to get a bowl of crunchy fried noodles to snack on while we waited for our orders to come out. This took me right back to all the Chinese restaurants my dad took me to in Miami, growing up in the ’80s, where he knew all the owners and they all knew him because he taught their children and grandchildren.
At first, they just presented us with a laminated menu of lunch specials, but I asked for a longer menu if they had one. They brought us two additional menus, with standard Americanized Chinese food favorites and another with Chinese “home cooking,” as the server described it. Whenever you go, make sure they give you all the different menus to maximize your choices!
My vegetarian colleague ordered Buddha’s delight off the lunch specials menu ($9.95), and got a huge plate of broccoli, crisp snow peas, bok choy, baby corn, onions, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots, in a brown sauce. Her white rice was served on the side.
The lunch specials came with plenty of other stuff she couldn’t eat, so like a good friend, I volunteered to eat everything, like this small bowl of wonton soup:
A crispy eggroll:
And a little dish of fried rice:
I had a really hard time making a decision, since this was our first time here, so I went with a dish that never disappoints, and definitely didn’t disappoint at Lam’s Garden: Singapore curry rice noodles ($15.95), served with chicken, pork, and shrimp. It was kind of medium-spicy and so flavorful, with the thin, tender noodles.
I would be tempted to order this again and again, but after finally visiting Lam’s Garden, I definitely want to start working my way through the large menu on future trips. Lam’s might very well be the oldest Chinese restaurant in Orlando, and since it has been proven to have staying power, I look forward to trying other dishes, making up for lost time.