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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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J

Name:Oriental Garden
Type:restaurant
Street:400 Lowell Ave # 13
City:Haverhill
State:MA
Zip:01832
country:USA
Phone:(978) 373-5626
Status:operational

Description:
Oriental Gardens is a typical Chinese restaurant today but at one time it was adorned with some tikis, thatched roofs and authentic looking decor. Its located in a strip mall, has a small lounge and a decent size dining area. It looks as though it was remodeled within the last 5 years and doesn't really show any signs of neglect.

J

Now for the good stuff... Tikisgrl posted some pictures from a postcard that she found and it looks very promising! Lets take a look at what the Oriental Gardens once was:

The Outrigger Lounge complete with foliage, thatch roof and Tiki poles. Looks like there's a nice lamp hanging in the left side of the picture as well.

The description on the postcard sounds most inviting. Does that say attentive staff? Looks like something else was removed during the remodel.

So what does this place look like today? Completely different unfortunately. Let's take a look.

Walking up to this place gave me an indication the inside did not contain the paradise displayed on that classic postcard. Hmm, karaoke, neon beer signs - time to lower those expectations.

Not a whole lot see inside. The most interesting thing inside was the pagoda-like structure in the middle of the dining area. It had some hanging paper lanterns that provided a little ambience. The classic lamp in the postcard is obviously long gone.

I was rather happy with my Mai Tai though:) It had the right color, the correct glass and actually tasted good. Also there was a generous amount of rum in it as well. No, not the good aged stuff, probably just the good 'ole Bacardi. The picture didn't come out all that great but you get the idea.

That's all for pictures. Like I said there's not much to see.

Oh yeah! The food! The food was actually rather good. Everything was freshly made and even my 2 kids and our friend's 3 kids enjoyed it. I had a fairly typical dish - sweet and sour chicken and pork. It was as good as thick battered meat and sweet and sour sauce get in these parts.

Service was OK. Certainly nothing to brag about.

Bottom line - don't bother with a road trip to Haverhill to hit this place. If you're in the area for some other reason then stop on in.

T

Too bad another tiki place remodeled for Karaoke... Did you ask what they did with all the cool stuff that was once there?

Tikisgrl

J

I don't think they would have even known where the old stuff went. My friend called for the address and the host couldn't tell us. Scary! So even the grasp on the now seemed to be an issue.

Here are some larger scans from that postcard:


[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2009-07-30 22:59 ]

T

I love how the ceiling is painted/lighted midnight blue to give the affect of being outside under the night sky....really nice.

Maybe it's just the way the photo is lit, but if it really looked like that in there, that must have been amazing.

Oriental Gardens is the place that most affected my "Tiki-ism" in my life. I often went there each year with my family. My parents were both born in Haverhill and although we lived in Amesbury in the 60's we would often drive to Haverhill for sunday dinners. We would take grandmother "Memere" to oriental Garden on Mothers Day and occasional Sundays.

The ceiling was a very deep blue and had a number of can lights - The cans had a cover that shaped the resulting light into a star shape. At the dining table , I couldn't stop my eyes from drifting from the thatch roofs to the bamboo, to the tiki poles and up to the stars. We would often wait for a table in the Outrigger Lounge - which had an outrigger canoe hanging from the ceiling. As a little boy, I would take notice of the couples sitting at dueces in the dark corners, enjoying the wonderful exotic cocktails. I remember noticing the garnishes and of course the flames of the scorpion bowls. It seems I remember some velvete Leeteg style painting that added to the allure.

Mey earliest polynesian memories are happily from Oriental Gardens.

I picked up this menu from the Oriental Garden restaurant. It does not have an address but there is a handwritten note on the inside that says it is from Plymouth and not Haverhill. Maybe there was more that one location?

The graphics on the menu cover match the back of the postcard, so definitely the same owners.

Some funny stuff on the inside of the menu. Lunch drink specials, always a plus. Shopper's special for the hungry shoppers.


And whats up with the Mass Old Age tax??

DC

On 2010-03-20 10:10, Dustycajun wrote:

And whats up with the Mass Old Age tax??

Sounds misleading to our ears, but it was just a 5% tax on all meals over $1 that Massachusetts enacted to pay for it's Old Age Pension Progam - part of Social Security, I believe.

DC, how do you keep finding stuff, from my backyard, that I've never seen before?

BK,

I just get lucky occasionally. You are the man in your neck-of-the-woods.

Here is a matchbox from the Oriental Garden - same graphics as the menu but a few different drinks.

DC

Ah, drink renderings on matches are the greatest! I also love how, instead of relying on an authentic Moai, they used a MUG as the menu Tiki and put it into an island setting:

I was inspired to provide visual proof :D :

Bigbro,

The diorama is great! You nailed that scene.

DC

Two of the old tikis from the Oriental Garden recently purchased by TC member kustomculture73 and posted on the Tiki Finds thread back in October.

Wow, those are awesome vintage tikis, nice find!

A blue moai swizzle I just picked up from the Oriental Garden in Haverhill.

Never seen one of these before.

DC

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