Monday, September 27, 2010

Jade Garden (Shanghai)

Located on the 3rd floor of an office building that has a Porsche dealership on the first floor at the intersection of Nanjing West Road and Xinchang Road, Jade Garden is a great place for dim sum or just a regular meal. Set in an elegant ambiance, this place makes for a great family restaurant or a quick lunch meeting. On this particular day, we went for the dim sum items and one item off the menu.

Poached Chinese Broccoli
This item was labeled wrong as Poached Kale on the menu. If you take the most tender Chinese broccoli stems, slice them into pieces, poach them to perfection, and then drizzle a light soy sauce mixture over it, you end up with this dish. The veggies were crisp and not overcooked at all. It may seem like a really simple dish, but there's no dim sum place in the US that has this dish that can compare.

Noodles with Scallions and Small Shrimp
These noodles may not look like much, but it was packed with great flavor and was pretty refreshing. The noodles are eaten cooled after being mixed together in a house soy sauce along with fried scallions and dried shrimp.

White Fish Conjee
This was labeled as Sawness Sliced Seever Conjee (which makes completely no sense to me).For those that aren't familiar with conjee, it's basically a rice porridge. It has chunks of white fish in a lightly salted conjee and topped with rice crackers and cilantro.

Xiaolong Bao
I know I've posted about these steamed dumplings in my Jeng Ji post, but they're just so much better in the motherland. They're juicier and always made by hand. There are many restaurants that are known just for serving these in Shanghai so if I go to eat at one of these restaurants I'll definitely give you more insight into them.

Three Cup Crispy Shrimp
Based off the popular three cup chicken dish, this item was off the regular menu. Some believed these dishes were called "three cup" because the sauces used to create the flavors originally were a cup of soy sauce, a cup of rice wine, and a cup of sesame oil, but others say that the original three ingredients were soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar. No need to worry though because nowadays all the ingredients are used proportionally as needed.  The protein simmers in this three cup mixture and toward the end of the cooking process, fresh ginger and basil are thrown in to give it an extra burst of flavor. The shrimp were crisp enough to just throw the whole thing in your mouth and paired well with rice.

Vegetarian Egg Rolls
The only thing that remotely resembles an egg roll in this dish is the look. The outside is actually tofu skins with sesame seeds instead of the usual wonton skins you find on egg rolls. Inside, there's a combination of carrots, 3 types of mushrooms, and bamboo shoots. When eaten together, the taste even puts a pork egg roll to shame.

Steamed Ribs in Black Bean Sauce
If you've ever ordered this in the US, it's basically the same thing but better. The black bean sauce used to steam these ribs are infused with star anise and chili peppers which give it a very unique and awesome taste. The meat comes right off the bone and is very tender.

BBQ Pork Stuffed Pastry
The traditional sweet barbequed Cantonese style pork is wrapped in these flaky pastry skins and baked till golden brown. The rich buttery flakiness combined with the savory sweet taste of the pork inside makes for a great meal finisher.

Verdict? I would definitely go back to this place again. With 3 people our meal ended up to be about 200RMB or about $30. You may say that's cheap for high quality dim sum at a nice restaurant, but anything that's close to US price in China is considered expensive. They have a lot more dim sum options to try and of course the regular menu you can order from so I'm sure there's something for everyone here.

Jade Garden

3F, No.288 West Nanjing Road, Shanghai
phone: 021-336 3777
hours: 11am-10pm
They may have other locations so refer to the website for the one closest to you.

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