Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review - Jade Garden

Jade Garden


I miss when Dim Sum were truly bite sized delicacies.  Now, it seems that most if not all Chinese Dim Sum restaurants have given in to what America wants.  Oversize Siu Mai, giant Hum Bow and portions so large they have to use sketchy kitchen scissors to cut the food up when they serve it.  ARGH!  If anyone knows of a place that serves what Dim Sum used to be, please, let me know.   Not to bag on Dim Sum, I love it, and I am not holding Jade Garden accountable for my rant, Jade Garden is actually pretty good for Dim Sum, if you are willing to battle the crowd.

If you go to Dim Sum on a weekend, there is almost always a line at Jade Garden and a lobby full of hungry people.  It's almost irritating, so I try to avoid Jade Garden on the weekends.  I just can't deal with people stepping on my shoes and pushing their way past me.  Call me vain, but I value my clothes and accessories too much to let them be trampled by someone trying to squeeze through an area too small to squeeze through. 

Steamed Food Cart

However, Jade Garden will take a reservation if you have a larger party.  Thank you JG. We went here for a friend's birthday, and had a group of about 10 people.  We sat in the back room, which unfortunately for us, often gets the last pick from the Dim Sum carts, so the selection was kind of limited.  

Dim Sum Food Cart

Just as soon as we settled into our seats, the food carts started rolling by.  I have some fears of the unknown, but with prices around $3-$6 per dish, this is the time to take some risks!  I still won't go for the chicken feet, eww.  I can't go there. 

Jade Garden Pork Shumai, Sui Mai, Shu Mai

The Siu Mai at Jade Garden, again, oversized.  They are about the size of golf balls.  But the flavor is good.  I don't care much for the roe on top, but it doesn't add an offensive flavor, it just looks kind of ugly.  Jade Garden serves Cantonese style Siu Mai, which is a thin wheat based wrapped filled with ground pork, shrimp and black mushrooms and steamed.  I love to eat them dipped in the spicy chili sauce and soy sauce, actually, almost everything is good dipped in the chili sauce...

Gao Choy, Shrimp and Chive Dumplings

I love these dumplings, but they are huge.  Probably about a 3" diameter?  They are crunchy on the outside, and stuffed fully of diced shrimp and chinese chives.  They are topped with sesame seeds and I believe the wrapped is a rice flour based wrap. 

Haam Sui Gok, Haam Sui Gaau aka "Footballs"

This Dim Sum dish is commonly called "Footballs" because of their shape.  These were cut in half by our server.  These deep fried dumplings are a little sweet, the outside is similar to Mochi, it's chewy and sticky. The inside is seasoned ground pork, and sometimes they have shrimp and vegetables inside as well.  

Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings

This is one of my favorite dishes at Jade Garden.  Chicken wings are deep fried in a salt and pepper seasoning and topped with fresh Jalapenos and Chiles.  The skin is extra crispy and the meat is tender and well seasoned.  Amazing!

Honey Walnut Prawns

This is usually a crowd favorite.  Crunchy deep fried prawns coated in a honey mayonnaise dressing with toasted sweet walnuts.  Jade Garden's version is pretty good, if you get them fresh.  If they have been sitting on the food cart for a little while, they become soggy. eww. 

Egg Custard Tarts

Ok, so these are smaller than they appear in the photo.  They are the size of a standard mini tart.  This is my Mom's favorite and a great way to end a meal.  The crust is super flaky, the custard isn't too sweet, they are light and really fantastic.  

We also had a bunch of other dishes that I wasn't able to get photos of.  I tried the Chinese Doughnuts for the first time, these are deep fried dough wrapped in a wide rice noodle - Those were pretty good!  Also the Ha Gow, or Shrimp dumplings.  These are ok, they used to be my favorite, until I watched a horror flick about dumplings that looked exactly like these.  Now I have to think twice before biting into one.  The Steamed and Baked Hum Bow are good, but boy do I miss King Cafe and their pink boxes of steamed hum bow goodness.  No one can make Hum Bow that compare to King Cafe's.  Also the Gao Choy Gao, or steamed shrimp and chive dumplings - These are one of my favorites, but again, giant sized. They are stuffed full of shrimp and super tasty!

I would suggest Jade Garden for Dim Sum, but there are other places in the ID, without the tremendous line, that are also comparable.  

Jade Garden
424 7th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

Hours: Everyday 9:30am - 2:30am
Dim Sum Hours: 9:30am - 3:00pm

Jade Garden on Urbanspoon

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