we chose our venue this time at jardin de jade (蘇浙匯) in wanchai, hong kong branch of contemporary shanghaiese restaurant chain. the shanghai-based jardin de jade was founded in 1999 and now operates 15 stores in beijing, shanghai, suzhou, macau, and hong kong was the latest addition. its macau branch was awarded a michelin star in the 2010 red guide, which raised expectations for the hong kong branch as well. similar to maxim’s group, jardin de jade has different brands for its upscale and mid-class restaurants, and food quality is fairly consistent across stores. the group has a central kitchen in xujiahui district that prepares half-finished products every day and transport to individual outlets for final steps or assembly. i never visit shanghai without eating at jardin de jade near shanghai pudong holiday inn (the best one IMO) at least once. anyway, we arrived at jardin de jade in wanchai at 1pm and found the restaurant packed. overheard mandarin here and there too…
zhejiang style sweet sour pork (糖醋小排) - my favorite cold appetizer at jardin de jade. but the bite-sized pork rib here was a little overdone and too firm; taste was skewed toward sweet side and the vinegar was not aged and aromatic enough. a bit disappointing…
sweet radish - a very pleasant appetizer. sweet and sour radish was very crunchy but a bit soft and chewy inside.
mocked abalone (素伴鮑魚) - a signature dish at jardin de jade with soy sauce/wasabi served alongside. the mocked abalone was actually produced in the shanghai central kitchen and shipped to hong kong; its texture closely resembled canned abalone, crispy and slightly spongy, while the “flesh” was refreshing and delightful.
steamed fish in wine-sauce - my favorite dish for the lunch. the fish was fresh and crispy, unlike some other places where the fish could be mushy and falls apart when you pick it up. the wine-infused sauce was a bit thick and very fragrant.
spicy beef - it’s a bowl of sichuan pepper-tainted beef slices with bean sheet noodles and cabbage. the beef slices were criss-cross cut to fully absorb the spicy soup. but they had to spicy up the dish A LOT MORE in order to call this a spicy beef dish… it was also too oily for my liking.
crab roe xiaolongbao (蟹粉小籠包) - positve was that the skin was thin but firm and chewy; negative was everything else: there was not enough crab roe stocking, and the minced pork was too lean.
food quality was above average shanghaiese food; i can’t call it contemporary style exactly because it is too oily to be considered contemporary while flavor is not powerful enough to be considered traditional. more importantly, it has lost certain delicacy in the hong kong version – overall lower execution precision, and they cut corner here and there, such as a lower quality vinegar and rice wine… that said, it was still good food for a chain.
full post with fotos: http://randomnomad.wordpress.com/2010/10/14/jardin-de-jade/
Value for Money 4