The Jade Seafood Restaurant

Jade. Seafood. Restaurant.

The name sounds like a cliche of a Chinese restaurant. All that’s missing is the phrase “golden dragon” and it could have been created by a magic eight ball.

The premises don’t look promising either. A low-slung building combining the best of concrete and stucco; scraggly weeds grow unrepentantly.

Entering into the foyer reveals that, curiously, the restaurant is on the second floor (it never actually is revealed what’s on the ground floor…). The combination of chandelier and blinds in the foyer brings back memories of bar mitzvah’s and bad conventions.

But then you’re upstairs into a bustling, massive room – and it still has too many chandeliers and, oddly, televisions – but you also get your first hints of the food.

There are dozens of massive tables, so there’s little wait, and then you’re at the table. It was lunch for us and the dim sum menu took a while to make it to our table; we whiled our time looking at the 10 person dinner tasting menu:

$498 for 10 people – serious eating here. You’re looking at lots of king crab – baked and steamed; roasted rock salt chicken in a hot pot and fried buddha’s delight amongst others. There were also several delicious-sounding dishes based where food was wrapped in tea leaves.

But, as mentioned, we were here for lunch and dim sum. We quickly ordered several dishes: fried rice rolls with shrimp, century eggs and pickled ginger.

Steamed pork buns and prawn dumplings:

Bitter melon stir-fried with olives:

And this gorgeous mushroom-filled dish:

The food was possibly the best dim sum I’ve had in the city. The shrimp was incredibly fresh and had just the right ┬áresistance – almost rubbery but not. The bitter melon was unlike any dish I’d had before; a mix of extreme bitterness and extreme savouriness. And the deep fried balls; perfectly done – gooey on the inside and crispy on the outside; perfectly cooked.