Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Jadeland of Chinese Food

Jadeland Restaurant 翠林菜館 on UrbanspoonToday for lunch my wife and myself headed over to Chinatown to investigate where in Ottawa we could find Chinese food. 

Earlier we had succesfully found a place for Vietnamese Pho, but now we were looking for Chinese food. 

We had heard Jadeland Restaurant (625 Somerset Street West, Ottawa) was recommended to us by others when looking for Asian style food. 

We headed over for a 2 P.M. lunch hearing that Jadeland can be busy during morning and noon with Dim Sum and lunch.  We arrived to the restaurant with three other tables just finishing up their meals.  There was one family visiting their aunt from Mississauga while another larger party was finishing up and leaving. 

The waitress seated us next to the front window, left some Jasmine Tea, and gave us three different menues to review.  Interestingly, one menu was completly in Chinese characters on one side while on the other there was regular English lettering.     We perused the menus for a little while trying to figure out if we were going to share or have our own plates.  Chinese meals are usually shared at large dinners but there are options for personal plates of something (e.g. chicken, beef, duck, etc.) with rice. 

One concern was the "chicken balls" on one of the menues.  A quick note from my wife: real Chinese restaurants do not serve chicken balls but can be found in more Americanized Chinese restaurants.  The other menus though had more traditional Chinese fare on them.  So we skipped the "Americanized" Chinese food menu and leafed through the one with Chinese characters on one side and English on the others. 

We chose to share a meal for two people, wrote our order down on the order sheet supplied and gave it to the waitress.

The Order:  Egg Drop Soup, Steamed Shrimp, Chinese Greens with Oyster Sauce, Beef Ribs in Blackbean Sauce, Jasmine Rice and Jasmine Tea.

The food came within ten minutes of ordering. 

The first up was the Egg Drop Soup which is minced roast chicken, sweet corn and egg mixed together.  A pretty thick soup normally when prepared correctly and this soup didn't dissapoint.  Things were looking pretty good even with a thumbs up from my wife. 

The Steamed Shrimp I do not normally care for.  My wife though thought they were delicious as she methodically took them apart and enjoyed them using her chopsticks.  

The Chinese Greens were a little oversteamed but not to a  point where they needed to be dumped due to over shrivelling.  I enjoyed them with a little Oyster Sauce which admittedly is not something I enjoy on a regular basis as any seafood beyond breaded fish or Salmon I normally steer away from. 

The Beef Ribs with blackbean sauce I thought were perfect.  They complimented the Jasmine rice decently but you had to be aware of the bones that were still present.  My wife thought the Beef Ribs were a little oversalted to her tastes. 

The tea was the traditional Chinese Jasmine Tea you would find at any Asian restaurant in Ottawa.  Nothing special, but is quite nice and heartwarming after coming in from a snowy day like today.

Overall, Jadeland Restaurant was a satisfactory Chinese restaurant. I admittedly normally do not frequent Chinese restaurants but my wife easily guided me through it as I felt adventurous.  The restaurant itself is a family owned converted ground floor of a Victorian home that fits into the historica neighbourhood setting.  We enjoyed our meal on a quiet snowy afternoon watching the City of Ottawa snow removal vehicles rumble by as they were accessing the sidestreets to remove the snow banks.  Not too bad to spend on a snowy Saturday afternoon.
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