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Golden Jade Chinese Restaurant - Let's Go Eat!

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January 31st, 2006


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ghotighued
01:50 pm - Golden Jade Chinese Restaurant
In an attempt to get this community out of the grave and back into some semblance of life, I present to you a review of one of my new favorite restaurants, Golden Jade.


We are all too familiar with the plethora of hole-in-the-wall mom-and-pop restaurants that seem to plague the metropolitan area of any city. When I say "plague" I mean it with the least bit of negativity possible. Perhaps that just means I need to find a good thesaurus. Either way, Portland has its fair share of these dive restaurants and it takes some digging to find the really good ones out there.

I grew up in Beaverton and my family's favorite Chinese place has been, as long as I can remember, Happy Panda in Tanasbourne. It seemed as if every other chinese establishment I tasted was never up to par with our good old standby. When I moved downtown and subsequently to close-in NE, I was always very skeptical of such restaurants, determined that nothing could beat or even equal the fare of that jovial chinese bear.

One night several months ago my newly acquired boyfriend suggested that we go out for some food, and he offered Golden Jade as one option. I was still skeptical, but I wasn't willing to drive all the way out to Tanasbourne just to get the food I wanted. I have to admit that my doubt seemed to conquer my curiosity that night, and I came away from the table with a mediocre opinion of the restaurant's menu.

It wasn't until we went back a second time that I realized how wrong I was in my biased preliminary conclusion. I've since returned to this wonderful restaurant on several occasions, and each of them has only reaffirmed my feelings about the delicious food.

Golden Jade is not an eye-catching institution. It looks like any number of hole-in-the-wall mom-and-pop Chinese restaurants erected in the mid-eighties and never updated. Pen and paper signs are taped to the windows announcing the new Lunch Specials. You walk into a dimly romantically lit dining room with pink upholstery and gaudy "contemporary" lighting fixtures. The stereotypical Chinese decor adorns the walls. Two large fish slowly meander through a fish tank that seems a mite too small, but before you can stop to consider the ethics of such animal treatment, a kind middle-aged chinese woman scurries up to seat you.

You will note that I did not say "put you on a waiting list," for the dining room has always been nearly if not completely devoid of other customers. Perhaps this is what initially put me on guard about the quality of their food, but I have come to realize that this golden jem of a place is simply undiscovered or, perhaps, underappreciated.

The menu is quite extensive, and the prices are as appetizing as the food. Dinner plates range from $6-8 on average, and are great for "family style" eating. The lunch specials run $4.50-$5.50 and offer upwards of 30 choices of entree served with fried rice, chow mein, a spring roll, and your choice of soup. Your meal is made quickly and your appetite appeased.

The food itself is quite remarkable. I recently took my brother there for his birthday and ordered a plate of one of their specialties, Sesame Chicken. I can, on average, eat about half of a plate of food and take the reast home. This dish was so delectible that I ate the entire plate in one sitting! Truly amazing.

So move over Happy Panda, because Golden Jade has captured my heart and my stomach. Oh, and I must add that I don't recommend the Lemon Chicken; it's been the only dish I did not like. Head out to Golden Jade Restaurant on SE Belmont and 31st Ave, and see for yourself. They have take-out as well.

Golden Jade Restaurant
3104 SE Belmont
Portland, OR 97214
503.232.9844

cross-posted a little bit all over
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(8 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:rhinoblues
Date:January 31st, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
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naw...we just all get take out most of the time
[User Picture]
From:elamine
Date:January 31st, 2006 11:21 pm (UTC)
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Maybe a group meet is in order?

I would also really like to try Pambiche, on kellibunny's recommendation.
[User Picture]
From:ghotighued
Date:January 31st, 2006 11:36 pm (UTC)
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That sounds fun. I'll see what I can work up.
[User Picture]
From:kellibunny
Date:January 31st, 2006 11:38 pm (UTC)
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Heh Happy Panda had been my family's favorite for a long time too, and we always got crap for it. Along with Wan-Q off of Murry and Jin Wah on Canyon.

However, PF Changs blows everything else out of the water. We love that place. :) Plus, we're never in SE.
[User Picture]
From:ghotighued
Date:January 31st, 2006 11:42 pm (UTC)
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Sure, PF Changs is great, but it's pricy, and their locations are not very convenient to me. Now that I live between Belmont and Hawthorne, Golden Jade is perfect.
[User Picture]
From:poptopia
Date:February 1st, 2006 02:32 am (UTC)
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I'd love to revisit Golden Jade and meet up with some LJ peeps (I've never made it yet to a Damn Portlanders gathering)
[User Picture]
From:freerangeduck
Date:February 1st, 2006 02:53 am (UTC)
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The sweet and sour pig is calling to me
[User Picture]
From:ghotighued
Date:February 1st, 2006 02:57 am (UTC)
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Do it! After writing the review I couldn't handle it any more and ordered the Sesame Chicken just before I left work. I got there and it was waiting for me....



Ahhhh.... it tastes SO good!!!

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