Flushing holds some of New York City’s cheapest, tastiest Asian cuisines. On a cold Sunday morning, we gather with friends for breakfast at Jade Asian Restaurant, one of the better dim sum places in Downtown Flushing. The temperature had dipped into the 50’s, casting a shiver across the city. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long to be seated in the warm and welcoming interior of the restaurant. The waitresses wheeled metal carts that displayed a range of little delicacies, spanning from pan fried chives dumplings to crispy shrimp rolls.
Cultivated by the Cantonese, dim sum is a culinary delight that features a wide range of Asian dishes served in little baskets or plates. The fun part lies in the art of eating, where you get to select your food from the carts that are being pushed around the restaurant. The carts stop at each table, and you pick what you want.
Within ten minutes, our round table was cluttered with dishes. That’s one of the many joys that dim sum offers. It is an experience best savored with friends or family. You eat at your own pace while enjoying a warm cup of Chinese tea.
We probably looked ridiculous, snapping away at each plate that was lowered onto the table with our big, bulky camera. It’s a pity we can’t show you all the 500 photos we took, but here are a few of our favorite dishes:
The shrimp chee cheong fan contained juicy shrimps enveloped in thin spools of flat rice noodle. The soy sauce adds a hint of saltiness.
We also tried the steamed pork ribs, which proved to be a delight. Served in a wooden, metal-rimmed basket, the dish consisted of succulent meat marinated in a certain sweet-salty gravy.
And then curiosity led us to sample these sesame-coated rice balls filled with black sesame paste. Black sesame is an acquired taste. Its grainy texture and earthy taste are an exotic combination. You probably won't fall in love with it at first bite, but give it some time and you'll go nuts for it.
To conclude our heartwarming breakfast, we ordered Chinese egg tarts for the table, also known as dan (egg) tart. Dim sum isn’t complete without a good round of egg tarts. Jade Asian Restaurant's egg tarts are probably some of the best ones around. The crust crumbles to expose the smooth, pudding-like egg custard caged within. Unlike Western tarts, these Chinese tarts are void of milk. It was a good thing they were bite-sized, or we would've had trouble controlling our portions.
Everything that we tried that morning was cooked to perfection and served fresh, an important factor in determining the standard of dim sum. For the price, Jade Asian Restaurant certainly lives up to its quality.