Situated on the ground floor of popular shopping mall Vivo City, is the Chinese inspired Golden Jade Restaurant. Long mirrors hang from the white brick walls to accentuate the height of the ceiling. Furniture comes in shades of brown, green and grey. Designed for comfort and serving big numbers, my initial feeling from the decor was that I had stepped into a 1970s-style diner that had been touched up by a trendy fairy. A diner for dim sum. Access is via the ground floor of the mall.
I dined at Golden Jade on a Saturday night and was struck, first, by the menu. Boasting an extensive collection of dumplings with a wide range of fillings, from shrimp to crab, this place has you covered. But if you only order one, make sure it is the steamed minced pork dumpling Shanghai-style (VND80,000 for a set of six).
Dumplings in a bamboo steamer
Arriving in a bamboo steamer, these delicately wrapped dumplings were filled with a broth that packs a salty punch to offset the tender pork inside. No uncooked dough, no chewy mystery meats, just a dumpling that melts in your mouth with one bite. Delicious!
An impressive selection of congee, crispy noodles, vermicelli and fried rice are also on offer for between VND120,000 to VND150,000 to supplement if you don’t want to overdose on mini-food.
Dim sum is not for everyone. Allocated to the area of the menu entitled Specialty Dishes are a set of mains considered by some to be more daring than others. There is fish head, pig stomach and chilled jellyfish to name a few. Priced between VND150,000 to VND500,000, these items are a little more expensive. If adventure is your game, but you still want to experience all of the traditional dumpling tastes, you could add the deep-fried crab claw to your order. I tried it. It’s crunchy and set on a bed of sweet and sour sauce, which creates a milder crab taste. This item is VND100,000 per claw.
An image of the main dining area at Golden Jade
This place gets loud and busy. Large round tables and deep booths are designed to sit groups of six or more. As I discovered, Saturday night at 6pm will guarantee the presence of children running from table to table.
The restaurant is laid out in the shape of a giant L. Sitting near the shopping mall entrance means you have no access to a window, creating a feeling similar to when you dine inside a casino. On my visit the service was quick and fuss free. I ordered the palate cleansing jasmine tea for VND 25,000 and received constant refills throughout the meal.
On the menu with other dim sum treats is the Baked Cheese Tart. But don’t let the mention of cheese cause you to think it’s savoury. This is a dessert item and was the perfect way to end my meal. The taste is a mix of yoghurt and cream cheese with a slight tang, as if lemon rind has been stirred through the mixture. The tart is served fresh from the oven. The pastry that cups the hot liquid crumbled like a warmed biscuit as I carved the tart in half. VND120,000 got me three identical baked cheese flavour bombs. They were perfect for satisfying my sweet tooth and had me leaving the restaurant walking and satisfied, rather than rolling because I got too carried away with dessert.
Golden Jade Restaurant is located on the ground floor of Vivo City Shopping Mall at 1058 Nguyen Van Linh, Q7, HCMC and is open from Monday to Saturday 9am to 9.45pm and Sunday 8:30am to 10pm
Food — 13
Service — 12
Decor — 9
Food, Decor and Service are each rated on a scale of 0 to 15.
13 — 15 EXTRAORDINARY TO PERFECTION
10 — 12.5 VERY GOOD TO EXCELLENT
8 — 9.5 GOOD TO VERY GOOD
5 — 7.5 FAIR TO GOOD
0 — 4.5 POOR TO FAIR
The Word reviews anonymously and pays for all meals
Photos by Mike Palumbo