Sunday, October 11, 2015

Cordoba's Coolest Chinese Restaurant

SPOILERS: Jardin De Jade has closed as of August 2016.

My spouse and I knew that moving to Argentina meant giving up eating certain meals from some of our favorite restaurants. Among them was Chinese food, particularly take-out. Boy were we surprised when we found this wonderful gem in downtown Cordoba Capital, just a few blocks from Plaza San Martin.

It´s called Jardin de Jade and it was just what we were looking for to get us out of the emotional rut we were in.

Dinner Time
The sign outside says that they open at 20:00 hours (8:00 pm) but don't expect them to open exactly at that time. Be patient! They will open up eventually.

I think we were more anxious to go in because this was the first time we were going to get a taste of Chinese food in three years but how it would compare to Chinese food from the States was something we were about to find out.

When the doors opened, we were welcomed by a friendly host, who also happens to be the restaurant's waiter and cashier.
This is me and not the friendly host.
The inside of the restaurant was beautiful. We sat down and started looking at the menu. Clearly there were some things that we were trying to translate from it but since it was in Spanish we didn't have a clue whether we were ordering egg drop soup or an egg roll. So we asked our waiter, who was patient enough to listen to our description of the food we used to eat at Chinese restaurants in the States and he matched them to items on the menu.

Here are some of the things we figured out.

  • Sopa de Huevo Revuelto is Egg Drop Soup and it will set you back $25 pesos.
  • Sopa de Wan-Tan is Wonton Soup and costs $35 pesos.
  • Pollo Frito con Salsa Agridulce is somewhat equivalent to General Tso's Chicken and costs $70 pesos.
  • Pollo con Salsa Agridulce is Sweet and Sour Chicken and costs $70 pesos.

And the rest of the translating is up to you!

I had been craving General Tso's Chicken for the longest, so I couldn't wait for the food to arrive. While we waited, my spouse and I felt like we had jumped into one of those warp tunnels from Super Mario Brothers and ended up back home in New York and the happiness was evident as we looked into each other's eyes.

When our food arrived, we dug right in. The sweet and sour chicken was on par with the one in the States. Although the General Tso's Chicken wasn't exactly the same, it was close enough. What was the difference? Well this was like a cross between sweet and sour chicken and General Tso's chicken, except the breading was overwhelmingly thick and the amount of chicken inside was small. But still, what do you expect for a plate that costs 70 pesos ($7.41 USD) plus an extra 22 pesos ($2.33 USD) for a bowl of white rice?

As time went by, other Chinese and Argentinian patrons filled the vacant restaurant as well. This was the largest concentration of Chinese people we had seen in Cordoba since we arrived. We had seen other Asians in Buenos Aires when we went on vacation two years ago, but in Cordoba we were lucky to see one or two on the streets. I really wanted to learn more about them, like if they were naturalized Argentine citizens or 1st generation citizens or residents? But I didn´t want to come off rude so I concentrated on my dinner instead which was delicious.

Lunch Time
The second time we went was for lunch and they had a buffet, but sadly it wasn't an all you can eat buffet like we were used to in the States. Here you had to grab a plate, fill it with as much food as you wanted. Then go to the register and have it weighed and then pay before you could eat. You could stay and eat the restaurant or you could take it home. I chose the latter.

The menu items in the buffet were more in tune with the stuff we were used to seeing in the States like the noodles, the egg rolls, the sweet and sour chicken and chicken wings (which granted is not Chinese but was always available on the menu as a side dish).

I took a sample of mostly everything, which only cost me 50 pesos ($5.29 USD). The truth is it would have been cheaper had I not gotten two egg rolls. When I got to the register I learned that the egg rolls are priced separately at about 8 pesos each ($0.85 cents in USD), more or less. But I didn´t mind paying extra.

I got home and tried the food and it was amazing! Actually, I almost lost all of my teeth when I bit into what I thought was a piece of sweet and sour chicken which ended up being a chicken wing. Don´t laugh. It's not funny.

If I had to choose between dinner and lunch time I would definitely choose lunch time because that´s the only time you get the buffet and I personally like picking and choosing the things I like and leaving the stuff I don't behind.
But regardless of whether you go in the afternoon or the evening, it's a wonderful place to get away from the routine of the local cuisine or Burger King and McDonald´s whose prices have been skyrocketing lately.

If you're fortunate enough to live within a 3 block radius of the restaurant you can call in your order and have it delivered or you can call it in and then pick it up if you live further away.

Jardin de Jade is located on 27 de Abril 354. It's right across from Cordoba´s public library and right next to Torre Angela, a place that used to be a top pick for people who wanted to jack knife to their deaths. But that´s a story for another time and I will get into more details about Torre Angela real soon. That´s a promise. Until next time.

#jardindejade #Chinese #restaurant #Cordoba #Argentina

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