Jade Palace is Gem of a Restaurant
By Jim Delmont 1997 Omaha World-Herald
Steve and Shirley Yau have opened Jade Palace (not to be confused with Jade Garden, another good Chinese restaurant) near Bellevue University. The clean, spacious restaurant, with its high-ceiling beamed interior, booths and ceiling fans, is a pleasant place to showcase Chinese fare with a Malaysian touch.
Yau is Malaysian. Chef David Chern is from Taiwan. Chern worked at the China Garden in New York City and at a four-star restaurant in Aspen, Colo. He once cooked for President Jimmy Carter.
The Jade Palace menu is extensive, with 99 items. But there is another menu, with 39 Asian-Chinese specialties that are served only on Saturday and Sunday. These are listed in Madarin script and in English, and they include Korean, Malaysian and regional Chinese dishes, including "hot pepper baby fish," "Taiwan stir-fried noodles" and "collard green with pork soup."
The nightly special was Szechwan cabbage soup the night of our visit - a pungent, clear soup with a meaty broth flavor, morsels of pork, cellophane noodles and slivers of cabbage. Pork also is featured in the fried dumplings (six for $3.95) - spicy pork morsels in crisp dumpling skins, served with a dark brown vinegar-soy-wine-garlic sauce with onion bits.
We tried Seafood Delight ($8.50), elegant in its simplicity, with an almost neutral sauce coating tender plump shrimp, scallops, mock crab, totton mushrooms, broccoli, baby corn, snap beans and carrots.
A delightful feature at Jade Palace is the chef's whimsical habit of carving turnips, radishes, squash, carrots and other vegetables into decorative flowers that grace some of the plates.
Malaysian cuisine is represented by family-recipe curries - yellow, red, green, Masaman, Penang and Lemak - all of them spicy hot. they are all made with coconut milk and varying vegetable combinations with potato chunks.
You can choose chicken, pork, beef or shrimp or a combination in these strong-flavored curries.
Orange beef ($7.95) had a crunchy, crisp, thin coating (deep fried), and with a real orange-rind tang. Crispy beef has smaller morsels of beef varnished with a coating of egg and cornstarch, very tasty and crunchy.
These dishes come with steamed rice (you can also order fried rice). The restaurant will steam some foods on request, and there is a small list of "weight watchers" and vegetarian selections on the regular menu.
Making its way soon to the weekend menu will be Szechwan shredded pork - shards of pork browned with peppers and mildly spiced.
The signature dessert here is coconut pie - little pastries molded like sea-shells, flaky and with sweet, puddinglike fillings.
Alcoholic beverage prices are very low, with name-brand wines at $2.50 a glass, plum wine at $2, a jar of sake at $3.25 and imported beer at $2.50 a bottle.
Our server was extraordinarily polite and well-informed.
The Jade Palace has been open about three months and has found favor with Offutt Air Force Base personnel, reliable arbiters of good food. It is well worth a visit.
Jade Palace 1702 Galvin Road in Bellevue.
Prices: Inexpensive to moderate.
Alcoholic beverages: Specialty drinks, wine and beer.
Payment: Credit cards and checks accepted.
||11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday;
11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday;
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.