Food reviews - Shanghai, Uncategorized JESSE RESTAURANT 9 June 2010


Jesse Restaurant
Unit 4, Bldg 9, Lane 169 Taicang Lu
Xintiandi
Shanghai, China

PRICE: ????
RATING:

I’ve heard about Jesse Restaurant from many people and many websites. They’re a highly rated and popular Shanghainese restaurant that’s frequented both by expats and locals. We finally made our way there one evening for dinner, at the branch in Xintiandi. Let me just say, this place is hidden in PLAIN SIGHT. The problem? They don’t have the English name “Jesse restaurant” ANYWHERE on the front facade of the building! They’ve only got the Chinese characters and obviously since we can’t read Chinese, we kept walking past it. Finally, we poked our head into the front door and asked “Errrr…. Jesse?” and the waiter grimly nodded his head.

He was our waiter for our meal and whilst he wasn’t rude, he was really poker-faced. Shouldn’t customer service be warm and friendly and helpful? I guess we are in a Chinese restaurant 😛 Thankfully though, the menu was all in English and so we didn’t have to ask him for help when ordering. It’s also a really nice, clean, well-lit restaurant.. I suppose because it’s in ritzy Xintiandi. Since I heard it was a local Shanghainese place, I’d expected a grimy, dirty noisy hole-in-the-wall (those often serve the best food!) and was surprised this restaurant was actually really nice.. I suppose it caters more for the expat crowd due to its location.

The Braised fatty pork was, of course, our instant choice. I LOVE this Shanghainese dish. It’s very fatty chunks of pork layered with fat and cut into chunks, then braised for ages in an earthen pot in a rich and thick black/red sauce. The result is very very tender fatty pork that bursts with lip-smacking flavour, that’s slightly sweet and slightly salty. It’s luscious! Often, places don’t cook it well and the pork isn’t very tender, but Jesse does it perfectly. We dig into the very reasonably-sized pot and happily chomp our way through the soft and moist pork chunks. Mmm… bliss.

We decide to be healthy and get a dish of Vegetables and tofu. I forgot what it’s called on the menu, but it sounded like plain green vegetables. But we got something like very very thin and hard bamboo shoots? It had a very ‘green’ taste and, to me, was inedible. It’s just personal taste though, I’m sure, and I tend to dislike veggies… especially these ones 😛 Chris, on the other hand, thought they were just fine.

The other star dish was the Scallion pancakes. Small discs of buttery goodness, that flaked with a push of our chopsticks. They were so buttery and warm and such comfort-food! Delicious just eaten as-is, or dunked into the Braised fatty pork sauce. Sooooo good.

Our carb dish was the Minced pork vermicelli , which came steaming hot and fragrant in an earthen pot. The glistening strands of glassy noodles were very oily, but worth it because it was packed with flavour and downright delicious. They didn’t scrimp on the minced pork either, which added a great meaty flavour to the slippery noodles.

I thoroughly enjoyed the meal, though you could say they don’t serve the healthiest of food. So if you’re into healthy-eating, you won’t want to order what we ordered, since all our dishes were heavily oiled and/or fatty. However, if you’re into fantastic-tasting food and don’t care about turning into a fatty, get what we got, because it was AWESOME!


Inside Jesse (pic stole from The Dining Secretary)

Braised fatty pork

Vegetables and tofu

Scallion pancakes

Minced pork vermicelli


34 Comments

  • starbucksweetie posted on June 9, 2010 at 1:44 am

    I like the name “Jesse” for a restaurant.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on June 9, 2010 at 8:25 am

      I can’t read the proper Chinese name for it, but I wonder if it was just a coincidence or if it’s the owner’s name..

      Reply
  • rainingumbrella posted on June 9, 2010 at 3:44 am

    The scallion pancakes look soooo yummy to me right now. I’m hungry 🙁 it’s almost lunchtime 😀

    By the way: I saw your piece in this issue of City Weekend! Congratulations 😀 Do you have any tips for someone trying to become more well-versed in food? I’m an aspiring food critic and to say the least, my tastebuds are very unrefined. You write about food really well, too 🙂

    Wei-Wei

    Reply
    • beverly posted on June 9, 2010 at 8:26 am

      They were GOOD – so buttery!! I’d get them again next time for sure 🙂

      Well my tastebuds/writing is also unrefined, but I see food reviews as just a fun, inclusive hobby.. I don’t take it too seriously! If you’re interested in doing it i’d say to eat at a lot of places to ‘learn’ what’s considered good/not good.. and read lots of professional critic reviews to see how they write 😛

      Reply
  • catpuccino posted on June 9, 2010 at 8:06 am

    I think the green veggies are garlic shoots? Either that or it might be Chinese celery (which is skinnier than Australian celery).

    Reply
    • beverly posted on June 9, 2010 at 8:27 am

      YES i think they’re those shoots! ugghhghghghgh they tasted SO BAD 🙁

      Reply
      • catpuccino posted on June 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm

        Awww… I like them – but I guess maybe an acquired taste? 😛

        Reply
  • starbucksweetie posted on June 9, 2010 at 1:44 am

    I like the name “Jesse” for a restaurant.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on June 9, 2010 at 8:25 am

      I can’t read the proper Chinese name for it, but I wonder if it was just a coincidence or if it’s the owner’s name..

      Reply
  • rainingumbrella posted on June 9, 2010 at 3:44 am

    The scallion pancakes look soooo yummy to me right now. I’m hungry 🙁 it’s almost lunchtime 😀

    By the way: I saw your piece in this issue of City Weekend! Congratulations 😀 Do you have any tips for someone trying to become more well-versed in food? I’m an aspiring food critic and to say the least, my tastebuds are very unrefined. You write about food really well, too 🙂

    Wei-Wei

    Reply
    • beverly posted on June 9, 2010 at 8:26 am

      They were GOOD – so buttery!! I’d get them again next time for sure 🙂

      Well my tastebuds/writing is also unrefined, but I see food reviews as just a fun, inclusive hobby.. I don’t take it too seriously! If you’re interested in doing it i’d say to eat at a lot of places to ‘learn’ what’s considered good/not good.. and read lots of professional critic reviews to see how they write 😛

      Reply
  • babyflite posted on June 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Those are garlic shoots. I dont like them either. Not a fan of veggies! :p

    Reply
    • beverly posted on June 10, 2010 at 1:47 am

      OMG they tasted SO BAD. Must remember never to get em…. I’d even rather regular green leafy veg

      Reply
  • angelnotes posted on June 9, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Everything looks so good! They don’t actually look *that* unhealthy. ;P

    Reply
    • beverly posted on June 10, 2010 at 1:48 am

      Heh, the dishes were all dripping with so much oil.. but I guess that’s why they look/tasted super good 😛

      Reply
  • cenedrah posted on June 9, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Goodness me! That pork looks so luscious! Oh and people need to give in to their inner cravings every once in awhile (maybe more than ‘awhile’ for me). I too just created a new blog (it’s quite rough) with focus on food -check it out when you can 🙂
    http://musingsandmorsels.weebly.com/

    It’s both a film and food blog, with me mainly focusing on the food (I’m Certified Eater) and my friend with film. We both intend to dabble in the ‘Other Tidbits’ section when the site evolves more 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on June 10, 2010 at 1:49 am

      Yesss I love that pork dish 🙂

      I love your blog pic, heh. You should come on LJ so you appear on my Friends list!

      Reply
      • cenedrah posted on June 10, 2010 at 11:55 am

        I know I’m going to sound like a newbie but what’s LJ? lol

        Reply
        • beverly posted on June 10, 2010 at 1:29 pm

          LIveJournal 😉

          Reply
  • catpuccino posted on June 9, 2010 at 8:06 am

    I think the green veggies are garlic shoots? Either that or it might be Chinese celery (which is skinnier than Australian celery).

    Reply
    • beverly posted on June 9, 2010 at 8:27 am

      YES i think they’re those shoots! ugghhghghghgh they tasted SO BAD 🙁

      Reply
      • catpuccino posted on June 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm

        Awww… I like them – but I guess maybe an acquired taste? 😛

        Reply
  • babyflite posted on June 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Those are garlic shoots. I dont like them either. Not a fan of veggies! :p

    Reply
    • beverly posted on June 10, 2010 at 1:47 am

      OMG they tasted SO BAD. Must remember never to get em…. I’d even rather regular green leafy veg

      Reply
  • angelnotes posted on June 9, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Everything looks so good! They don’t actually look *that* unhealthy. ;P

    Reply
    • beverly posted on June 10, 2010 at 1:48 am

      Heh, the dishes were all dripping with so much oil.. but I guess that’s why they look/tasted super good 😛

      Reply
  • cenedrah posted on June 9, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Goodness me! That pork looks so luscious! Oh and people need to give in to their inner cravings every once in awhile (maybe more than ‘awhile’ for me). I too just created a new blog (it’s quite rough) with focus on food -check it out when you can 🙂
    http://musingsandmorsels.weebly.com/

    It’s both a film and food blog, with me mainly focusing on the food (I’m Certified Eater) and my friend with film. We both intend to dabble in the ‘Other Tidbits’ section when the site evolves more 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on June 10, 2010 at 1:49 am

      Yesss I love that pork dish 🙂

      I love your blog pic, heh. You should come on LJ so you appear on my Friends list!

      Reply
      • cenedrah posted on June 10, 2010 at 11:55 am

        I know I’m going to sound like a newbie but what’s LJ? lol

        Reply
        • beverly posted on June 10, 2010 at 1:29 pm

          LIveJournal 😉

          Reply
  • good_lenchik posted on June 13, 2010 at 5:50 am

    I didn’t know that there is Jesse in Xintiandi. I got their card from David Blaine, that famous magician I met other day in Azul, and the address on the card is 41 TianPing Rd (French Concession), phone 62829260. Is it the same one? Vargas also told that this is absolutely must go place for local food.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on June 13, 2010 at 9:37 am

      That’s their other branch I think, this one’s in Xintiandi (address at the top of the blogpost)

      Reply
  • good_lenchik posted on June 13, 2010 at 5:50 am

    I didn’t know that there is Jesse in Xintiandi. I got their card from David Blaine, that famous magician I met other day in Azul, and the address on the card is 41 TianPing Rd (French Concession), phone 62829260. Is it the same one? Vargas also told that this is absolutely must go place for local food.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on June 13, 2010 at 9:37 am

      That’s their other branch I think, this one’s in Xintiandi (address at the top of the blogpost)

      Reply

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