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Robin Garr

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Jasmine Bistro impresses with Chinese regional flavors

by Robin Garr » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:49 am

Jasmine Bistro impresses with Chinese regional flavors

The cumin beef at Jasmine is dry-fried, crisp, fiery and deeply flavored.
Image

I still vividly remember the excitement of my first tastes of Sichuan cuisine. We had to travel to New York City, San Francisco or Chicago to get such goodies back in the late ‘70s, but Sichuan, aka Szechwan, fare did get to Louisville finally, and for a decade or two, these spicy regional cuisines were among the city’s most popular dining options.

Our tastes and our options have since grown diverse, and now that there’s a quick-service Chinese restaurant in just about every shopping center in town, General Tso’s chicken is just another ho-hum option.

But a couple of destination Chinese eateries remain, and one of the top spots, Jasmine Szechwan Chinese Cuisine in Middletown, has just doubled down. Really doubled: Now there are two Jasmines, with the arrival of the same owners’ Jasmine Asian Bistro in a shopping center along Lime Kiln Lane in the Holiday Manor neighborhood.

It’s an attractive room, with wall-size glass windows along two walls, a short sushi bar is lined with a half-dozen tall leopard-print stools, and a row of booths are separated by stone arches. In a variation on the usual Chinese-restaurant Great Wall paintings and bas-relief dragons, a large mural over a banquette at the back of the room is a stylish mix of traditional Chinese drawing and attractive street art. Shiny wood-look tables are set with flatware rolled in paper napkins; chopsticks are available only on request.

As with its original East End operation, Jasmine Bistro’s menu covers a broad range of standard Chinese-American dishes including sweet and sour chicken ($9) and pepper steak, ($12), eight kinds of fried rice (from $8 to $11) and less-familiar authentic dishes such as hong shao rou, Shanghai-style braised pork belly ($12) and seafood fish belly soup ($8). All dishes are listed in both English and Chinese, and entree prices are contained within the range of $8 to $15.

Eight varieties of sushi roll range in price from $5 for the familiar California roll to $13 for several fancy options including the White Castle roll, which, happily, is not composed of deconstructed sliders but honors the beloved soaring white samurai castle in Himeji, Japan.

An extensive lunch menu includes 30 dishes, all served with white or fried rice and choice of egg drop, hot-and-sour, or wonton soup, from $6.99 to $8.99.

We stopped in at lunchtime but chose from the dinner menu and were happy with everything we tried ...

Read the full review on LouisvilleHotBytes,
http://www.louisvillehotbytes.com/jasmine-bistro

You'll also find this review in LEO Weekly's Food & Drink section today.
http://www.leoweekly.com/category/food-drink/

Jasmine Asian Bistro
2420 Lime Kiln Lane
618-3000
http://jasmineasianbistroky.com

Robin Garr's rating: 86 points.

Noise level: The average sound level at lunch was 77dB, making conversation easy, although an investment sales pitch at a nearby table occasionally spiked to a piercing 92dB.

Accessibility: The modern shopping center dining room and restrooms are accessible to wheelchair users, except for tall stools at the sushi bar.
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Jon K

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Re: Jasmine Bistro impresses with Chinese regional flavors

by Jon K » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:02 am

I've been there 4 times already. That's my complete review.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Jasmine Bistro impresses with Chinese regional flavors

by Robin Garr » Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:07 am

Jon K wrote:I've been there 4 times already. That's my complete review.

Jon wins for both brevity and accuracy! :mrgreen:
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Andrew Mellman

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Re: Jasmine Bistro impresses with Chinese regional flavors

by Andrew Mellman » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:39 pm

question and comment:

In a prior thread, it was mentioned that the Bistro had a Cantonese chef, and would feature Cantonese rather than Szechuan food. Am I remembering wrong, or did things change, as most of what Robin ate was Szechuan?

Comment:

We've had several friends who have eaten there, and their recommendation has been to wait for a shakedown period , . . cashew chicken came without cashews, chicken pieces included big chunks of gristle, there were various other problems. The original Jasmine is our favorite, so we decided to wait a while longer before trying this branch. Do you think we should wait longer or go now?
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Re: Jasmine Bistro impresses with Chinese regional flavors

by Jon K » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:45 pm

Service is going through the usual hiccups of opening IMO. It's been a little like eating at a tapas place with dishes coming out as they are ready. Once, our apps arrived after several of the main dishes had arrived. That said, I've not encountered any missing cashews or other ingredients and everything has been delicious. I'd suggest letting them get through their shakedown if stuff like that is an issue.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Jasmine Bistro impresses with Chinese regional flavors

by Robin Garr » Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:46 pm

I used "regional Chinese" rather than "Sichuan" in the headline because the menu struck me as a mix. In the menus on the tables, the authentic dishes are shown as images with the more familiar dishes in print only. I don't know who's in the kitchen, but I wonder if they're using "Cantonese" to mean "Chinese-American" while bringing over authentic recipes from the other Jasmine? Just guessing here.

Funny about the timing ... we didn't have a major issue, but now that I think about it, the sushi plate did come out with the entrees rather than with the other app. It was made by a different chef though (obviously) and took some fine work, so it doesn't surprise me that they didn't try to synch it with the kitchen.

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