A while back Gothamist wrote about the closure and renovation of Gum Fung, our go-to spot in Flushing for dim sum. Turns out that the sign on the door was right about the space's renovation but wrong about its reopening: Gum Fung is no more; it's been replaced by Jade Asian Restaurant. Don't be thrown off by the joint's less-than-creative name though.; the dim sum here is up to the standards of its predecessor. Thanks to the strange glyph adorning the lobby and all the dishes, we have our own moniker for this spot: "the restaurant formerly known as Gum Fung."
Last Sunday we showed up at 11:45 a.m. to find the sleekly redecorated dining room packed; we ended up sharing a table with a Chinese family that was tucking into chicken feet and spare ribs.
After assuring the waitress that we didn't need forks, we started our dim sum feast with a heaping platter of fried shell-on shrimp that were meaty and succulent. Jade's shrimp-packed har gau were also excellent. Next time around we'll have to bring a more adventurous dining companion; we were left the not unpleasant task of polishing off the platter of fried shrimp and prohibited from ordering a platter of fried baby octopi.
Our yum cha buddy placed no such restriction upon stopping the cart that offered mountainous platters of golden fried small fish. These salty, crunchy critters managed to outshine Gum Fung's version of this dish. The miniature xiao long bao, on the other hand, with their gummy wrappers, were among the worst soup dumplings we've ever tasted. Guess this explains why dim sum spots seldom serve this Shanghai specialty. That trio of translucent dumplings held a surprise though: instead of a savory filling they were packed with creamy egg custard.
Jade also garners top marks for what we'll call open-faced dumplings, for lack of a better word. The first of these nouvelle creations had a pale green wrapper that evoked the lobby's eerie blue icon. Cradled inside were some shrimp topped with mayonnaise and a dollop of flying fish roe. The dumplings were so tasty that we momentarily forgot our aversion to the combination of mayo and seafood. The second of these open-faced delicacies each contained a miniature seafood feast: shrimp topped with a bit of lobster crowned by a few filaments of shark's fin. Gothamist wrapped up our first visit to Jade with dessert: balls of glutinous rice cake filled with sweet sesame paste and coated with crunchy candied peanuts.
Jade Asian Restaurant, 136-28 39th Ave, Flushing, 718-762-8821