Jia Jia Chinese Restaurant (Athlone)

Restaurant: Jia Jia Chinese Restaurant

Location:Dublin Road, Athlone

Type: Chinese and Asian cuisine

Date of visit: Feb 2009

Ambiance: Ornately designed traditional Chinese interior ( you could really spend quite sometime looking at all the intricate decors and paintings in the house)

During this weekend away, we decided to pop by a Chinese restaurant in Athlone. They have been around for a decade or so. I have been there a couple of times. To my surprise, quality of food here has been quite consistent over the years. I tried the later added Thai and Malaysian dishes onto the menu last time, in my opinion, they fair quite well in that realm too. This Sat meal at the establishment again proved that she earned her standing amongst the ubiquitous Chinese restaurants.

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  • For appetisers, we had Aromatic Duck. The shredded duck was delightfully crispy on skin and yet tender in flesh, rightfully aromatic! The sauce deserved a compliment to make this dish as it is.

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  • Below is the bamboo steamer container filled with light pastry wraps for aromatic duck shreds and the veg strips. Very thin and fluffy.

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  • Tom Yum Soup with Wonton (on special request, nicely accommodated and done well), it is hot and sour, just what A needed. Fresh shrimp in the Won Tons are bouncy and juicy on teeth.

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We proceeded onto mains consisted of mainly seafood. The combinations seen below were recommended by the warm and friendly manager, John. I appreciated this set to try out something new and promising. Brother D insisted on a steak, I was cynical at first, however it turned out surprisingly good.

  • Seafood clay pot – consists of scallops, king prawns (I requested to leave out squids), Japanese tofu and assorted veg. The pot really kept the whole dish warm and bubbling for quite sometime. Excatly what I need during this winter weekend away.

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  • Chicken Yuk Sung (Minced chicken & prawn served on a bed of crunchy fried vermicelli, wrapped in with fresh crunchy lettuce leaves). Refreshing.

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  • Sirloin steak (well done) served in a sizzling hot plate , quite an elaborated steak, but in a good way. The steak was tender yet thoroughly cooked. Black pepper sauce was chosen and served aside for you to pour over the steak, whenever you are ready.

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  • Salt and chilli stir fried king prawns – huge prawns with light & crunchy batter coated evenly. The essential ingredients of salt and fresh chillies aromas were well absorbed. Nice one!

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  • For dessert, we decided to try out banana fritters with vanilla scoops. Unusual to me but crazily addictive. The banana was cut into bite size chunks, fried in batter and drizzled over with honey and sesame seeds. The vanilla scoop complimented the hot freshly fried banana perfectly.

I know that back in Indonesia/Malaysia/Singapore, they do something similar but fried with the whole banana (minus the ice cream of course), it’s a popular street side snack called Pisang Goreng. Well, this place gave the original Pisang Goreng a nice palatable twist.

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Probably, I am more biased to Chinese food as I grew up in one such family. Judging from a Chinese taste bud, this place deserves another and another and … visit.

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