Americanized take-out Chinese food is a weird animal. Despite it being near-exactly the same wherever you go, there's something undeniably comforting in a greasy pile of fried rice, egg rolls, and glazed, fried bits of meat that never seems to get old.
Say what you will, but a hefty styrofoam container of leftover Chinese will always look like the light from heaven itself as you crack the fridge open after a long night of drinks, or work, or whatever induces that ravenous hunger.
Of course, if you look, or taste, close enough, there is some discernable difference between near-identical quick-serve Chinese restaurants throughout Tampa.
Jade Garden's sesame chicken, for instance, comes in big, and we mean big chunks that actually strike a nice ratio between actual chicken meat and breading. Sometimes it feels like you're chowing down on a pile of sweet-glazed, deep fried breading and not much else when chowing down on this classic dish, so the taste of real chicken at Jade can go a wrong way.
Not everything's a home run hit, though. Their Kung Pao chicken came served in an ample portion but lacked a discernable spice as this traditional mish-mash of grilled chicken, peanuts, undercooked green peppers, and more fell pretty flat.
Jade Garden's Lo mein, a classic Ameri-Chinese staple, packs a deep brown hue and a substantial, salty flavor, which isn't great, but better than the frustratingly tasty-looking, but ultimately disappointing yellow-y noodles which saturate the marketplace.
A good egg roll can go a long way in my take on a new Chinese restaurant in Tampa. Jade Garden's might be some of the most deliciously unique I've tasted in a while touting an aromatic clash of sauteed cabbage, pork bits, and a fried wrapping that humbly takes the back seat to the pleasant flavors inside.
With lunch combos just under the $5 mark, the value here, just like that of many other Chinese food hubs in Tampa, is undeniable. Stop by Jade Garden if you've got that hankering for Chinese food in Tampa. They might not amaze, but definitely do the trick.
Let us know what you think about Jade Garden with your own rating and review on the Jade Garden 813area business listing.