I am thrilled to have Jyotsna, from one of my favorite blogs, One of my favorite blogs, The Masala Wala, join us again tonight as a guest blogger. Today, she's telling us about a Chapel Hill favorite, Jujube!
1201 Raleigh Road # L Chapel Hill, NC 27517-4047
Jujube is an Asian fusion restaurant which is, according to the website, inspired by Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines. The room is fairly simple with clean lines and bright walls.
They have a nice wine list as well several specialty cocktails which incorporate Asian flavors. On one visit I tried the Trust Tree, a cocktail of Lychee infused vodka, cucumber-lemongrass soda & lychee tea. It was nice, light, sweet and refreshing!
They offer a range of appetizers which you could easily make a meal of. The pan-fried pork and cabbage dumplings are delicious with a nice crispy wrapper and a light filling. One of my favorites is the crispy scallion calamari with three sauces. The calamari was battered with a panko breading which was light and delicate. The three sauces also added a nice variety; the cilantro based sauce was the most basic, the sweet chili sauce was a nice combination of sweet and sour flavors, and the spicy creamy sauce was nicely balanced. The fried beef short rib and goat cheese won tons had great flavor however, I was a bit disappointed in the texture. I felt the filling was a bit dense and heavy for light won tons. The sweet potato fritters with black vinegar sauce which were nice and surprisingly not dense, as I had expected.
The Jujube “Bolognese” which is rice noodles in a sauce of braised pork, hoisin and ginger is very good! The sauce was rich and very flavorful though there could have been more for the amount of noodles we had. My only complaint on this dish is that it was a bit oily. The lemongrass grilled hanger steak with cucumber salad and spicy peanut sauce is also a great dish. The steak was cooked perfectly medium rare, as requested, and was nicely complimented by the peanut sauce (which surprised me as I wasn't sure peanut sauce would be able to hold up to the rich meatiness of steak). The pan-fried crab and shrimp cake with sweet potato, spinach curry was extremely flavorful. The sweetness of the crab and shrimp cake paired nicely with the spicy and flavorful green curry sauce. On another visit we tried the braised pork belly special which was served over a mix of lentils and greens. It was fantastically rich with the fattiness of the pork balanced by the heartiness of the lentils.
We have tried several of their desserts including the roasted banana ice cream with chocolate sauce and candied young walnuts, the flourless chocolate cake with vanilla-bourbon ice cream, and the vanilla crème brulee. All were delicious! The ice creams are all homemade and were wonderfully rich and creamy.
Overall, Jujube has a great, relaxed atmosphere with great food and fun flavors!