JJ Chinese Dim Sum Seafood Restaurant
2500 W. Alameda Ave.
Denver, CO 80219
Many Cantonese families eat dinner late, at least compared to when traditional American families eat dinner. I haven’t figured out why it’s so common, but it’s the reason why many Cantonese restaurants are open late. It’s not unusual for many Cantonese restaurants in California and New York to stay open until midnight, with many restaurants having a special late supper menu after 9PM. Since my family ate around 8 or 9PM on a typical night anyway, we often ate late suppers on the weekend at different restaurants, allowing our family to eat out on a budget.
Thus, it was an easy decision on where to eat in honor of my late mother’s 53rd birthday. JJ Chinese is certainly one of the top Chinese restaurants in Denver, including a recommendation from David Chan, a renown Chinese food eater and blogger that has eaten at over 6,000 Chinese restaurants. It also happens to have a great late night Chinese menu with items as low as $5.95.
Since I was eating in honor of my mom, I opted to eat one dish from the late supper menu and another item that she loved to eat, but was not on the late super menu, but can still order on the regular menu. The first dish was black pepper marinated beef short ribs and the second dish was ong choy stir fried in spicy fish paste (Ong Choy is an Asian vegetable with long stems and hearty leaves, genetically close to sweet potato leaves). To complete the meal I also ordered a ginseng and chicken soup, a favorite of my mom.
The black pepper beef short ribs were pretty decent, albeit a bit chewier than I had expected. The ong choy was excellent, reminescent of how my mom would cook the dish at home. It was a little spicy too, with some serrano peppers tossed in to the stir fry, which is just how my mom would like it. The soup was also great, with a good chicken broth that had tender bits of chicken meat and great flavor from the ginseng. For dessert I also had a sweet green bean pudding, which came on the house. While the beef short ribs were not the best I have eaten, this was another meal that has cemented JJ as one of the best Chinese restaurants in Denver.
The service could use some refinement, however. As is typical with a Chinese restaurant, especially one with a smaller square footage like JJ, there is less wait staff for the late supper time. Given that the restaurant was quite busy, service tended to be a little slow. They definitely did try earnestly, and did get get everything right, but it would have helped if there was an extra server.
All in all, you cannot really beat the value of JJ, especially in their late night menu. I daresay that it may be a better late night menu than Golden City, the family favorite restaurant in San Diego. However, I can certainly say that JJ did an excellent job preparing a meal worthy of my mother’s memory.