Smile Politely

Green Jade offers great Chinese food in southwest Champaign

We are very lucky to have several fabulous Chinese restaurants in C-U, and Green Jade is definitely among them. Since moving to the area last summer, my husband and I have frequented Green Jade, initially due to proximity to our house, but we continue to be pleasantly surprised with each dish we order. The restaurant specializes in dishes from the Hunan and Szechuan regions of China, which means that chiles, garlic, and ginger are abundant in the cooking. There are many, many options to choose from with varying levels of heat and spice.

Green Jade is located on Windsor Road in Champaign, in the Windsor Galleria strip mall near Sun Singer and the future home of Pandamonium Doughnuts. Parking can be a struggle during peak lunch and dinner hours, but there are a few designated parking spots for Green Jade patrons. The interior is quite small, with 7 to 8 tables available, so I opt to carry out or deliver on most occasions. Delivery is speedy (possibly because we live less than 1.5 miles away) and everything comes very well packaged and fresh.

We have many favorite dishes in our house, but tend to circle around to the same few time and again. Portions are very large, so we tend to get a couple appetizers, one protein and a noodle or rice. I started with wonton soup, my absolute favorite at Green Jade. I order a large soup ($3.15) which I can easily stretch into two meals and enjoy for lunch at work the next day. The large soup has eight doughy wontons filled with a pork and cabbage mixture. The wontons are pillowy and delicious. If you are a fan of noodles, these are fabulous, as the dough-to-filling ratio skews toward more noodle than pork. The soup comes with crunchy fried wontons to sprinkle on top, which is a great addition.

My husband and I also regularly share pan-fried potstickers ($5.15). There are eight dumplings in a serving. Similarly to the wonton soup, there is much more dough than filling, but the filling is a very well seasoned mixture of pork, cabbage, ginger, garlic, and other spices. It is served with a soy-based ginger dipping sauce.

Typically, we like to order a large chicken or beef dish and a large noodle/rice and have plenty for leftovers for several days. This time, we tried a “dinner combo plate” to share, as we were hoping it would cut down on the leftovers. We ordered a combo plate with General Tso’s chicken and chicken fried rice (subbed from pork fried rice). Combo plates come with a protein, steamed broccoli, pork fried rice, and an egg roll for $7.85. Despite the low cost, the combo plate is still a ton of food and we had leftovers yet again. The chicken was a combination of white and dark meat. Even though we ordered carry out, the chicken was still crispy and moist when we sat down to eat at home. The sauce has the perfect amount of heat: you can feel it, but you don’t need a glass of milk to cool down. The fried rice on the side consists of white rice with chicken, white onions, green onions, and bean sprouts. It is not the most flavorful fried rice in town, but it compliments the heat of the General Tso’s nicely. The egg roll was also under-seasoned, but offered a nice crunch and paired nicely with the duck sauce and hot mustard provided. Our full dinner (and leftovers for lunches) cost less than $25 with delivery and tip.

Overall, Green Jade is a great option for a fresh, quality meal and tons of leftovers. The flavorful dishes, fair prices, and speedy delivery place them amongst the best Chinese restaurants in the C-U area.

Green Jade is located at 1109 Windsor Road, Champaign, and open Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 4 to 10 p.m.

All photos by Jessica Wolff. 

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