Our NRT gathering for October was at Jujube in Chapel Hill. The room is fairly simple with clean lines and bright walls. It is a Asian fusion restaurant which is, according to the website, inspired by Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines.
I started with a Trust Tree, a cocktail of Lychee infused vodka, cucumber-lemongrass soda & lychee tea. It was nice, light, sweet and refreshing! They have several specialty cocktails which incorporate Asian flavors which would be fun to try.
Our group agreed that many of the appetizers sounded great and we could easily make a meal of them. Therefore, we decided to try four. The pan-fried pork and cabbage dumplings were delicious! A nice crispy wrapper with a tasty light filling! My favorite was the crispy scallion calamari with three sauces. The calamari were 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 were 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 last appetizer we tried were the sweet potato fritters with black vinegar sauce which were nice and surprisingly not dense.
For our main dish G and I decided to share the Jujube “Bolognese” which is rice noodles in a sauce of braised pork, hoisin and ginger. It was 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. One of our group had the lemongrass grilled hanger steak with cucumber salad and spicy peanut sauce. The steak was cooked perfectly medium rare 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 other main dish at our table was the pan-fried crab and shrimp cake with sweet potato, spinach curry. The crab and shrimp cake sweet and paired micely with the spicy and flavorful green curry sauce.
For dessert we tried 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 nice, relaxed atmosphere with great food and delicious flavors!
1201 Raleigh Road # L
Chapel Hill, NC 27517