3-510 Circle Dr E
If I was to use one word to describe Jasmine Restaurant, I think that YUM would suffice. My fiance and I dinned at Jasmine the other day and had an excellent meal! This is our second time dinning here, and I think the best so far.
I love the flavours of Asia! I’ve had a few go-to Vietnamese and Thai restaurants over the years. Each one has gone downhill in the end. For quite some time, Saigon Rose was, I feel, the best Vietnamese in the city. Their soup broths were unreal and the sate dishes were rich, concentrated, and heavenly. As of late it’s been junk since Rose is not involved. Another tasty choice used to be Pho’s Shanghai Kitchen on Idylwyld Drive. Their Pho was excellent! From their sate to tom yum, each soup was perfect. It also included a side of bean sprouts, cilantro, lime, and fresh chili peppers. Rarely do you ever find a restaurant that serves their Pho with traditional sides. Sadly, Pho’s closed a couple of years ago. The last place for guaranteed eats was Saskatoon Asian Restaurant. The last couple of times have been very disappointing. Their spring rolls have changed for the worse, noodle bowls changed, and soup broths taste like the cooks use a packaged MSG powdered broth mix (the ones you pay 25 cents for at the import store). On the search for a new go-to joint, we stumbled across Jasmine.
I have heard nothing but great things about Jasmine over the years. It baffles me why it took so long to try it. I’m glad I did because it is our (at least my) new place for awesome Asian style food! I’m pretty sure my fiance agrees with my Jasmine stance. The restaurant has a very simple, unassuming appearance. There is next to no kitschy wall adornments or ornaments. Their food doesn’t have to hide behind any fancy dancy dress. The building smelled excellent (some places have a fowl, rotten fryer oil smell), and the booths, tables and chairs were very clean. I was also impressed by their fresh and sparkling clean washrooms. They even lacked the common poopy aroma! Also, the staff were very friendly and prompt with service.
My fiance and I have visited Jasmine only two times since friends suggested we try it. It’s one of those places where we seem to forget about when discussing where we should go to eat. It baffles me why we don’t think of it. I usually judge a place by how good their sate noodle soup is. When we first visited Jasmine I was not impressed by their sate pho broth. It was bland, and the bowl lacked vegetables and meat. Since I have heard from so many people how the food is, I thought it was worth giving it a second chance.
For this visit we started with an order of the spring rolls and cold rolls. These were AWESOME!!! Like our first visit, the deep fried rolls were very good. The rice paper was very crispy and the filling was meaty, properly seasoned, and fresh tasting. One thing that struck me was the clean taste of the fryer oil. It’s pretty common, I’ve found, that fryer oil is old, unfiltered, and borderline rancid in many Saskatoon Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai restaurants. The cold rolls were very good as wall. The rice paper skin was soft and tender, and the pork inside the rolls was very well seasoned and tender. I recommend both the fried and fresh rolls as an appetizer.
And now the pièce de résistance! The curry chicken soup was very good! It was a mild yellow Thai curry with a rich and creamy broth of coconut milk and accented by fish sauce. Though the soup was super good, the only things that were missing was cilantro and lime. These are traditional ingredients when working with Thai flavours. The richness of the soup broth needed a slight boost of freshness from a lime wedge and a few cilantro leaves to properly balance it out. The soup came with two pieces of slow cooked chicken. The thigh and drumstick were extremely flavourful and tender! It was evident that it was marinaded for a a while before cooking. The inclusion of whole pieces of chicken was impressive and a point scorer. Generally it is rare for whole pieces to be served in Asian style restaurants in Saskatoon. The curry chicken soup is far superior to the sate noodle soup I tried on an earlier visit.
I look forward to visiting Jasmine Restaurant again and again to try their other soups and noodle dishes. If you have not been, you must try. Though it may be a little out of the way for most, it is well worth the trip!