In the famous movie "Flower Drum Song," a musical by Rogers and Hammerstein, there is a short scene that has stayed with me for many, many years.
Two of the characters in the film, fresh from a scene of chaos, find peace inside a restaurant. The place, where they share some food, is the memory that is so vivid in my mind. It was serene and I've looked for that place in Chinese restaurants over the years.
Now, I've found it at Jing's, a Chinese restaurant that features food from Shanghai. It's located at 207 E. Buffalo in the heart of the Third Ward. And for five years it must be one of the best kept secrets in the city.
I had dinner there the other night and a chance to talk with owner Jing Wang, a lovely woman who has created an oasis of peaceful joy in the middle of a big, bustling city.
Jing's has soft lighting that bathes the minimalist dĂ©cor in warmth and makes it easy to catch your breath. The other thing is that it's a quiet restaurant. Even with other diners present, there is something about Jing's that inspires you to speak softly with your companions.
There are two menus at Jing's and each of them offers an array of delights that are prepared with care and presented at a well-paced comfort level.
One menu is filled with the kind of American-Chinese food you find at many area restaurants. I had a sweet and sour pork that was as good as I've had anywhere.
There is also a much smaller menu, printed on a single red card.
"This is a more traditional Chinese menu," explained Jing Wang, who has operated the restaurant for five years. "These are our special entrees."
This menu is so special to the restaurant that she would barely let a copy out to go with me and would only do so after I pledged on the graves of my fathers that I wouldn't reveal any of the items on the menu.
And lest you think that a menu this special would break the bank, be dissuaded from that notion. The most expensive item is $16.95 and the lowest is $5.95.
There is one item on that menu, the second one from the top in the list of appetizers, that may be the best thing I have ever eaten in any restaurant, anywhere.
Milwaukee has lots of outstanding Chinese restaurants but Jing's is clearly, right at the top of that list.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published May 3, 2016
Being an Uber driver in Milwaukee is a one-of-a-kind experience that allows Dave Begel to meet some of the city's most interesting people. Everybody has a story, and Tales from the Road will highlight some of those stories.
Published April 30, 2016
Playwright August Wilson is famous for his 10-play cycle examining the experience of black people in the United States, and none of his plays stands as revered as "Fences," which The Rep opened Friday night.
Published April 29, 2016
A play about life in the theater, a life full of ups and downs and in betweens, is sometimes a shaky thing, trying to connect with an audience that may or may not have the inside knowledge that you need to get all the jokes.
Published April 28, 2016
In our lust to keep Milwaukee a happy place for millions of millennials, are we going to get stuck with a bunch of buildings that look like they belong in a Saturday morning cartoon?
Published April 26, 2016
Several Milwaukee theaters - from The Rep to First Stage to Next Act and more - have become crusaders for the world around them, staging productions and activities that try to shed light on a wide variety of social issues.
Published April 23, 2016
Place. Play. Performance. When all three P's are there, a night at the theater can turn into magic, and that's what you get at "Ernest in Love" that opened at In Tandem Theatre Friday night.
Published April 21, 2016
Everybody in Wisconsin was all worked up about the presidential primary races a couple of weeks ago but the race between Sen. Ron Johnson and former Sen. Russ Feingold could have a lasting impact on the balance of power in Washington.
Published April 19, 2016
The recent staging of the touching hit musical "Once" that played a week at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts raised an issue that some people think is important to the quality of a production.
Published April 16, 2016
For a master class on how to put a drunk scene on stage, let me recommend "Fallen Angels," the Noel Coward drawing room comedy that opened Friday night at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.
Published April 16, 2016
Hotel rooms are expanding with openings imminent or on the drawing board for the near future. Perhaps the one drawing the most attention is the Klimpton Journeyman Hotel, scheduled to open in the Historic Third Ward in June.