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 24, 2016
The Wisconsin theater season generally begins in early summer when The American Players Theatre opens in Spring Green, shortly after the previous Milwaukee season comes to an end in spring. The 2015-16 season is now over and it's time for Dave Begel's annual list of the best plays of the season.
Published May 21, 2016
Skylight's production of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance" delivered a rollicking and laugh-filled first act. As for the second act? Unfortunately, that's where the Skylight's season finale ran out of gas.
Published May 20, 2016
There are rare moments in the life of an arts organization when something happens that is a stamp of its style and the core belief that makes it who it is. The Milwaukee Ballet unfurled a moment just like that Thursday night with "Alice (in wonderland)."
Published May 19, 2016
Demond Means, a skilled and accomplished educator, is a guy who deserves some sympathy for being caught between a rock and a hard place as he tries to move the rock. He faces tough opponents in reform efforts.
Published May 18, 2016
Somebody somewhere needs to sit me down in a corner and explain why the City of Milwaukee needs a new "People's flag" to replace the one we've had for over 60 years.
Published May 17, 2016
Septime Webre is about to step down after 17 years as artistic director of the prestigious Washington Ballet. Before then, however, he is in Milwaukee to direct his "Alice (in wonderland)" with the Milwaukee Ballet.
Published May 14, 2016
Just as First Stage produces a lot of play with messages directed at older kids - most of which can be enjoyed by adults as well - the company can also deliver for the little kids like "Lily's Purple Plastic Purse."
Published May 12, 2016
I have four grandkids, three of them boys, and I've always been fascinated by how different their little boy summers are from the little boy summers I had when I was a little boy. Not better or worse, but different.
Published May 10, 2016
Express Yourself Milwaukee will stage its 15th annual show featuring the talents of young people in music, spoken word, art and dance at the Milwaukee Theatre this week.
Published May 7, 2016
There are so many ways to tell a great story in the world of theater, but Milwaukee has never seen anything quite like "Song From the Uproar" which opened a short run Friday night at the Broadway Theater center.