Best Chinese Restaurant (2008)

Jackie Tan Restaurant

It's huge, it's inexpensive and it's fun. Located in a towering building on Bellaire between Synott and Dairy Ashford, Jackie Tan Restaurant looks like a fortress along the Great Wall of China. It seats over 300. The menu is huge, and there are lots of gloppy brown sauce dishes lying in wait for the unwary. If you pay attention, you can get some stellar food here. Don't miss the vaguely named "shrimp special salad" on the first page of the menu. It is the best shrimp and jellyfish salad in the city. Fresh snow pea shoots quickly sautéed with garlic are exceptional. And so is the crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-in-the-middle, deep-fried softshell crab served over a cold mixture of chopped scallions, herbs and hellaciously hot sliced green chilies. Call it an oversized Asian diner or a noodle house on steroids. Whatever you call it, Jackie Tan is defining the new frontier in Bellaire Chinatown.


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