It is an early-spring afternoon in Warwick and though the sky is a bit gloomy, there is no shortage of sunshine in one of the happiest places to be in the city, Jade Dragon Restaurant. Here, loyal patrons and newcomers alike gather for some of Rickie Chin’s famous Asian-American food, food which has remained as consistently delicious as has the hospitality of Chin’s partner in life, Judy Chin. With Rickie in the back of the house, and Judy in the front, this is a partnership that defines success, hard work and a sense of community which transcends the four walls of this family-friendly and family-run restaurant on Warwick Avenue.
Just ask longtime customer and huge fan of the Chins, Norm Arsenault. Norm is the closest thing to the television character “Norm” on the legendary show “Cheers” as you can find. He and Judy have a certain friendly banter that gives you a glimpse into their 25-year friendship – a friendship that has lasted as long as Norm has been frequenting Jade Dragon. For Norm, a retiree and 25-year veteran of the Providence police force, this is more than a place to stop at the end of the day, it is a place filled with memories and traditions that surpass time and place.
Norm recalls with fondness the days he brought his two daughters, now in their early thirties, to eat at Jade Dragon before their first school Daddy-Daughter dances. As a father of six young adults and the grandfather of a joyful four-year old, his eyes light up when he talks about those days, and the new traditions that are carried on here with the changing generations. He is quick to praise the kind and generous way Judy greets, treats and remembers the legions of guests she has served here over the years. He marvels at her memory for the details of their lives, and her genuine desire to make Jade Dragon a place of refuge and comfort.
The hospitality of Judy Chin is well-known in these parts, but so is the outstanding, affordable, large-portion sized food of her husband Rickie. Norm’s girls loved the Pu-Pu Platters and Lobster Fried Rice, but his longstanding favorite is the Subgum Wonton – a delectable combination of lobster meat, shrimp, chicken and pork sautéed with fresh vegetables. He also raves about the Fish & Chips, Delmonico Steak Sandwich and Buffalo tenders, some of the many popular American-style dishes on the long and varied menu.
Bring your family to Jade Dragon for Easter Sunday this year! From 11:00am until 3:30pm, Jade Dragon is serving up its annual Ham Dinner Special, which includes glazed carrots, potato stuffing and your choice of soup or salad. No reservations required.
Jade Dragon is located at 1982 Warwick Avenue. Hours are Sunday to Thursday from 11:00am to 10:00pm; and Friday and Saturday, from 11:00am to 11:00pm. Delivery is available ($15.00 minimum purchase). For take-out, call 732-9595 or visit them at www.JadeDragonRI.com.