Express & Star

Food Review: Quality taste of China at Jasmine Peking, Eccleshall

Sometimes you just can’t beat the exquisite joy and relaxation of a great Chinese banquet right at your own table.

Deep fried shredded chicken with chilli

Chinese takeaways with the old man have been a wonderful theme for me this week (see the Classics page), and it’s my privilege to invite you, dear readers, to share in what this writer considers to be one of life’s perfect pleasures.

Last Sunday, my father and I were helped in our quest to imbibe in the delights of The Orient by a well-established restaurant and takeaway right on our own doorstep, and I had forgotten just how good it was.

The Jasmine Peking, in Eccleshall, has been bringing delight to diners for many a year. Serving a plethora of freshly-cooked dishes, this is not a restaurant that operates on the batch-cooked-and-left-in-a-buffet-cart-for-hours basis that many Chinese restaurants across the UK are known for.

Jasmine Peking on Eccleshall High Street

Jasmine Peking’s dishes are prepared to order, oozing freshness and quality, yet with this they are still priced to compete with buffet emporiums that may not have such high standards.

The restaurant itself has a light, calming decor featuring a few hints at the culture behind its cuisine, yet nothing so overboard as to turn it into a parody of Chinese architecture or heritage. Tables are well-spaced, creating a nice environment that is perfect for both large parties and intimate meals for two. Over many years I had attended gatherings at this, one of my hometown’s most respected eateries. Yet very rarely had I sampled its offerings in the form of a takeaway, and certainly not in the post-lockdown world in which we now live.

Would The Jasmine’s quality stand up when you were unpacking its delicacies at home? It was time to find out.

Like many people, my father and I are creatures of habit when it comes to takeaway orders, each of us having a shortlist of favourite dishes that would rarely be diverted from.

However, as the Jasmine Peking’s dining-in reputation stemmed from the fun and complementary flavours of its banquet specials, we opted for a take-out set menu option that included a variety of dishes that normally wouldn’t have crossed our plates. In this, we trusted in the chef and the menu’s curator to present us with a range of delights that would work together well.

Service isn’t something we tend to get too hung up on with regards to takeaways, yet it is worth mentioning that The Jasmine’s was excellent.

A telephone order was easily placed, and upon arrival I was greeted warmly and with no confusion as to my purchase. In and out in five minutes – just what you want when your belly is rumbling and your taste buds are ready to be tingled.

Dad and I had opted for Jasmine Peking’s Set Menu B – a feast for the senses including a starter platter of crispy seaweed, spring rolls, barbecue spare ribs, sesame prawn toast, chicken satay skewers and chicken wings in salt and chilli.

Sesame prawn toasts, crispy seaweed, barbecue spare ribs & chicken wings in salt and chilli

To follow was a course of crispy aromatic duck, and a selection of mains consisting of sizzling steak in black pepper sauce, deep fried shredded chicken with chilli, king prawns in garlic sauce, stir fried four seasons and special fried rice.

On unpacking our banquet for two, I was firstly impressed at the portion sizes. With such set menus, restaurants and takeaways can often be guilty of scrimping on the quantity. The Jasmine hadn’t. Each dish was clearly marked in ample containers that were well filled, and when opened each one had my mouth well and truly watering.

The starter platter was the perfect way to begin this comforting feast, the ribs being particularly well cooked (not at all overdone, and far from chewy) with their sweet barbecue glaze balancing their succulent saltiness perfectly. Another highlight from the appetisers were the salt and chilli chicken wings.

These, admittedly, were one of the dishes that do feature on my standard Chinese takeaway shortlist, and they did not disappoint. Again, they were cooked perfectly – their batter wonderfully crisp, the chicken moist, and the accompanying kick of chilli giving just the right level of heat. Things were off to a great start.

The classic second course of crispy aromatic duck was the perfect interlude between the starters and the mains. The juicy duck had been invitingly shredded, and the supplied pancakes were light yet sturdy – the perfect vessels for piling in plenty of the succulent meaty goodness available. Generous helpings of cucumber and spring onion added a lovely freshness, and the rich hoisin sauce was to die for.

By the time we reached the main event Pop and I were already becoming well-sated, yet when the aroma of the dishes about to be imbibed hit our nostrils our appetites were entirely revitalised.

The king prawns in garlic sauce were, for me, a stand-out highlight. This would have been a dish I might normally have avoided, yet thanks to The Jasmine, it has earned a spot in my go-to pantheon.

The rich flavour was paradise – a wonderful but not overpowering kick of garlic permeated the flesh of the delicate crustaceans, and it was clear from this dish that the chef was not just skilled, but an accomplished artisan.

Plated up with the accompanying special rice – fried with almost every meat on the menu – the taste was fabulous, and quite frankly I would have sold my soul for another five helpings.

The shredded chilli chicken was another sensational offering that, despite being deep fried, was delicate, light and absent any stodginess. Again, when paired with the special rice it came into its own, and my palate was beyond satisfied.

The sizzling steak in black pepper sauce was a particular winner for the old man. He couldn’t get enough, meaning my opportunity to gorge on it was minimal. However, the choice slices of beef fillet that I did imbibe were melt-in-the-mouth heavenly, and again, this one leap-frogged straight into my safe shortlist of future choices. Bellissimo.

So, does the Jasmine Peking’s takeaway offering hit the high benchmark set by its dine-in experience? Absolutely. If you’re looking for a comforting bit of Oriental indulgence that packs in both quality and value, you would be hard-pressed to find better in the region. Top marks well-deserved.


Jasmine Peking


21 High Street, Eccleshall, ST21 6BW

01785 851200