Local Bites: Jubao Palace at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa

Over the years that I’ve been writing This Jenn Girl and discovering places to eat, one of them that has consistently pushed out dishes that are delicious in both inventive and traditional ways is the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa. It’s not just a hub for gaming - with both contemporary and fine dining options, it’s also a spot to seek a great meal, and maybe have some fun at the slot machines after!

I was recently invited to check out the newly expanded Jubao Palace - formerly a small (but extremely popular) noodle bar area with limited seating, Jubao Palace now features table tops and more room to enjoy a traditional Cantonese and Vietnamese-inspired meal.

Keep scrolling to see all that we ate, and what my top picks are!

Thai Iced Tea

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Spicy Garlic Cucumbers

Shrimp Spring Rolls

Crispy Pork Belly, Roast Duck, BBQ Pork and BBQ Honey Pork Ribs

Deluxe Beef Phở Noodle Soup

Beef Chow Fun

Crabmeat Fried Rice

My must-order picks:

Thai Iced Tea and Vietnamese Iced Coffee: Both were wonderful - the Vietnamese Iced Coffee was truly a legitimate representation of what I remember drinking growing up, with extra-bold, French espresso mixed with sweetened condensed milk.

Crispy Pork Belly: This item stole the show for me that evening - it’s the best crispy pork belly I’ve ever had in my life. Really. The meat was incredibly tender, the fat melted in my mouth and the skin was the perfect, crispy texture - not too hard and not in the least bit soggy.

Roast Duck: The roast duck had a wonderful aroma and freshness about it. Fun fact: Director of Culinary Creativity Chef Frank Anderson told me that Chef Kim Pak, the Asian Specialty Chef at the Hard Rock, convinced the woman who used to make the roast duck at MD Oriental Market to come over to the Hard Rock and make the roast duck there. Selfishly, I’m happy about it.

Beef Chow Fun: Again, the freshness shined in this dish, and the beef was nice and tender - not overly seasoned, as you might expect from other chow fun dishes, and we ate every single bite.

Crabmeat Fried Rice: Like the Beef Chow Fun, I loved that this fried rice dish wasn’t overly seasoned. Other places can really go crazy with the soy sauce, but this in particular had a perfect balance of flavors, with chunks of king crab meat in every bite.

Jubao Palace Noodle Bar is located on the first floor of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 a.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 5 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. To view the full menu, click here.