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With the abundance of Chinese restaurants out there each offering their Chinese New Year dinner sets, diners are absolutely spoilt for choice. Of Teochew origin, we decided to return to our roots. Focusing on the cooking techniques of poaching, steaming and braising, Teochew cuisine is however often influenced by the Cantonese-style of cooking, therefore do not be surprised if you find elements of the latter.
Stepping into the exquisitely designed Crystal Jade Golden Palace for the first time, we quickly realised that it was not the usual Crystal Jade franchise restaurants that are readily spotted at shopping malls. Offering Teochew and Cantonese-style fine dining with a contemporary twist, the menu would please those who are health conscious as it even has a section that offers healthier options. This multiple award-winning restaurant not only specialises in its food offering but more importantly the wide range of fine wines, not forgetting premium Chinese liquor such as maotai.
We were shown to our table, located at a cosy corner of the restaurant which suited us well since it was a small family reunion. The manager left us to deliberate over our preferred dishes and stepped in with his recommendations after a while when he sensed that we were still undecided. He first warmed up to us by conversing to us in various dialects from Cantonese to Teochew and that immediately struck off on the right note. I personally find that it takes passion from one to be able to deliver such dedicated attention and service in your line of work. It is often walking that extra mile, offering that additional personal touch that impresses customers and turn them into regulars as a result.
Hearty Five Treasures Yu Sheng | S$78.80/++
This was highly recommended overly its normal Salmon Yu Sheng which was offered at S$43.80 so we were highly piqued about how special this Yu Sheng was and decided to let our taste buds do the testing! The fresh vegetables were hand-shredded and we really enjoyed the thick and generous slices of salmon and hamachi (otherwise known as yellowtail).
This was initially offered only to the VIP guests when it was first launched in 2012 but due to popular demand, it is available to public at a slight premium. This was however well justified with the premium ingredients used, such as hazelnut oil and the quality fresh fish. For the health conscious, expect to be delighted as the unusual addition of pine nut, sunflower seed and pumpkin seed makes this a must-try. The homemade sweet plum sauce was so good that I had to find out what was in it and later did I realise that honey and fresh lemon juice was added to control and create the balance in flavours. Apparently it was so good that some of the staffs use it as a spread for their bread!
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