Daily: 11:00 - 22:00
Classic and contemporary interpretations of the much loved Xiao Long Bao and La Mian are just some of the delights to savour at Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao. A charming, rustic ambiance with a distinctively bold and modern twist, Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao is a casual dining experience that will delight the senses.
For the full review, please visit my blog http://fundamentally-flawed.blogspot.sg/2013/06/crystal-jade-little-bit-of-home.html
Arriving at the crest of a balmy afternoon, I was greeted with a flash force of cold air as I entered the premises. All around me, tables were full, comfortably housing diners tucking into their early dinners. Instead of the South Northern Steamboat buffet, the few of us were steered to sample the ala carte menu.
Foodwise, we began with the Steamed Soupy Xiao Long Bao ($5.20 for 4 pieces), a dish that needs little recommendation. Delicate parcels of sweet broth and pork mince, this held up to the chopsticks test pretty well and I adored that the skins weren't so chalky, dry nor thick. The broth inside was well balanced in flavor resulting in a terribly addictive snack of sorts. Next, we had the Chicken marinated with Chinese Wine and Wolfberry ($9.00), basically a bowlful of health benefits rolled into one smooth and luxurious chicken dish. The Spicy & Sour Thick Soup in "Sichuan" style ($7.50) made much more of an impression on me. Despite it's devilish hot looks, this soup was neither too sour nor spicy, even without the addition of chili oil or vinegar, the flavors were right up my alley.
Another favourite here is the Braised Pork Belly served with pancake ($14.80), I was taught to sandwich the gelatinous mass of fatty goodness between the steamed buns but seeing that the buns weren't exactly cut out for the job, I went ahead to devour the proteins first before using the "pancake" to mop up the sauces. I reckon it was a good move since the pork belly wasn't that heavily spiced, leaning towards a more mellow and sweet twang; and hence the plain pancakes would definitely have drowned out the flavors even more.
But the show stealer of the night was definitely the Sauteed egg white with fish meat and Conpoy ($13.50), cooked to resemble crabmeat, this dish was best savoured piping hot. Harbouring slithers of chinese ham and conpoy (dried scallops), these injected bursts of savoury chewy goodness to the porridge like dish. Simple yet with an air of secrecy and tight balance, I would have worked through a second bowl with ease.
The Spicy Chicken with poached La Mian (9.80) was a mix of fiery heat and tang. Such that the final outcome of this carby dish left me feeling more refreshed than full, very appetite whetting. A great dish for the ladies.
We drew a close to the night with their very famous Mango Pudding ($6.00), it's price justifiable by the fact that two mangoes are used in every single bowl of pudding. One for the custard and the other chopped into bits and strewned through the chilled smooth custard. A luxurious way to end the night.
I used to be able to recommend this place to anyone but after today's lunch my impression of the place totally changed. All the prices have been jacked up which I am not complaining due to. Inflation but the quantity of food has gone down significantly. My dad ordered the la mian with herbal chicken and we were expecting at least a drum stick for 13 dollars but alas we were served 3 small strips of chicken. Even a child wouldn't be satisfied with the portion. Some of dishes which mention in the menu that it has mushroom also has no visible signs of it in the dish. *the server mentioned that it was already mashed up with the dish but honestly there is no taste of it whatsoever. I won't recommend this place nor visit this place ever again and I'm really disappointed with the standards here
This particular crystal jade outlet is famous for its xiao long bao buffet whereby customers can order as much as possible and also get to enjoy hot pot and other food items too. Given that xiao long bao doesn't come cheap in many places, you will probably need to reserve a booking at least 2 weeks in advance. Forget about walking in because that is unlikely to happen given that they are almost fully booked most of the time. However, while the price is really cheap for a buffet and the food they serve, do be prepared for in my opinion pretty average tasting food. If you are going to dine here, do come with a group of people with huge appetites and not with a group of gourmet eaters