My first encounter with Crystal Jade was when I was at the Hong Kong International Airport, waiting for my flight back to Manila. I haven’t been able to drop by the one here in the Philippines, so getting to try their Weekday Dinner Dimsum buffet PLUS! was a good way to get acquainted with it.
Crystal Jade Shanghai Delight is located at the ground floor of the V-Mall, Greenhills Shopping Center. It’s a franchise of the popular restaurant in Singapore. and serves a mix of Shanghai and Cantonese cuisines. One of their most famous items is the xiao long bao, or soup dumplings, which also happens to be my favorite!
They currently have a promo where you could enjoy their dim sum buffet for only Php488+ per head. This runs throughout the entire month of September. You have so many choices to choose from that it’s honestly a good deal. Let me show you the items you can enjoy eating if you avail of the promo.
A great way to start the dim sum buffet is by getting their Cold Cucumber with Minced Garlic in Sesame Oil. It’s crunchy, garlicky and quite refreshing. We found this to be a nice way to whet the appetite and/or use as a palate cleanser in between bites of all the pork dumplings you’d get to enjoy.
If you’re looking for something warm and comforting, why not go for their Congee with Salted Pork and Preserved Egg (皮蛋瘦肉粥)? There are a lot of different kinds of congee in the world, and growing up, this was one of my favorite ones. Some people may not like the preserved / century egg, but I think it’s the best part of this dish.
One of my recommendations, though, is their Noodles with Spring Onion Oil. The noodles, which I found to be deliciously chewy, are made fresh. It’s served with some broth on the side and it’s up to you if you want to pour it over the noodles or not. I personally enjoyed the noodles better with just a very small amount of the broth mixed in. Others preferred to not use the broth at all.
Ahhh dumplings. I have a soft spot for these little pockets of wonder. It doesn’t matter if they’re filled with pork, chicken or vegetables; I’d still find them delicious. These Pork Dumplings with Hot Chili Sauce from Crystal Jade are obviously not an exception. They’re served in the way I enjoy my dumplings: not fried and topped with some soy sauce and chili sauce. YUM! ♥
If you don’t want any of the spicy flavors, you can choose to have Crystal Jade’s other ones. In the photo above, you can see their Beijing Pork Dumplings (北京水饺).
Still not doing it for you? How about trying their Minced Pork with String Beans Dumplings?
Deep-fried Spring Rolls are also available for those looking for some crunch.
For those of you who like it traditional, there’s the Steamed Pork & Shrimp Dumplings with Crab Roe, also simply known as Siu Mai.
A meatless option I recommend is their Steamed Vegetable Dumplings, where the kuchay is followed by a slight wasabi flavor. It made Crystal Jade’s stand out from other restaurants’ versions.
Their Pan-fried Carrot Cake with Dried Shrimp and Preserved Meat were served with a sweet, reddish sauce instead of the usual slightly spicy ones. This was pretty good, but I wished there were more dried shrimp and lap cheong in there.
Want something very similar to siopao? Try ordering their Pan-fried Shanghai Pork Buns (上海生煎包).
These Flour Rolls, or Mantao (馒头), are available steamed or fried and served with some condensed milk for dipping. It’s something we prepare at home once in a while and what I think is an example of good food at its simplest form.
Here comes the fun part: my top three dim sum picks (in no particular order)!
I really can’t say no to Steamed Chicken Feet with Black Beans Sauce. My Dad trained me well when it comes to eating (almost) anything so there was no “fear factor” moment in this for me. This isn’t the most popular dish among diners since a lot of people can’t fathom the idea of eating chicken’s feet. This holds true whether they grew up in a Chinese family or not. It’s sad, really. You guys are missing out!
Another item I loved was their Steamed Spareribs with Black Bean Sauce. Tender with just the right amount of saltiness and sweetness to it, it’s something I wouldn’t mind ordering multiple times. I only wished there were more black beans (also known as tausi) in a serving.
Last but not the least, Crystal Jade’s famous Steamed Soupy Pork Dumplings (一口小笼包). They offer several different kinds of xiao long bao, but the classic pork ones are still the most requested item. This dim sum item is a must-order for me whenever it’s included on the menu of Chinese restaurants. As horrific as it may sound for some people, I can easily finish off 2 to 3 servings of these in one sitting. My body will probably make me pay for this in a few years’ time. :p
If you think you still don’t have enough stuff to choose from, you may opt to add Php100 per head for some extra dishes. That means you’d have to pay Php588+ per head for a taste of some of the dishes listed below:
Unlimited servings of Fried Rice with Chicken and Ham (top) and/or Yang Chow Fried Rice (bottom).
You also get to choose one item from the Chef’s Recommendations list. Curious to know what the Chef’s Recommendations are? One of them is the Pan-fried Sliced Beef with Scallions in the photo above.
Had too much meat and want something else? Try their Sauteed Squid with Broccoli.
I suggest going for their Chicken with Pumpkin in Black Bean Sauce, which is a nice blend of savory and sweetness in one dish.
If you’re the type who enjoys tofu, there are two kinds which you can choose from: the very light Braised Beancurd with Crab Meat..
or the stronger flavored Braised Home Style Beancurd with Mushrooms.
If you’re one of those blessed to never gain a single pound despite carbo-loading everyday, I recommend you try Crystal Jade’s Sauteed Diced String Beans with Minced Pork served with Pancake. The string beans and minced pork were joined by diced Chinese chorizo (lap cheong) for some extra jazz. Scoop them all up, wrap them in the pancake and you have another filling item to enjoy.
If you want something fried to balance all those steamed dim sum, go for their Deep fried Chicken with Dried Chili and Peanuts. Don’t worry to much about the dried chili, this dish isn’t spicy at all.
My absolute favorite from all the Chef’s Recommendations would have to be the Sauteed Shrimp Kung Pao Style. Although I was hoping for it to be just a bit more spicy, I did appreciate the big pieces of shrimp and how crunchy and firm they were.
After more than hour of eating, the team behind Crystal Jade decided to treat us to a nice dessert to end the meal. They let us try their Taro Pastry, which is an item that they have yet to release to the public in the coming months. These cute pockets are filled with hot taro and are best eaten immediately (but cautiously!). They are light and aren’t very sweet so I honestly thought they were a fitting end to a heavy buffet.
One thing I liked most about Crystal Jade’s weekday dinner dim sum buffet is the fact that they don’t display the items out in the open. Each dish is cooked upon order placement, so all of them are served fresh and hot. It might take a bit longer, but it’s well worth it. In my opinion, most (if not all) Chinese dishes taste best that way and also when shared with your loved ones. I think there’s really no topping that. 🙂
*Crystal Jade Shanghai Delight is located at the ground floor of the V-Mall, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan. It’s near Watson’s and Milky Way Cafe. The weekday dinner buffet runs from 6pm – 9:30pm, all weekdays of September 2014. Free-flowing iced tea or hot tea is included in the buffet.
**A big thank you to Mr. Kenneth Yu, Ms. Lucy and everyone behind Crystal Jade for inviting us to your restaurant!