Crystal Jade Shanghai Delight quietly replaced Crystal Jade La Mien Xiao Long Bao in Greenhills. They’ve move the door, it used to be beside the xiao long bao making window, maybe because of feng shui or just convenience. This is a nascent concept of the Crystal Jade group in Singapore that necessitated the retraining of the chefs. I was invited there for lunch together with some friends.
The design is more modern Chinese, a departure from the staid look before. The ambiance is more upbeat and casual . There are surprising pops of color both in the furniture as well as the food. Their menu is a mix of old and new, with most of them getting an upgrade like the la mien noodles.
Crispy Eel in “Wu Xi” style (P288). This is a holdover from the old menu but it’s still as good as ever. Crunchy little pieces coated with just the right amount of sauce to keep you reaching for piece after piece.
The highlight of the meal was the Multi-Flavored Xiao Long Bao (P 229 for 5 pcs). The basket is composed of 1 piece each of Shrimp (light orange), Vegetable and Dried Beancurd (green), Spicy Beef (pink), Spicy Chicken (dark orange) and Cheese (yellow). I tried all of them except for the vegetable xiao long bao. The shrimp was a bit subdued in flavor, the spicy chicken was surprisingly flavored just right but the star was the Cheese.
The Cheese xiao long bao (P49/piece, min. of 5) was so good we had another basket. You can order your favorite flavored xiao long bao in any combination but there has to be a minimum of 5 in one basket. The cheese flavor enhances both the soup inside the xiao long bao but also coats the meat in a bit of gooey goodness.
Spicy & Sour Soup in Sichuan Style (P 188). A classic soup that Irene adores that was perfect for me but she found a bit lacking in both the spicy and sour part. I guess the moderate tastes was more attuned to my palate.
La Mien Noodle with Spicy Chicken (P288/full). The noodles have been improved, making the texture chewier. I wanted to eat more of this but my mouth was on fire, this dish is super spicy. I ordered the plain noodle and porkchop noodle instead when I ate at Crystal Jade Shanghai Delight again and did my taste buds thank me.
Braised Minced Pork & Mushroom with Cabbage (P 358). It’s affectionately called the Lion’s Head and I’ve even attended a cooking session at Kitchen Hobbies where this dish was taught but the execution was a bit different. The lions head name comes from the way the dish is arranged, with the giant meatball sitting in the center surrounded by mane like vegetables. I wanted the meatball to be firmer to the bite but the sauce was nicely done.
The unheralded Sauteed Beancurd with Seafood in Hot Stone Pot (P 458) was actually the dish of the day. Comfort food at its best, tofu, dried beancurd skin mixed with seafood and vegetables simmered in a sweet and savory sauce. If we were not too full we would be reaching for bowls of plain rice to slop the sauce on. The next two times we came back, this was always on the table.
Steamed Red Bean Bun (P 129 for 3 pcs). You have to try these buns, the outside portion is so soft and fluffy you’d want to like down on them. The red bean filling looks sweet but upon tasting was actually not.
Mango Cream with Sago & Pomelo (P130). I find that this type of dessert, with the added pomelo, is popular in Hong Kong and Singapore but slowly being introduced to the restaurant scene here. I like the addition of the pomelo because it adds a playful pop and a nice burst of citrus. The mango cream is visibly thicker than the usual Chinese resto staple and is filled with lots of mango cubes. A refreshing end to a nice meal.
Since this meal, I’ve been back to Crystal Jade Shanghai Delight three more times and I’ve found some hits and misses but the beancurd hotpot, cheese xiao long bao and the la mien noodles are all consistently good.
Check out the place for a little break to your Greenhills shopping trips. They are even open as early as 7 am to serve breakfast with dimsum and congee.
Crystal Jade Shanghai DelightUnit 117-121 V-Mall Greenhills Shopping Center Telephone No.: (02)570-5233 Operating Hours: 7am to 10pm daily