I’ve seen many of the restaurants from the Crystal Jade group from my visits to Singapore but I’ve never come across Crystal Jade Dining In. I thought the name a bit peculiar but was eager to find out what kind of Chinese food they serve when I received an invite to try their dishes. There’s a dearth of quality Chinese restaurants in the BGC area, actually you have to go to Makati to get some.
Crystal Jade Dining In occupies the a prominent corner of High Street Central, the new dining and lifestyle hub in BGC. It’s simple facade belies its spacious and luxurious interiors with high ceilings and mezzanine seating as well as alcove tables with curtains for privacy.
When the Bitter Gourd with Plum sauce was laid on the table, I knew the meal was going to be quite different. Although I do not eat bitter gourd/bitter melon/ampalaya, I have to give high points for aesthetics. Shaped delicately like a flower then drizzled with sweet plum sauce to balance the flavors.
The Crispy Duck Sandwich (P680) served with shredded duck fruit salad was more to my liking. The crowd favorite part of this appetizer was the layered mix of crispy skin, duck meat, cucumber, tomato and crispy beancurd skin. Pop the whole thing into your mouth and a multitude of flavors and textures will enliven your taste buds. The duck fruit salad, is more of a familiar taste and execution with duck meat playing the savory role.
The Double Boiled Crab Claw with Superior Mushroom in Fresh Coconut (P480/person) was a visual and gustatory delight. Slow cooked to infuse all the flavors into the broth, each sip is fresh and clean. Scoop out the coconut meat to add more sweetness and texture to the broth. The crab claw though nice, is virtually devoid of flavor having surrendered everything to the broth.
Braised Pork with special Sauce (P350/person) served with mantou (fried or steamed). You might recognize this as Dong Bo Pork, available in elegant single serve plating or for the group. Tender and infused meat with generous sauce for the mantou to sop up.
Sauteed Scallop or Prawn with Chicken and Mushroom served in Pumpkin (P680/small). You can choose to have wither prawns or scallops as the ingredient, we were actually served a combination of both. The sauteed mixture of seafood, mushrooms and other vegetable are cooked and then placed in the pumpkin bowl. The pumpkin itself is not for show but actually edible since its been thoroughly cooked. The pumpkin was so soft I actually ate the skin also without noticing.
Fried Assorted Grain in Hot Stone Bowl (P320/small). This mixed riced dish was served in a sizzling stone bowl similar to the ones they use for bibimbap in Korean places. This means there’s a bit of crusted (not burnt) rice for those who like them at the bottom. The taste was a bit on the bland side so it paired up well with the saucy braised pork.
At first glance the Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Taro (P160/3) looked liked it would lend itself to the sweet side. One bite and that notion would be dispelled, there was nary a hint of sweetness for me. You just get the strong taste and texture of taro enveloped by the chewy rice dumpling.
The Chilled Avocado Pudding (P180) is also the first first time I’ve seen avocado used like this in a Chinese restaurant. It’s topped with mango cream and pomelo bits. Creamy and a perfect end to a wonderful meal.
My meal at Crystal Jade Dining In was one of the best I’ve had this year. Familiar Cantonese flavors done and presently in a fresh and “IN” way. Next on my list is to try their dimsum offerings, since they don’t offer them during dinner.
Looking for a wonderful Chinese dining option in Bonifacio Global City, then head on over to Crystal Jade Dining In for a try.
Crystal Jade Dining InUnit SEUG201, Bonifacio High Street Central
30th Street corner 7th Avenue Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Philippines Telephone no. : 519-8191 Opening Hours: 11am-11pm daily
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