Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Crystal Jade Jiang Nan

Few years ago, the multi-colored xiao long bao was introduced into the market and many swooned to try it. During then, there was still no replications and I thought Paradise Groups restaurants will be the only place available. Never did I expect that it was reproduced by a contender. And, a strong one too.
 
Even though Crystal Jade Jiang Nan had opened in Vivocity last year, I did not had the chance to visit until recently.  The food here is claimed to represent the four styles of Jiang Nan, namely Sichuan, Jiangsu,  Hunan and Shanghai. The menu is quite attractive as it has so called Jiang Nan style pita bread served with a bowl of stir-fried minced meat in various styles. Doesn't it remind us of the Mexico Tortilla/Wrap or simply disintegrated versions of Muturbak?



Must Try: 8 assorted xiao long bao (original, cheese, spicy beef, black truffles, foie gras, shrimp, vegetables) plus one mystery yellow ball (answer at the end of the post). I must comment that the filling is quite huge but one person can still easily finish up the entire basket. However, the skin was not as thin as paradise group if I could recall. Would return to the Paradise version for the multi-colored versions if there is a need to.

The Spicy Mala Chicken
This hot stone of multi grain rice with anchovies ($13.00) was light on the palate and not too greasy. Might not appeal to those yearning of savoury wok-hei style rice like me but the big chunks of CHYE POH did help to add crunchiness and flavour to the dish.
 
Boiled Chicken Soup ($9.00)
The waitress took the wrong order as we wanted the double boiled chicken soup with wanton dumpling. But oh well, since it's cooked and served, there is no point changing.
 

 Steamed Beancurd with Egg Yolk, French Bean, Carrot, Black Fungus Served in a Cup (五彩拌豆腐) ($9.80) looked really beautiful on the menu but was tasteless.

We were supposed to mix them with olive oil/chilli oil/ vinegar (imagine doing some science experiment in a lab).
Although it tasted slightly better after that,  the taste came mainly from the vinegar.
It makes not much sense to order a bland cup of vegetables and tofu when Giant Supermart is just two doors away.
 

The Sichuan Chilli Fish Slices (剁椒鱼头)was a hot favourite.One avid fan of this dish commented that the red chilli was slightly sweeter than the previous ones he had but the ladies begged to differ. The spicy Sichuan chillies and sour green chillies added up to give a sensational taste and the fish being served in slices rather than as a whole brought us lots of convenience.
Cold marinated black fungus($9.80) 袍椒木耳
It was ironic that this cold appetizer was the last to arrive. We wonder if it was due to sheer carelessness but the dish was way too salty.
 
 
Pumpkin Glutinous rice cake filled with red bean and fruit cream mochi ($5.40)
I had thought the mochi will taste heavier than the pumpkin due to the skin but it was the exact opposite. The mochi was outstanding as the skin was so thin and elastic that the filling burst out immediately and thus sharing among two was futile. But the pumpkin skin served warm was too chewy and thick. Either skip this dish or just order the mochi if you can't resist your sweet tooth.
 

Overall, this casual eatery gave an impression of a hongkong cha can teng which can get rather crowded during peak dining hours. The service was inattentive and careless as the dessert order was left out and they served the fungus twice because the waitress had keyed in the fungus dish instead of the dessert. The price range is actually similar or even more affordable than the usual Crystal Jade restaurants. However, I would still prefer other branches to this one at Vivocity. 
 
Crystal Jade Jiang Nan
1 Harbour Front Walk
#01-52 VivoCity
Monday to Friday: 11.30am - 10.30pm
Saturday, Sundays and Public Holidays: 11.00am - 10.30pm
 

The yellow ball in the multi-colored xiao long baos is a very sweet and greasy
custard xiao long bao. Quite an oddsight in the savoury basket but I like it :)

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