Sunday, 9 February 2014

Crystal Jade

La Mian Xiao Long Bao

Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts is a restaurant group with a large collection of different restaurant concepts. From fine dining to casual dining, Crystal Jade covers a wide range of Far East flavours with Chinese cuisine which is the core of its business. One of its well recognised brands, "La Mian Xiao Long Bro" is a Shanghainese restaurant chain spreading across Hong Kong and Singapore with one of its branches getting a "Bib Gourmand" and is popular among the locals.
Crystal Jade menu

"Xiao long bao", aka steamed pork dumpling, crystal Jade's signature dish was impressive, the stock within was clear and flavoursome, the pork mixture itself was rich and robust with a hint of Chinese spices and wine. The dumpling wrap was paper thin and it was the best version of steamed pork dumpling I have had at my visit in Hong Kong.
pan fried pork dumpling
"xiao long bao"

"La mian", aka Shanghainese noodles, another signature also delivered. I went for the version with dried shrimp and peanut in spicy soup, the noodles were smooth and silky with a fine balance of texture, the spicy soup was powerful and had a lovely nutty aroma and while the spices level was a little above my usual limit, I still very much enjoyed it. The five spices beef la mian was the disaster on the day, no spices whatsoever and all I could taste was sweetness on the beef and the soup itself was very watery.
"Dam dam la mian"
"Five spices la mian"

All in all I found Crystal Jade's food was pretty pleasant but I wished it could be a little cheaper. The food offering was actually very similar to Din Tai Fung but as Din Tai Fung has become such a destination restaurant these days, Crystal Jade can be a very good alternative as you wouldn't get all the queuing nightmare witnessed at Din Tai Fung and quality wise it wasn't much different at all. 

Food 4.5
Service 2
Ambience 2
Value 6

£12 per head

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