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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

yumcha @ Crystal Jade


87
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yumcha at
Crystal Jade

Last week we went to Grill Tokyo in the Siam Paragon Mall we promised a revisit to the Crystal Jade situated at the next door. Crystal Jade is a famous Chinese restaurant chain in Singapore and also with extension to Hong Kong by offering Chinese Northern provincial cuisine such as xiao-long-bao (steamed mini rice flour bun with minced pork filling), dumplings, noodles, and authentic Northern provincial dishes. Crystal Jade Chinese Restaurant in the Siam Paragon instead offering Cantonese (Canton is a province includes Hong Kong in Southern China and better referred as Guangdong in today’s knowledge) fine dining while the sister Crystal Jade Lai Mei Xian Long Bao (in the Erawan Plaza) offering a more casual array of Chinese Northern bistro delis.

Like most Chinese restaurants catering Canton specialty, Crystal Jade Chinese Restaurant offering us a yum-cha (drinking tea eating dim sum ready in a small bamboo basket) experience during lunch. The yum-cha culinary arts of Chinese Cantonese cuisine are unique and practical. A decent basket of dim sum requires the preparation and expertise of a dim sum chef with matching high quality of tea to become a treat. It is a routine eating habit for Hong Kong people going yum cha during lunch, or foreign visitors to Hong Kong will be advised to copy so.

In Bangkok, there are handsome amount of Chinese restaurants do the dim sum right, mostly in hotels’ outlets. Stand-alone likes Crystal Jade Chinese Restaurant, the quality was among the top three that we have sampled in Bangkok. Here was the treat we had.

A complete yum cha experience should start with the roasted dishes, such as a portion of Roasted Duck, Soy Sauce Chicken, Suckling Pig, and Roasted Honey Pork Ribs. Those roasted dishes were among the best we have sampled in Bangkok.

Followed by bowls of Canpoy (dried scallop) Soup Dumpling with Shark’s Fin or Meat Fillings, and Cheong-fun (Rice Roll filled with Prawn or BBQ Pork) enhanced our yum cha pleasure. In Crystal Jade the cheong-fun skin was too thick and sticky, but the fillings had the right taste. Not the best but definitely above average.

On the dim sum part we had a real treat that day starting with Har-gau (dumplings of shrimp wrapped in a thin wheat starch sheet), Siu-mai (dumplings of shrimp and pork fillings wrapped in a thin wheat flour wrapper), and Char-siu-baau (steam buns of BBQ pork fillings). These dim sum trio were the most popular dim sum choices in the Cantonese yum cha culture. In the old days a dim-sum-lady carrying the trio would announce in loud ‘har-gar, siu-mai, char-siu-bauu’ together to attract awareness while cruising around the restaurant. We also picked a basket of Rabbit Dumpling with Vegetable Fillings.


Further we sampled the Steam Spare Pork Ribs, Steam Beef Meat Balls, a popular dim sum item in Hong Kong but hardly found in Bangkok, Foo-pae-gheun (deep-fried bean curd sheet wrapped in prawn fillings), Lo-bak-go (daikon radish cakes), Ham-sui-kok (deep-fried salty meat puff), and Durian-sou (pastry filled with durian).

Also served were the Wok-fried Vegetables (Tong-O) with Garlic, and the Fried Rice Yin-Yan (fried rice of tomato sauce with meat and cream sauce with prawn). Although the fried rice wasn’t impressive but we appreciated that Crystal Jade include this once popular fried rice in the menu. Maybe it was the first fusion offer in the Cantonese culinary history.

We ended the scrumptious yum cha journey with some sweets. They were Dan-ta (egg custard tart), and Mango Pudding.

In Hong Kong, quality dim sum served everywhere; however, in Bangkok please make sure only enjoy yum cha or eat dim sum in a 4 or 5-star hotel or a prominent Chinese (Cantonese) eatery otherwise you may never want to eat dim sum again. Avoid Thai-Chinese eateries and local small vendors as they don’t provide authentic Cantonese dim sum and lack of using fresh ingredients unless you would like a round of Thai-Chinese version.


Crystal Jade Chinese Restaurant 翡翠酒家 ****

G/F, Siam Paragon Mall, Rama 1 Road, Prathumwan, Bangkok. Tel.:02-1294343.

Open daily : lunch 11 am - 2:30 pm, dinner 6 - 10 pm
Pay (food only for two): lunch around THB 1,000, dinner around THB 2,000

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been at Crystal Jade for dim sum and dinner. They are better than the high-end Chinese restaurant in LA.
I like the salty fish with steam minced pork, the roasted piggy, and the Peking duck.
From,
the 200-lb guy.

Thailand Club said...

oh, their roasted piggy a.k.a. suckling pig is the best in town, it follows exactly the HK way to make this dish

next time u should try the pig lung soup with almond also, it is just wonderful

in the sea said...

This is something intrigue about Chinese food, and I am really thankful for all of our ascendants to have tried so many ways to find out how to make this common (or even uneatable) food into something really delicious. The pig's lung smells aweful and it takes a lot of time to plunge in and out with a large amount of water - at least this procedure takes around 40 minutes to 1 hour, from the red turning into white. If there is still a little bit blood or waste inside the lung, the whole soup can be thrown away. So this is all about the time and effort in it. Then prepare a large amount of almond juice and then pump that in the lung. Tie up the lung and put it in a well-prepared chicken soup for double boiling for 3-4 hours. Then take the lung out and cut it into pieces and pour in the hot almond juice in the big bowl. Though I don't like this soup (as I prefer almond to be sweeter taste), I really think this is one of the most difficult soup, and from simple to something extra-ordinary.

Stella said...

This pig lung almond soup is really worth our money due to the difficulty and time it takes to make. I tend to order those difficult dishes at restaurant that I cannot make at home.

Thailand Club said...

i am going to take a week off from the blog, c u guys again next friday

Anonymous said...

What a good and detailed explanation of the Yumcha(dim Sum)culture.
Yes Mr. Club, you need at least one week off for your VIP visitors.
From,
1002

in the sea said...

I think their Fujian Fried Rice is pretty good. By the way, as Thailand Club has such a detailed explanation about all the dim sum. Need to tell those who are not from Hong Kong here, that dim sum in Cantonese means "pick it from your heart" - that means to feel like picking up some food of the basket. In the old time, dim sum was served by a trolley or a big tray with a strap held by the waiters and waitresses. When there are some fresh dim sum coming out, they would put those on the big tray and hold it to walk around the tables and yell "Har Gao (shrimp dumpling)", "Char Siu Bao (BBQ pork bun)"...etc. Then when the waiter passed by you, you might show a gesture to stop him and pointed at the one you like on the tray. So this pointing at the food means "dim sum".

in the sea said...

Thailand Club has ordered the most typical dim sum for posting here - brilliant!

Thailand Club said...

hey, although i will be absent for a week, but hope u guys still drop by the comment pages :)

Anonymous said...

I like that bun and the mango sweet, but I don't think I will try those unusual food like pig's lung. Ain't too cruel to kill a baby pig and roast it? Sorry. I know this is the Chinese eating culture.

Stella said...

Yes Thailand Club is smart to post only those typical dishes here.
Yes,Thailand Club, we will enjoy ourselves here during your one-week off.

Anonymous said...

This blog is so interesting. This is my first time reading a blog.
From,
Cindy

in the sea said...

He didn't take any leave actually as we can see his continuing to post the photo, but he is clever to post a question for people to chat around on such a board guess.

Thailand Club said...

hahaha, like having u guess the restaurant at the Legacy Hotel!

c u guys on friday, again

Fillet-O said...

The mango pudding was wonderful there. A must try dessert! And, where is the snow-frog-cake in coconut king?

in the sea said...

Somehow I don't like mango from Thailand. It's just only sweet but no mango taste. To me, mango from Philippines is better. It may not be as that sweet as the mango from Thailand but it has a stronger mango taste. Actually most of the food in Crystal Jade are pretty good as far as I have tried their dishes.

Yai said...

Thai mango is sweet and it is ideal for desserts and doing the pudding!

Anonymous said...

why we need to go to Chiense restaurant after a long flight? In Thailand, we should eat Thai food.

Thailand Club said...

let's say, if ur vacation in Thailand is a 10-day trip, do u want to eat 20 Thai meals?

so for the place that full of Chinese accent Thais, and lots of good CN restaurant, it is ok to incl. 1 or 2 CN meal

if u r from Vancouver, San Fran. or Hong Kong then u may forget about the CN food in Bangok, but from elsewhere, do incl. CN food in ur itinerary if ur trip length is more than a week

Bangkok is the world capital of gourmet, not only Thai food

in the sea said...

Again this is something I stopped my conversation with my French friend's friend about taking French food in Bangkok. The first time when I was in Bangkok, I just looked at the Thai food for my 3-4 day stay. I would agree that if you don't go to Bangkok often, then all those 3-4 days can be just for Thai food, and as long as your tummy is flexible enough to take all the hot and spicy if you really stick to the original Thai food. The basil can stir up your tummy quite much. So I believe Mr. Thailand makes this blog to introduce anything good or controversial or unseen, authentic or with gimick...etc. I can also say the Crystal Jade in Siam Paragon to some extent is even better than the original Crystal Jade Restaurant in Singapore (as I have been to that one several times already). Besides, you don't need to bother for a long queue and jam yourself with eye staring people around you. What is more, the Thai service can make it a real difference. After I brought my sisters' families to Crystal Jade in Siam Paragon, they realised what my purpose was. Same for Normandie or Lord Jim's in Orieintal Bangkok, you can't have such a nice meal at just THB1,100 to 1,500. If you eat such a nice meal in France, it will cost you more than Euros 100 (THB5,000).

Fillet-O said...

Thailand club and in-the sea totally have a point. For myself more than consecutive of 3 Thai meals I am die. We shall try different food and widen our vision, even on tour to Thailand.

Stella said...

Yes, I totally agree with Thais Club, Sea, and Fish Burger.
To Anonymous 3:29, I am sure you did not stay at BKK for more than 4 days. As I used to think like you too before when I first visited BKK. But after 2 meals for Thai food, I cannot take it any more. So it is good we can diversify our taste with different foods in BKK. Glad that BKK has gorgeous Chinese, French, Japanese, Vietnamese, Shabu, and even pizza, besides its authentic Thai food.

Anonymous said...

Interesting debate. I am half and half taking Thai food and other food in Bangkok. But Thai food is also with some Chinese food. So we should eat whatever is good.

in the sea said...

Actually I kind of like to see and hear of other comments rather than just "yes" "yes" "yes", though I will try to justify my point of view. By the way, Bangkok and Thailand are not just only for good restaurants, but also nice spa, hotel, boutiques of local fashion, nice cinemas, bowling places. That's life.

Thailand Club said...

a city of liftstyle in a simple word

Anonymous said...

Either you are a good photographer or your camera is good.
Yes Crystal Jade is good and delicious(I have been there). But the pictures from here look even better than those I ate there.
From,
200-lb guy

Bangkok Gastronomy said...

Great Review! I have been wanting to try YUm CHa here for quite some time, will check it out net week