This restaurant is where the brand of Crystal Jade started more than 20 years ago. The business has since grown staggeringly to 21 cities all over the world. For me this restaurant at Ngee Ann City still holds its charm, keeping its culinary standards despite all the management and corporate changes over the years.
Previously I have covered on some of the popular dim sum places in Singapore – Tim Ho Wan, Din Tai Fung, Wah Lok, Tung Lok and Ah Yat. I can never get enough of dim sum so here’s Crystal Jade’s feature for you.
One can never have too much of these char siew (barbequed pork) and this version of baked buns are my preference over the old-school steamed ones. Crispy thin crust with generous amounts of char siew inside them makes these buns irresistable – though the ones from Wah Lok is still the best for me, the Crystal Jade ones were pretty close to it.
Siu Mai which is pork dumplings usually with some mushroom in the filling and tobiko on the top for texture. Some versions of Siu Mai have a tiny abalone on the top like the ones from their new outlet Crystal Jade Prestige. These from Crystal Jade Palace were so yummy that there’s one missing by the time I could take a proper picture. The skin is of appropriate thickness and coupled with the mushroomy well-seasoned filling – not possible to skip this queen of dim sum at Crystal Jade.
Crystal skin that is thin with succulent prawn filling inside it – I call Har Gow the king of dim sum because it’s heavenly for me. It’s the dim sum that makes me smile when it’s done right like these from Crystal Jade Palace.
This is one of the must-haves for me at Crystal Jade – the ultra thin rice rolls with lavish amounts of filling inside. Though the sauce might be a little too salty for most, for me it’s just yummy. Some restaurants have the rolls done too thick, but for these ones you can even see how translucent it was from the picture.
Chives dumplings can be done two ways – steamed or fried (deep/pan). The steamed version appeals to me more as it’s not oily and the natural flavours of that chives is accentuated with the crystal-light skin. Though my favourite chives dumpling is from Ho Kee Pau from Geylang Lorong 27, these ones are pretty decent – just one gripe about the skin as it was a little sticky.
There are many versions of carrot cake in Singapore. You can find the stir fried ones from hawker centre, some steamed ones from restaurants and the most common ones are probably these XO Carrot Cake made with XO sauce. The addition of the sauce makes the dish fragrant and savoury, sometimes even masking the taste of the carrot cake itself. Luckily for the Crystal Jade Palace version, it wasn’t so. The right amount of XO sauce with lots of egg and spring onions, together with the soft carrot cake made it delectable.
Last but not least the famous roast pork from Crystal Jade – however it was disappointing for me. The skin wasn’t as crispy as it looked and not impressive at all with too much lean meat and little fats. We also had some century egg porridge with our meal which was pretty average. Overall, the food were still outstanding, with some hits and misses. Service was impeccable with prices similar to Wah Lok.
Coming back to Crystal Jade Palace always gives me a sense of nostalgia, of happy family times in the days when Ngee Ann City was still a new mall. I have yet to try out Crystal Jade Prestige which is their new opening – will go by some day and see if their higher end dim sums are worth the extra bucks to spend on.
Crystal Jade Palace
391 Orchard Road
Ngee Ann City #04-19
65) 6735 2388 / (65) 91771971