Monday, May 26, 2008

Crystal Jade (Shanghai)

My friend took me to one of his favourite places to have lunch; Crystal Jade. It actually is a Cantonese restaurant chain from Singapore. Now, before you have negative images of chain restaurants, let me assure you, this is one is no where near like those awful chain restaurants. Crystal Jade has some of the finest food you can get anywhere. What is amazing about Crystal Jade is that they are consistently delicious when you are either in Shanghai, Singapore or Bangkok. Crystal Jade is famous for their dim sum, which literally means "touch the heart" or "order to your heart's content" and hand made noodles.

The first dish we had was deep fried mussels. I do like the occassional fried food (I know, not good for my health), so was a safe bet that I would enjoy the first dish. Lightly battered and deeply fried, it came out very crunchy. A bit oily on the paper but luckily not when you bit into the little snack. The second dish was (is) one of my favourite dim sums. It has a translucent wheat starch skin and is filled with minced pork, green chives, water chestnuts and peanuts for added crunch and texture. It does fall apart the moment you bite into one and the filling falls out, but I am never disappointed when we have these fantastic dim sum.

The third dish we had was dim sum in a shape of chinese hats. Translucent skin again but more firm and rigid than the first ones. It is stuffed with huge shrimps, minced carrot for colour and texture and green chives. The shrimps were fresh and plump. Juicy when you bite into them. Just lovely. The fourth dish we had was the typical steamed dumplings. Thin skin stuffed with minced pork. These types of dumplings when made are also stuffed with frozen pork bouillon, so when the dumplings are steamed, the frozen bouillon melts and that is how the juice is inside the dumplings. As usual, you need to put the dumpling over a spoon and let the juice fall out into the spoon and then sip it. Once you enjoy the delicious juice, the you can stuff the dumpling into your mouth.

The fifth dish we had was dumplings in spicy sichuan sauce. Another fantastic dish. The dumplings have another dimension when they are in this spicy sauce. The final dish was the another minced shrimp dim sum wrapped in egg colour skin. These were wonderfully dense with shrimp and the flavour of shrimp bursts out with the first bite.

There were only two of us, stuffing our faces with these wonderful dim sums. So, by the sixth dish, we definately were stuffed. Too full for dessert. We decided to take a walk and find a nice place for coffee.

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