Monday, August 21, 2017

Missing Crystal Jade Prestige at MBFC, Singapore

Oh wow! It's been close to 3 months since we bid goodbye to the Lion City! Time flies so fast...when you're busy! With that, I think I should write about one of the things that I miss the most about Singapore.

Crystal Jade.

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I know that this is pretty much a household name when it comes to Chinese dining with close to 20 outlets all over Singapore and even more overseas. I've had my first taste of Crystal Jade right here in Manila when my friend T brought me there to have her favorite Dan Dan La Mian. I was never a fan of spicy food but it was only Crystal Jade's version that I find to be really yummy. However, it was when I went to Singapore that I learned more about the brand. Did you know that Crystal Jade has several concepts under its wing? Let's see if I still remember them... there are the fine-dining ones such as Crystal Jade Prestige at MBFC, Crystal Jade Palace Restaurant which is like the flagship outlet in Takashimaya and Crystal Jade Golden Palace which I find to be the most hip and very Shanghai Tang looking one. Then, there are the casual dining outlets which we frequent a lot like Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao which specializes in... yes, la mian AND xiao long bao, there's Crystal Jade Kitchen for your steamboat dinners and short orders. Lastly, there's Crystal Jade Dining IN which only has one outlet at the moment in Vivo City which is somewhere in between casual and fine dining. It's perhaps the best place to go if you're dining with the family. Apart from all these, there's Crystal Jade MyBread where you get grab some baked pastries and cakes and Crystal Jade Korean Ginseng Chicken and BBQ where I just love their bibimbap and kimchi fried rice! Did I miss out on anything? I hope not.

Anyway, let me tell you about the last meal that Paul and I had at Crystal Jade Prestige. This is the concept that's closest to my heart as I was so lucky enough to be invited to their opening party and I have been frequenting this outlet quite a lot too. One thing that we love about Crystal Jade Prestige is its location. Overlooking the beautiful Marina Bay, you can definitely enjoy a nice weekend lunch here as the scenery outside relaxes you. During weeknights, it's also a good place to be as it's convenient located within the CBD area making it so accessible for all office workers. It also doesn't hurt that they make the yummiest Roasted Baby Suckling Pig Roll with Black Truffle Rice too.

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Our lunch began with our own baskets of Prestige Signature Dim Sum Platter. I got so excited when I saw this. Look how cute the dimsum creations were! This was also when we were still so addicted to Pokemon Go! and doesn't that fishy dim sum look like Magikarp to you? Anyway, this basket consists of four specially created dim sum namely prawn and carrot dumpling with black truffle, assorted mushroom dumpling, osmanthus dumpling with prawn and celery and lastly, water chestnut dumpling with olive and chinese parsley. Unlike in Manila where we dip every single dim sum item in a soy sauce-calamansi dipping sauce, one thing that I love about Crystal Jade Prestige's dim sum creations is that each piece is well-seasoned and dipping is definitely not required. If you must then just add a bit of chili if you want a bit more kick but personally, I just happily ate them as is.



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To cleanse our palate, we had the very refreshing Chilled Organic Tomato with Sesame Sauce. The truth is, I am not a fan of tomatoes. Not even tomato based pasta, baby tomatoes, tomato sauce or even tomato ketchup. I was initially hesitant to try this but after watching Paul literally popping one baby tomato after the other while nodding in affirmation at how good it was, I just had to try one and I agreed with him the sesame sauce inside the tomato was a very tasty surprise. The tomatoes were juicy enough but it was the sesame sauce that gave it a different taste profile. Yummy!

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Following this, we had the Stir-Fried Assorted Mushrooms with Basil in Claypot. I loved this! It's such a simple yet comforting this. Seriously, give me this and a bowl of rice and I'd be a happy camper. As you know, mushrooms have a very earthy taste and the basil has perfectly complemented it making this such a yummy veggie dish.

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The star of the meal was the Prestige Pipa Duck with Fermented Beancurd Sauce. Initially I thought it's just like a regular Peking Duck but somehow I find this to be much more tasty, really tender and the fermented beancurd sauce just makes it even more lip-smacking than it already is. Paul loves duck and he happily polished this plate off easily.

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For seafood or fish lovers, you can't miss the Grilled Cod Fish with Lemon Lime Salt. This was one of my favorite dishes that day as I just love cod fish. Admittedly, this is not really something that you'd expect to have from a Chinese restaurant but that's the beauty about Crystal Jade Prestige, the Chefs continue to innovate and go beyond what is ordinarily expected from any Chinese restaurants. Every visit that we've had continue to bring new yummy surprises.

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To go with all our dishes, we had the Signature Fried Rice. Now, who says no to Fried Rice? What makes this really interesting is the inclusive of sliced pickled radish and salted fish. Initially, we thought the inclusion of these two ingredients will make the flavor truly overpowering but it turned out really good and we enjoyed this with all the dishes that we've had that day.

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What a filling lunch! Of course, we didn't stop there. For dessert, we had Coconut Jelly with Fresh Milk in Coconut which was so good. It's the perfect ending to a meal if you love your dessert, sweet, creamy and truly refreshing.

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We also tried the Steamed Pandan Bun with Green Tea Custard. A modern take to the popular 流沙包 (salted egg custard bun) where each fragrant pandan bun is filled with rich green tea with salted egg filling. Be careful in every bite as it can get pretty messy!

Oh my mouth is starting to water while recalling this amazing lunch at Crystal Jade Prestige! I can't wait to visit the Lion City and have all these delicious dishes (and more) yet again!

*photos by Paul Ang

For all of you in Singapore, do me a favor and please have a meal (or more) at Crystal Jade Prestige for me! Visit them at 8A Marina Boulevard, Marina Bay Financial Centre, 02-01, Singapore 018984. Call them at 6509-9493 to make a reservation.

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