BDW and I have never been to Hong Kong or Singapore and so we’ve never experienced how it is to shop there during a sale which some folks I know swear by or to eat at all these great restaurants that some people know by heart (and swear by too!). When news of a Manila branch of Crystal Jade fired up the blogs and twitter, I couldn’t relate but what got me excited was the prospect of eating at a great restaurant which is know for its good food. I was particularly curious about Xiao Long Bao, the steamed soup dumplings which people said was a must try in Crystal Jade.
When Crystal Jade opened people lined up for miles and had to wait for at least an hour for a table. I figured that the best time to go there would be late lunch on a weekday. Luckily one Monday, BDW and I were on leave and after an event I attended in the morning, we hied off to Virramall in Greenhills to tried the famed Xiao Long Bao of Crystal Jade.
There weren’t any lines when we got there and we got a table in less than five minutes! It also helped that there were just us two and so they could wedge us in any space available that had a table. When we got in the place was reallly busy and I felt that the attendants were a bit frazzled. A table next to us never got everything they ordered and they were already complaining. Good thing we had an attentive attendant.
Of course what I really wanted to order is this:
Xiao Long Bao ( Php 158)
These dumplings lived up to the hype!! These dumplings are the best BDW and I have ever had EVER! And we’ve eaten our fair share of siomai and dumplings in our young lives haha 😀
Eating it can be a challenge because the soup is HOT. I ate a whole dumpling and I almost burned my tongue! But I quickly learned that the best way to eat this is to first dunk the dumpling in its ginger- soy dipping sauce
then gently pick up the dumpling and scoop it with the spoon
Then bite into the dumpling to open it and suck the soup slowly (aaaah! sarap!) and then eat the rest! NOMNOMNOM!!
The Xiao Long Bao was so good that we ordered another basket and cleaned it up right away 😀 The soup dumpling went well with the Spicy Chicken with Noodle that we ordered too.
Noodle with Spicy Chicken (Php 288)
The hand pulled fresh noodles are made in the restaurant. The main cooks in Crystal Jade Greenhills all come from the Hong Kong branch and when we got there it seemed like they were training their Pinoy counterparts. Anyway, the guy doing the noodles was super fast and makes batches by the order. I’ve had fresh noodles probably twice in a restaurant in Megamall but this one takes the cake. The noodles are served cold and it reminded me of the Cold Soba BDW and I ordered while we were in Tokyo. The noodles were delicate and had the right kind of bite that was neither too hard nor too soft. It sopped up the spiciness of the chicken and although I’m not a fan of spicy dishes, I almost finished half of this dish!
We also ordered Deep Fried Pork with Garlic (Php 290)
It was just ok and tasted like any other fried pork dish you could get at a good local Chinese restaurant. It was the most expensive item in our menu but it was the most uneventful 😛
We finished the meal with a cold dessert and we ordered this beauty:
Grass Jelly and Beancurd Jelly (Php198)
It’s cold taho served in a huge glass. It’s good for three people I think but it was just enough for me and BDW hehe. It was the perfect end to the the spicy chicken + the hot xiao long bao.
All in all Crystal Jade is a must try! I think the lines are still long most especially on weekends so be prepared to wait. It’s good to go there at odd hours though so if you’re on leave maybe you could swing by and treat yourself to really good food 🙂 Also, the food is reasonably priced and the servings are good for two to three people.
While waiting, you can watch the noodle guy in action hehe
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao
Virra Mall, Greenhills Shopping Center, Missouri St.
San Juan City, Metro Manila(02) 570-6910
Tip: The restaurant is actually outside Virra Mall and is right behind the Haagen-Dazs Kiosk.