Sunday, December 18, 2011
Crystal Jade Kitchen Opens at Scotts Square
Delicious crispy roast duck and barbecued pork with honey sauce.
You know, Scotts Square is yet another place that makes my wallet and credit cards shiver. Lots of posh brands and upmarket goods. The residents living in this luxury development have Hermes at their doorstep. I don't even have a mamak shop at the bottom of my block.
But there's the familiar Cantonese comfort food of Crystal Jade Kitchen which just opened here a few days ago. Same consistent affordable fare, with prices from S$4.80 to S$39.90.
You'll have regular favourites like roast meats, noodles, congee and dim sum. I like all of these - (from front to back) pan-fried rice roll with spicy shrimp paste, "har gau" steamed shrimp dumpling, deep-fried yam puff.
The crispy roast duck (first photo, S$12.80 for small) uses free-range ducks raised in Malaysia until seven weeks. These are stuffed with Chinese herbs, and during roasting the chef carefully turns and adds layers of sweet glaze to caramelize the skin for that crisp texture.
The BBQ meat or char siew (S$10.80 for small) is really tender. Boneless pork is glazed with honey and roasted on long forks. Sliced nice and thick, so you can really taste how juicy it is.
Crispy Beancurd with Salt & Pepper (S$6.80 for small). A typical appetiser.
Crispy Eggplant with spices (S$6.80 for small). Not so typical, but certainly a delicious way to have your vegetables.
The Crystal Jade Kitchen here has some new dishes that you won't find at other Kitchen outlets.
There is a wider range of double-boiled and homestyle soups here. Have you noticed Crystal Jade's trend towards offering more soups and healthy dishes?
You'll find soups such as Double-boiled Pork Shoulder with Almond, Preserved Vegetable and Dried Octopus. It has no added MSG and is purported to enhance complexion and nourish the lungs.
There is even an opening promo - soup of the day at only S$1 - until end Dec 2011. But even at the regular price of $4.80, the double-boiled soup is already a good deal.
Roasted Chicken with Special Spicy Paste (S$12.80 for half) is also new. This dish is a Portugal adaptation that's become popular in Macau. The tomato, garlic and scallion based sauce would go really well with fish, and indeed you can request for it to be done with tilapia. Personally, I like roasted chicken just the way it is - especially with crispy skin.
Stewed Beef Tendon in Black Pepper (S$14.80 for small). The tendons have been stewed for two hours to produce melting tenderness. Delicious with white rice.
Sauteed Walnut with Assorted Vegetables - red capsicum, French beans, black fungus and fresh lily bulbs. Lovely colour combination, and a healthy dish that's tasty as well. This is also new.
They also introduced a fabulous "Steamed QQ Rice with Scallion Oil" (S$6.80 for small - enough for 3-4 persons). Scallions are mashed into a paste together with ginger and other condiments. It's spread atop the QQ rice (a mixture of fragrant and glutinous rice). The whole thing is left to steep for a while.
Then the server mixes it all up and it's a fragrant and delicious ensemble, almost good enough to eat on its own.
Perennial favourites for dessert - the Egg Tart (S$3 for 3 pieces) and Mango Pudding (S$4.50). We were stunned to hear that each mango pudding uses one whole Philippine mango!
What also drew us to the event were the demos - how to make har gau and egg tarts. The pleating of the dumpling skin is a real skill.
This outlet is also different from the rest in that it has an electric service bell system. So no more waving at busy staff for service. But it's too big a place anyway; it seats about 110. The restaurant is also more contemporary in decor, with muted pastel and cream leather seating. It's also the first to reflect their new branding too.
Well, it was nice to meet the Crystal Jade team again, as well as their pleasantly humble and affable Chairman, Mr Ip Yiu Tung. Have you seen the personality profile I wrote on him on Makanation (Yahoo's new online food magazine)? Crystal Jade has been on an expansion roll, and we take a closer look there at what makes them such a success story.
CRYSTAL JADE KITCHEN (their website is undergoing a revamp, but you can still access promotions)
#03-06 Scotts Square,
6 Scotts Road,
Tel: +65 6636-1836
11.30am to 3pm
5.30pm to 10.30pm
Sundays and Public Holidays
10.30am to 3.30pm
5.30pm to 10.30pm
Thanks to linea and Crystal Jade for inviting us to the media session.
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