Queues out the door (yes, even at the airport branch) plus a Michelin Bib Gourmand Restaurant award for six straight years, you know you are at the right place – Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao.
Crystal Jade (L5-35, Meeters & Greeters Hall, T1) specializes in authentic Shanghai cuisine, which has kept me coming back for the past decade due to its propensity to use a lot of vegetables in its dishes, and it’s certainly not as meaty as Cantonese cuisine. You can see this right from the outset with its wide selection of vegetarian based appetizers. And many of such appetizers are in fact Crystal Jade’s signature dishes such as: Black Fungus Tossed in Aged Vinegar, Assorted Mushrooms Wrapped in Deep-fried Dried Beancurd Sheets (“a.k.a. Vegetarian Goose”), and Braised Gluten. Without hesitation, I’d recommend their Vegetarian Beancurd Sheet Rolls – using a tasty combo of black fungus, dried tofu, carrots, peppers, and mushrooms. This is not only delicious but wonderfully colorful as well – a complete delight for the eyes and the stomach.
It wouldn’t be true Shanghai cuisine without my beloved Braised White Cabbage, but for a change I ordered the Sauteed Green Soy Bean with Beancurd Sheets & Preserved Vegetables and that turned out to be a great pick. To savor the piquancy of the preserved vegetables, the chef uses just enough sesame oil as seasoning, smartly bringing out the natural flavor of the greens.
A proper review wouldn’t be complete without tasting their pastries and freshly handmade noodles. I do LOVE my carbs so this is always a much visited area of the menu for me! Classic and favorite picks are the Steamed Vegetable Dumplings and the traditional Fried Shanghai Noodles with Cabbage (which you can order without the shredded pork to make it veggie friendly).
BUT my personal all-time favorite dish at Crystal Jade has to be the Shredded Pancake “Shandong” Style – it is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and not too greasy. Unlike Indian naan bread, there’s no need to dip, just eat plain and it’s simply amazing. Despite its simplicity, it’s not often that you find this dim sum in local restaurants, so whenever I dine at any of their branches I make sure I stock up eating one there and I always order one for the road!
Last but by no means least, is the sizzling hot Red Bean Pancake – this is not to be missed and I guarantee you will end your meal in food coma heaven!
06:30 – 23:30
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