Talking about the Michelin Guide, do you know that Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao in Hong Kong has been included in the Michelin Bib Gourmand Guide consistently for the last few years?
We should be proud of this brand which started way back in Singapore during 1991. Which also means that Crystal Jade is going to celebrate its 25th anniversary next year!
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao has been a familiar brand to us, being a regular meal place for several occasions (especially the Ngee Ann City brand which is super popular). My family likes the restaurant for its array of La Mian (Lanzhou La Mian, Dan Dan La Mian), Xiao Long Bao, dim sum and soups.
There is a recent update on its menu, with new and improved items! Some of the specialties are sourced from Jiangnan, which includes gastronomic cities like Shanghai, Wuxi and Shaoxing.
Here are 10 new (or updated) items from Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao you can expect:
Chilli Crab Xiao Long Bao ($10.80 for 4 pieces)
I first had these red coloured XLB during the SG50 celebrations, and thought it was an ingenious idea to incorporate our National dish into these traditional dumplings.
You must eat these while they are hot – to savour the sweet, delicately spicy broth which did remind me of the chilli crab gravy (though in a much lighter way), matched with generous fillings of crab meat sitting within thin, skill-fully pleated skin.
Salted Egg Yolk Xiao Long Bao ($7.80 for 4 pieces)
Well, do not expect the XLB to flow like a ‘liu sha bao’. The first reaction I got on the first bite of the orange-tinted Xiao Long Bao was, “Like the filling of a mooncake.” Or perhaps the inside of a ‘bak chang’.
The salted egg yolk with chunks of minced pork in thin dumpling skin still worked well in combination, though I wished there was more of the savoury broth.
Steamed Assorted Flavours Xiao Long Bao ($10.80 for 4 pieces)
What I suggest: Do not share, and just finish them all on your own.
This is when you can get the best of four worlds, with the red Chilli Crab, orange Salted Egg Yolk Xiao Long Bao comes hot in a bamboo basket together with the green Steamed Ginseng Xiao Long Bao, and plain-colour Steamed Vegetable Xiao Long Bao.
Needless to say, I liked the Chilli Crab flavoured one best. Though I was warned that the ginseng version has this herbal aftertaste that may need some getting used to, it is not bad.
Poached Watercress Dumpling ($6.80 for 6 pieces)
Dumplings wrapped with minced pork and watercress, more ordinary in looks and taste in comparison.
Braised Minced Pork Ball with Mushroom & Bamboo Shoot ($12.80)
My other favourite dish, inspired by the famous signature delicacy of Huaiyang China – Lion’s Head, better known as ‘shi zi tou’.
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Lao Bao’s meatballs come in smaller sizes, and thus easier to consume and not as richly-filling. The hand-beaten pork balls are skilfully cooked with a moist inner texture, braised with cabbage till steaming hot in a claypot.
Just imagine: tasty smooth meatballs, soft stewed vegetables, thick savoury sauce (that would go well with rice) with smoky fragrance. This is comfort food.
La Mian with Scallion Oil served with Dong Po Pork Belly ($11.80)
The signature long, thin, springy pulled noodles tossed fragrant scallion oil is already umami and satisfying.
Add some tender melt-in-your-melt fatty (yet not overly greasy) meat covered in a sweet-savoury dark sauce.
Deep-Fried White Bait in Wuxi style ($7.80)
I couldn’t stop eating them. These addictive tiny snack-like fish are first deep-fried, then enveloped in a sweet and sour sauce, sprinkled with sesame seeds and fried ginger.
Rice Flour Cake with Shredded Pork & Preserved Vegetable Soup
A comforting soup for the rainy day. The thinly sliced flat steamed ‘nian gao’ would remind some of the ‘bee hoon kueh’, though these cakes have a chewier, stickier texture.
Deep Fried Duck ($26.80 for half)
The appearance and taste are quite unlike the typical ducks. The duck is first marinated for two days, steamed for 2 hours, and deep-fried to lock in its juices.
The golden brown skin is crisp and to the drier side, accompanied perfectly steamed soft mantou and dark Hoisin-like sauce.
Note: Only 10 servings available each branch, each day.
Perfect for a sweet ending, the Osmanthus Flower Jelly with wolfberries is refreshingly delightful with light floral and sweet flavours.
You can also round up your meal with other popular desserts of Mango Pudding ($4.80), Steamed Sweet Potato Bun with Custard ($3.80) and Glutinous Rice Ball in Fermented Rice Wine.
It was good to be back Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao – comforting enjoyable new dishes, but the same old friendly service and homely vibes.
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao
Holland Avenue 241 Singapore 278976 (Holland Village MRT)
Tel: +65 6463 0968
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Daily
Also available at:
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao
Bugis Junction #B1-04A
Great World City #02-43
Jurong Point JP2 #03-96
Ngee Ann City #04-27
Blk 470 Toa Payoh Lor 6 #01-70 (opposite HDB Hub)
* This post is brought to you in partnership with Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts Holding.