Crystal Jade opens a new concept of Crystal Jade Prestige at Marina Bay Financial Centre.
I like the word “prestige”. It conveys a good standing, respect, reputation and appears to be quite apt as the restaurant is set within Singapore’s CBD – CJ’s first in its 25 years of history.
Many would ask a similar question – how would Crystal Jade Prestige be different from the other familiar concepts of Kitchen and La Mian Xiao Long Bao?
In terms of branding, Prestige would certainly be positioned as more upmarket and premium, and also adventurous and bold with the choice of ingredients and food presentation.
It is probably at a spot now that caters well for business luncheons, dinner with some fine dining flair, and dim sum over the weekend with the family when the CBD gets quieter.
Dim Sum Lunch
Crystal Jade has been known for its dim sum – you kind of know there is a certain standard to meet, especially for their well-loved classic of Xiao Long Bao.
So when I was at Prestige for lunch, I was on a lookout for novel, unique creations.
Some dim sum items that caught my eye – Siew Mai topped with Caviar ($5.80 for 4 pieces), Pan-fried Siew Mai with Foie Gras Sauce ($12.80), Steamed Dumpling with Shrimp & Black Garlic ($5.80 for 3 pieces), Baked Abalone & Diced Chicken Pastry ($6 for 3 pieces), Baked Cheese Bacon Roll with Seafood ($5.80 for 3 pieces), Deep-fried Shrimp & Minced Pork in Salted Egg Yolk wrapped in Rice Roll ($6.80).
On the top of my recommendation would be the ‘Golden Sand’ Steamed Rice Roll, sometimes better known as ’cheong fun’.
I was actually expecting something wetter. To my delight, the fillings were deep-fried, rather similar in texture to the dough-stick stuffed ’zha leung’ not that commonly found in Singapore.
It is not easy to achieve something that is slippery-smooth the outside, yet still crispy on the inside.
This had that added dimension – shrimp and pork for the savouriness, with a tinge of salted egg yolk flavour. Although there was mustard dip provided on the side, this roll was good enough to eat on its own.
The luxe-looking Steamed Pork and Shrimp Dumplings with Caviar ($5.80 for 4 pieces) were considered a steal looking at the pure amount of roe on top.
The taste matched up to its appearance, being juicy-fresh with a good bite.
Some of the items had that ‘Hong-Kong’ element, especially the Baked Abalone & Diced Chicken Pastry ($6 for 3 pieces).
There was this buttery-sweet taste on the crumbly baked pastry shell, and the fillings were fried abalone and diced chicken still sauce-y and steaming hot.
One feature of Crystal Jade Prestige’s dishes is the usage of premium such as lobster, bird’s nest, and even truffle and foie gras, which are less commonly found in Chinese cooking.
Two of their signatures were not quite what I initially expected, or seen.
The first was a ‘rice roulade’ 饭卷 ($20/pc, $168/half or $328/whole) – a crunchy brown outer layer with plump grains of Japanese short-grain pearl rice densely packed inside.
After eating, you would realise the ‘skin’ is actually suckling pig crackling (then you would wonder how on earth did chef wrap this up so beautifully and neat).
The rice was flavourful, cooked with abalone sauce and infused with truffle for that aromatic whiff.
The Pan-fried Beancurd with Black Truffle Sauce ($8.80) might not be a good-looker, after all, it arrived brown and appeared greyish-black inside.
Aren’t tofu supposed to be beigey white? This slab was made with squid ink mixed within, covered in breadcrumbs and deep fried, then drizzled with a heady truffle-accented mushroom sauce.
For Salted Egg Yolk lovers, you would be pleased to have this yin-yang Combination of Deep-fried Scallop with Salted Egg Yolk and Chilled Organic Tomato served with Avocado Sauce ($20).
The name is a mouthful, but the dish a mouthful of flavours.
Imagine a deep fried nugget, but with a big, fat, plump, fresh Hokkaido scallop encrusted within.
The salted egg yolk is used in the batter, thus you would savour the nuances on the crisp golden outer layer every bite you take.
There were some dishes that I thought could be further refined though. Chinese soups cooked in coconut seem to be the highlight of almost every high-end Chinese restaurants in Singapore of late.
In the case of the Lobster & Seafood Tomato Thick Soup served in Coconut ($28), the rich crustacean flavour of the lobster seem to be ‘fighting’ for a spot with the full-bodied tomato soup and sweetness from the coconut. Perhaps less could be more.
The Trio Dessert on Ice ($14.50) is perfect for those loving a variety of flavours as it comprises tasting portions of Aloe Vera with Lemongrass Jelly, Chilled Mango Purée with Pomelo & Sago and Chilled Black Sesame with Coconut Milk.
The lunch and dinner portray different moods at Crystal Jade’s first foray to the Central Business District of Singapore.
The dining hall feels vibrant during lunch, where corporate diners arrive for dim sum and enjoy Chinese food over business meetings.
Dinner would present a more intimate dining experience for contemporary Chinese cuisine with wine pairing.
Weekend Lunch Indulgence
Enjoy 25% off Tea Smoked Roasted Duck and Dim Sum in celebration of Crystal Jade Prestige’s opening. Offer is valid till 30 April 2016 on weekends (lunch till 3:30pm).
Crystal Jade Prestige
8A Marina Boulevard, Marina Bay Financial Centre (Ground Plaza, entrance via lift on ground floor to L2), #02-01, Singapore 018984 (Downtown MRT)
Tel: +65 6509 9493
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 3:30pm, 6pm – 10:30pm (Sat, Sun, PH)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Crystal Jade Culinary Concept Holdings.