Frequent travelers and citizens of the Philippines alike are most certainly familiar with Crystal Jade. Those of us who know of Crystal Jade in the local scene immediately bring to mind a casual dining restaurant in Greenhills with some of the best xiao long bao available on its menu. This time, the Crystal Jade team brings the more formal Dining IN concept, boasting an array of delicious contemporary Cantonese cuisine. Cantonese is considered the finest among China’s regional cuisines, making it the most popular outside its native country.
This fine dining restaurant offers a bigger space to suit people’s private or business dinner needs. Crystal Jade Dining IN's main dining hall seats around ninety, while the semi-private and VIP rooms can seat from as little as six to as many as twenty-four depending on the need. Warm colours such as golden yellow and red give the restaurant an authentic Chinese feel.
To start our dim sum and appetizer combination, we were able to sample the Steam Radish Cake with Egg White and Chinese Wine (P160 per piece). This is radish cooked in the traditional way (steamed with flour) with egg white and Chinese wine added for a smoother texture and extra fragrance. I found it a refreshing take on radish, which I have been accustomed to eating fried. This was followed by the Baked Bo Lo BBQ Pork Bun (P180 for three pieces), a dish that is much more familiar. Oriental style barbecued pork serves as the filling for the bun, which has a Hong Kong style bo lo crust. My favourite appetizer was the Crispy Duck Sandwich (P680), which is served together with a shredded duck fruit salad. The crispy duck skin goes perfectly with the tender duck meat, which is jazzed up by cucumbers, tomatoes and bean curd.
Steam Radish Cake with Egg White and Chinese Wine
Baked Bo Lo BBQ Pork Bun
Crispy Duck Sandwich
I had a ball trying to make sense of the Double-boiled Crab Claw Soup with Superior Mushroom in Fresh Coconut (P480). It is probably the most interesting soup dish presentation that I have come across thanks to the crab claw poking out of the coconut like some sort of alien. It does, however, taste friendlier than it looks. Thanks to the double boiling process, the crab meat is so tender, and the mushrooms and cabbage compliment it perfectly.
Double-boiled Crab Claw Soup with Superior Mushroom in Fresh Coconut
The Braised Pork with Special Sauce (P350) is the kind of extremely tasty dish that you can only take in small servings. The braised pork belly coupled with the sauce is simply divine, but its flavour is so rich that the serving it comes in really is just right. The meat and fat are marinated for hours before being braised with straw, making it suitable to eat with a bun. The Sauteed Scallop/Prawn with Chicken and Assorted Mushroom served in Pumpkin (P680) was definitely the prettiest dish of the afternoon. Fresh scallop and chicken fillet are sautéed with various ingredients such as mushrooms and are presented inside a hollow pumpkin, making it a festival of both colours and flavours. Finally, the Fried Assorted Grain Rice in Hot Stone Bowl (P320) puts a different twist on the concept of traditional fried rice. Five different rice grains are stir fried with vegetables, egg and pine nuts for that delicious earthy taste.
Braised Pork with Special Sauce
Sauteed Scallop/Prawn with Chicken and Assorted Mushroom served in Pumpkin
Fried Assorted Grain Rice in Hot Stone Bowl
For dessert, we had the Chilled Avocado Pudding and Pomelo (P180) and the Deep Fried Glutinous Rice Ball with Sesame (P200 for three pieces). I like how Crystal Jade puts just as much love and thought into their desserts as they do with their food, as the presentation alone is already very appealing. The avocado pudding, topped with fresh mango cream and pomelo, serves as the perfect light sweet ending after a big meal. The rice balls, on the other hand, are a bit more filling, so they are suited best for sharing or after a light meal. The sesame seeds, however, give it a bold, exciting flavour.
Chilled Avocado Pudding and Pomelo
Deep Fried Glutinous Rice Ball with Sesame
It is good to see a familiar face like Crystal Jade continue to expand and grow stronger in terms of cuisine and concept. The team is more than excited enough to introduce the other Crystal Jade concepts to Filipino diners, but Crystal Jade Dining IN is a great place to start. The restaurant takes pride in its haute cuisine, but also celebrates relationships by bringing people closer together over the best contemporary Chinese cuisine to grace Philippine shores.