Thursday, February 10, 2011

Crystal Jade : Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao
Shop B221A, Times Square
Causeway Bay
Hong Kong
Ph: (852) 2506 0080

Ten countries, and with ten branches in Hong Kong alone, the Jade Crystal Group is a dining behemoth that I would be happy to see in Australia. Having eaten at a few branches  over the years, and a variety of dishes, I can state that the standard is good, and it is consistent. It is also better than most similar places in Sydney, in my view.

Hot and sour soup (HKD35)

This photo is deceptive, as it was a good sized serving. Not too hot, nor too sour or vinegary (and I do like my vinegar), nicely balanced, and not containing the excessive cornflour that this soup sometimes seems to 'attract'. I'd have liked a bit more chilli component, but that's a very subjective preference, as I tend to like this soup with a bit more of a punch.

Xiao long bao (HKD28)

Well pleated, the skin thin and transluscent, the sweet rich broth so tongue scorchingly hot (as I like it) that you have to wait until it cools down enough to eat, this mainstay of the cuisine and cult bun (not a dumpling, as many seem to call it) is a form of comfort food, and Crystal Jade's hit that comfort spot. I've commented on the consistency of the restaurants, this is one example of this.

Panfried Shanghai buns (HKD24)

I grew up eating frequently eating these buns, and the ones that I ate were similar to these in size and the texture and thickness of the bun. Through to adulthood, I thought of these buns in this way. Sydney, however, seems to like them with a much thicker and more fluffy bun than I am used to, and that I like. To me, the thickness of the exterior should be thinner, the filling more substantial, proportionately, to the typical Sydney exemplar, but perhaps this is a matter of regional variations. These were good, the bottoms nicely browned and lightly crisped, the filling generous and flavoursome. 

Three visits during my time in Hong Kong, and I only remembered my camera on the final visit. Ah well. The missing dishes were all noodle ones, including Dan Dan Noodles, and  they too, are recommended.

Crystal Jade gives consistent quality and value for money. They are popular, so at some of the branches, including this one, you may have to queue during peak hours. The turnover is fairly quick, however, so it's worth the short wait.



5pandas said...

next time, I go too.

thanh7580 said...

I dined at Crystal Jade when I was in Hong Kong too and loved their xiao long baos.

The Sydney Tarts said...

@5pandas - You should revisit HKG.
@thanh7580 - They're good!

Anonymous said...

Just had lunch there today (16 Feb 2011).

Besides the above three dishes (which are local and tourist favourites), I recommend the hot and sour la mien (pulled noodles with the hot and sour soup), tan tan mien (pulled noodles with a spicy Sichuan peanut broth), winter melon and ham soup and dumplings in chili oil.

My lunch today was ham friend rice with the winter melon soup.


The Sydney Tarts said...

Gaz - I've eaten the hot & sour la mien there too, ditto the tan tan mien, haha. Not the winter melon though (not keen on winter melon) or the dumplings in chilli oil. I'll drag you there on my next trip and we'll scoff down some food, ja?