This isn’t the first time I’ve written about Crystal Jade Dining In, but I do believe this is the one time we came here to try out their set menu. There are a fair amount of good Chinese restaurants in the metro, so admittedly we very rarely come to such a high-end one such as Crystal Jade Dining In. But when it’s the holiday season, sometimes you just can’t help but feel like going for something above the usual. You know what I mean, right?
Crystal Jade Dining In is one of those Chinese restaurants on the fine-dining spectrum, so it’s not so much of a shock to see that their set menus cost quite a bit. Their Set Menu C for example is good for 6 persons at Php 7,800++. Not cheap by any means, but if you’re in the mood for a big, fancy meal then read on to see if you should consider this restaurant for your New Year’s feast.
Braised Fresh Seafood Soup
A bowl of warm seafood soup is always a welcome addition to a Chinese meal, but I wasn’t expecting each serving to be so big! The waiters will serve the soup in individual bowls for you and the bowls they use here are bigger than the usual. I didn’t even finish my portion for fear of not being able to reach the end of this multi-course meal, but I can tell you now this soup really hit the spot.
You’ve got shrimp, crab, and even crab roe suspended in a thick, perfectly flavoured soup.
Roasted Pecking Duck (Half)
Ahh… Pecking Duck. What’s a Chinese feast without it? Crystal Jade Dining In is actually very good with their Pecking Duck. The meat is consistently roasted to juicy perfection. They remove the skin to make the Pecking Duck wrap and the waiters will ask you what you want to do with the rest of it.
I recommend just eating it as is rather than frying the meat. This way you can really taste the natural umami flavour of the duck meat.
As for the crisp duck skin, well there’s not much to say. This indulgent little wrap is literally something everybody looks for in any Chinese multi-course meal! (Me included!)
Crispy Spring Roll with Sirloin and Scallop
This dish caught my attention because of the interesting way it was presented—in a wine glass! Aside from that, it uses a yellow fried wrap instead of the traditional white one. The wrap reminds me quite a bit of a taro puff’s shell, and it has a similar mouthfeel as well.
Every bite is a contrast of crunch and juiciness from the sirloin and the scallops and the mushrooms too. I like eating it with the lettuce because it adds some freshness to this fried roll.
Sweet & Sour Live Garoupa
This isn’t my favourite way to eat fresh fish. I always feel like it’s such a great disservice to fresh seafood whenever it gets deep fried in this way. (Only exception is maybe fish and chips done right.) Here, the fish became a little harder to the bite.
The sweet and sour sauce is very strong in this dish, making me feel the urge to grab a drink when I’ve had too much. It also really takes away from the taste of the fresh fish. Thankfully I love fish in general so I was still going for seconds when it came to this.
Braised Mixed Vegetables with Vermicelli In Hot Pot
This was one of the more typical dishes on this set menu. But since I am a fan of classic hot pot dishes like this one, I can’t really complain! The broccoli and bokchoy were crunchy, the mushrooms nice and juicy. The sauce had just the right amount of flavour, seasoned by the mushrooms and the pork.
Fried Rice with Scallop, Crab Meat, & Crab Roe
When you’ve got scallop and large chunks of crab meat and roe, you know it’s not just any ordinary fried rice you’re eating. They don’t scrimp on the seafood here, allowing you generous portions with every scoop of rice.
Steamed Custard Bun with Salted Egg Yolk
Before there were Salted Egg Chips, there were Salted Egg Buns. I still haven’t found a local version that is as good as the one I ate in Hong Kong– or maybe because that was the first Salted Egg Bun I’ve ever tried, thus it is incomparable in my memory—but this one from Crystal Jade is good too.
Nothing compares to the sight of that oozing custard! This filling is a bit more on the sweet side with a hint of saltiness from the egg. I wish there was a touch more of the filling though!
Velvet Tea (Php 520, good for 5 persons)
Crystal Jade Dining In offers a good variety of drinks, and I find that their fresh fruit drinks, like the Orange Shake (left), are often safe choices. They also have some sweetened, iced Chinese teas like the Puh-Er Jasmine Tea. But the one I want to recommend is their creamy Velvet Tea.
If you like milk tea, I do believe you will like their take on the silky smooth brewed tea with milk. This drink is sold separately from the Set Menu, but worth a try in my opinion.
They put the tea in an interesting pitcher, and normally they put some dry ice in that hole in the center but they were out of it for the day. The tea was sufficiently chilled though, so it was still pretty good!
Eating here at Crystal Jade Dining In can be on the expensive side, and although you can obviously see the freshness and quality of the ingredients that go into your meal, I can’t confidently say that I’d rate it that high in the value for money department. But then you consider the other aspects like the classy ambiance, and the incredibly efficient wait staff, and perhaps the occasional meal here becomes worth it after all.
The servings are good enough for the number of people they indicate on the menu, and then some. I haven’t tasted a dish I didn’t like in any of my visits here too. Meals here at Crystal Jade Dining In are always smooth sailing, and I have to give them credit for that.
CRYSTAL JADE DINING-IN
Full disclosure: We received a gift coupon from Crystal Jade Dining In and used it to pay for this meal, but all opinions stated above are my own. As always.