The food at Crystal Jade is different. It’s unique in the sense that they proudly stay away from the usual fair one would find at say a neighbourhood Chinese restaurant. There’s a lot of thought that’s gone in the dishes, especially in the style they are cooked, the presentation, and lastly because of the ingredients, the taste too is distinctive. It’s clearly South-Asian but one cannot pinpoint it to a specific region.
Furthermore, although they have a nice little liquor and alcohol menu, once I spotted that classic Cold Coffee with Ice Cream on there, nothing else would be good enough. It’s one of those things us 80s kids get excited about even in our 30s. And yes, the drink was perfect.
Onwards to food now (I’m surprised you’ve stuck with me till here). The Multi-flavoured Xiao Long Bao was divine. I’ve had dumplings before but these were slightly peculiar, in a good way. Besides the meat the enclosure was filled with liquid (gravy/ soup) and were then served on soup spoons individually. It was like having a dumpling soup, only individually. Colourful, tasty, unique, and well presented… Recommended!
As for the Chicken and Shrimp Omelette on a Hot Plate; nothing beats having breakfast food at odd hours (lunch included). The presentation was a tad quirky as the basic omelette was brought at the table, then placed on a hot plate, followed by the server adding an egg yolk mixture to the omelette and cooking it more. I loved this little show and had I been aware of it, would have made a video of it. Obviously, after all the drama it had to taste great, which it did, and the various sauces on the table complimented it further.
Lastly, the Deep Fried Eggplant with Seaweed would have been preferred with fresh seaweed rather than the seaweed paper strips, nevertheless the strips were a nice match with the deep fried aubergine. Heavy because of the nature of cooking it, there was a requirement for an extra hint of garnishing on top for which the sweet and sour or soya sauce came in handy. On its own it borderlines on being bland even though it’s fried nicely with the kind of crunch that makes even adults act like children.
The bill for the entire meal came out to be for Rs. 1800,- (without the discount) which is just about acceptable considering the large helpings. However, no alcohol was consumed so that might further hike up the cost considerably.
Crystal Jade is a great place to visit if you want to try hardcore Asian food with a twist. While you might find your regular favourites, it’s recommended that you try something that is particular to the restaurant because therein lies their specialty.