There were 2 pre-requisite for the lunch outing,1- it has to be at Midvalley, and 2- Xiao Long Bao ( mini dumplings) –thus eliminating -Thai, Malay or Western Food and streamlined the selection down to maybe 3 (or 4) eateries. Having previously dined at Ding Dai Fung (DDF) , I suggested trying out Crystal Jade.
Crystal Jade (CJ) is not too easy to spot , tucked in an inconspicuous corner and probably outshined by it’s more popular neighbor – Fong Lye (Taiwanese food) . CJ doesn’t seemed to be expecting big crowds, as there weren’t that many tables , and with that too they seemed to be arranged rather close to each other. The setting was casual and open as while dining, you could view the chefs doing their stuff.
Apart from the pork dumplings, la mien is a must order ( well, half the name of the shop is la mien, guess this should be special) . The set meals seemed interesting (or make life much easier) , each served with entre, main course and some form of dessert. There were 5 of us and we opted for 3 set meals plus 2 servings of xiao long bao.
The xiao long pao ( RM8.80 for 4 pieces) was exquisite, the wonderfully rich and sweet broth within it’s thin, soft and smooth casing, and the tasty filings. I think these are better than the dumplings at DDF. One complain is that they are rather stingy with the ginger shreds ( providing only 2 small bowls of sparsely filled shreds) , and the vinegar and ginger doesn’t seemed as tasty as those at DDF
The set meals with the various desserts and soup came almost at the same time, so I am not too sure which came with which set..oh ahh…but be assured that with a set meal, it’s 3 in a set.
La mien beef brisket set ( RM20.80) – the noodles was smooth and springy ( not flourly), the broth was full of flavour and the beef was tender and tasty -they were generous with the amount of meat too. Very nice.
I am not sure what was supposed to come with the beef brisket, but anyway, we were also served a cold dish – cubed tofu with century egg plus meat floss, this was interesting, the century egg with it’s distinctive and strong flavour plus the bland tofu, which seemed to work – this was rather ok.
La mien with minced meat and mushroom set (RM18.80) – same yummy lai mien noodles, served with slightly spicy sweet gravy, this was good too.
’old’ soup – old cucumber soup, rich and had the flavour of soup boiled with tender loving care and over slow fire for many hours. Delicious
Vegetable fried rice plus pork rib set ( RM20.80) , I think this must have come with the 2 xiao long bao in the set , as there were caught together in the pix, although I might be wrong, the fried rice was tasteless, did they forget to add something ? or was this meant to be ? the deep fried pork rib ( boneless) was rather ok, thin crispy crust on the outside and tender succulent meat underneath.
Spring rolls, black fungus with celery and what seemed to be a soupy dessert with chopped bits of water chestnut. The black fungus thingy with celery was topped with some sesame oil, and the blend of – the crispy green sharpness of celery, the soft sesame oil drenched black fungus – an interesting combination.The spring rolls, ahh..what wonderful spring rolls, the skin was delicately thin ( and crispy but non oily ) and the vegetable filing was tasty, what wonderful spring rolls. The water chestnut broth was heavenly- not overly sweet and the chopped chestnut adding another layer of texture to this thick soupy dessert
Mango pudding – this has a bit more character compared to the usual mango pudding, it wasn’t overly smooth and soft, with a bit of a grainy texture, not overly sweet. Not bad.
Overall, a rather enjoyable meal – I would probably return for the dumplings, and the beef brisket noodles ( and perhaps the spring rolls)
The bill ( plus drinks) came to RM111 ( including service charge and GST , and we refused the wet tissues)
Lot T 210, 3rd floor, The Garden,
Mid Valley City,
Tel : 2283 3129
Official website : http://www.crystaljade.com/