I was so happy with our dinner at Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao Exquisite in Grand Indonesia Mall last night, that I’m not going to waste any time before posting about it! I think this is also perfect timing because they just opened their first branch in Manila last September and apparently the lines are horrible. But still many of my friends in Manila are excited to try it despite the long wait for a table! (Hello @jenncanada and @ria_de_janeiro!)
UPDATE: This particular branch is closed (I got so depressed when it did) but the one on the upper floor of Grand Indo is still open. And they also have another branch in Plaza Indonesia. Their halal Xiao Long Bao is so much better than Din Tai Fung is for me – Strictly speaking about Jakarta only.
My hubby’s boss invited me to their dinner to thank me for my help with the interiors of their relatively new office. I was pleased, not just because my hubby’s boss and colleagues were happy with my work, but also because I’ve been dying to try their Xiao Long Bao after my husband said that they were better than the Xiao Long Baos in Din Tai Fung Senayan.
Was my husband’s verdict on the Xiao Long Baos correct?
We went through heavy traffic to get to Grand Indonesia last night due to the brief but strong lightning and thunder-storm in the afternoon. A little bit of rain causes a lot of traffic here. (My best friend, Jenn, likes to call this phenomenon “Sugar Brains” – imagine the drivers’ brains are made of sugar, so when it rains the water turn their brains to mush, hence the traffic) Despite that, we got to Crystal Jade ahead of my husband’s bosses thanks to the amazing driving skills of our new driver. (Snaps for Nur!)
When we got to the resto we were all hungry (me especially because of my soup-only lunch and having refrained from my usual afternoon merienda (snack) to make up for the inevitable foodtrip during dinner. While waiting we all attacked the boiled peanuts. =) Amazing how something so simple can be so tasty!
When TD’s boss finally arrived, she got right down to business and ordered us a feast!
We got another version of the sautéed Noodles, with seafood instead of beef. Both were equally good! I don’t know if it’s because I’m just a sucker for noodles, but these hand-pulled noodles were great! In fact I had some left over this morning and they were still as yummy as my first bite.
I didn’t get to take a pic of one dish because they had to portion it and serve us individually, in little bowls, because our big table (for 9 pax) was too full to accommodate any more dishes. Though the waiter said their bestselling fish dish was the sweet and sour pork, we opted to order the Kerapu Bintang Tim dengan Kecap Asin or Coral Garoupa steamed with Soy Sauce (seasonal price per 100g). I was surprised by how good it was! I usually dislike ordering steamed fish, but this was wonderfully tasty and perfectly cooked! It was excellent. My husband who doesn’t really eat fish and RARELY ever likes it when he does, actually found this dish delicious.
I am not a fan of salted egg, and while I thought the Din Tai Fung version of this dish was good, I realized last night that they are actually a little bit too salty, with too much batter and overcooked shrimps, whereas this…well THIS was amazing. Not too salty and perfectly flavored, with batter just coating the prawns and not overpowering it. The prawns inside were still moist and succulent – perfectly cooked!
And the Pièce de résistance (anybody know if there is a Chinese equivalent of this expression? =P) were the XIAO LONG BAOS…
Unlike the barely warm Din Tai Fung ones, these were searing hot, as my way too eager tongue found out. I didn’t let the soup flow into the spoon and cool down a bit. I made a hole into the skin (thicker than Din Tai Fung‘s) gave it a few seconds and ate it. You can imagine how red I turned after. My succeeding attempts were more graceful, I assure you!
All the while, I thought Din Tai Fung’s Xiao Long Bao were not that tasty because they were made of chicken instead of the pork dumplings that they are internationally famous for, but Crystal Jade proved that wrong. Crystal Jade’s were made of chicken as well, but were EXCELLENT!
One caveat, we were quite hungry when we ate at Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao Exquisite. So were we just hungry or is the food really good? I’d love to hear your thoughts! This also means TD and DW (DiploWife – that’s me!) have to come back when we are not ravenously hungry! YAY!
People from Manila, I’d love to hear your feedback on the Crystal Jade there!
UPDATE: So sad that this place is already closed! It was my favorite Crystal Jade Restaurant branch ever. They cook my favorite dishes different in the different Crystal Jade branches. The Crystal Jade on the upper floor of Grand Indonesia is still open though… the difference is that they don’t serve Xiao Long Bao all day long like the Xiao Long Bao Exquisit branch.
- Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, East Mall Unit #EM-UG-33A, MH. Thamrin No. 1, Jakarta Pusat, DKI Jakarta – Indonesia
- (021) 2358-0768
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao – Manila
- Unit 117-121 Ground floor, Virra Mall, Greenhills Shopping Center, Greenhills, San Juan City 1502, Metro Manila, Philippines
- +632 570-69 12 or 10
- Mon – Fri: 11 am to 10 pm
- Sat/Sun/Holidays: 11 am to 10 pm