Dining In Delight: A “Crystal Jade Dining IN” Review

When thinking about having authentic Chinese food here in the Philippines, one of the first places that come to mind would definitely be Binondo. I’ve been itching to finally go on a Binondo Food Trip for several months now but unfortunately, I haven’t been able to work that out yet with my food trip buddies. However it would seem that I don’t have to travel all the way to Manila to get a good dose of Chinese cooking since apparently, satisfying this craving would be just a few blocks away from where I work!
Lunch was extra special last week when we had our tummies filled with authentic Cantonese cuisine at Crystal Jade Dining IN at Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City. We have been passing by this restaurant every time we go to the movies at BHS Central, but it was just recently that we finally got to try their specialty dishes. Admittedly, Crystal Jade doesn’t boast of a fancy façade, but once you go through the glass doors, you can already tell that this restaurant means business.

Crystal Jade’s specialties are being offered in three Set Menuscomposed of different dishes creatively brought together according to their Chef’s special recommendations. When we had our lunch, we were offered a customized menu made up of the best dishes from each Set Menu. Allow me to take you through our meal:

Appetizer: Pecking Duck

Before we were treated to our appetizer, we were given a live demonstration of the careful and meticulous art of carving the Peking Duck. The gentleman preparing our first dish was professionally trained to handle and carve the tempting poultry dish to be serve to us, and it really does show that this guy knows what he’s doing – making it look easier that it really is. I would’ve wanted to try it for myself but I didn’t want to ruin our meal..hehe.

There are several ways that you can have peking duck, but for our meal, we had it in pancake wraps. We were told that each serving will take away 5 seconds from your life. But even with that information I couldn’t help but take several pieces.

Double Boiled Cabbage Soup with Bamboo Pith & Fresh Mushroom

We had the Double Boiled Cabbage Soup with Bamboo Pith & Fresh Mushroom. I know, its name is a mouthful, but probably because the soup itself is gonna fill up your mouth as well. It’s got large chunks of mushroom and veggies swimming in the hot soup. I would have preferred them smaller as the heat of the soup made them harder to gobble up given their size, but it served its purpose so I’m not complaining.

And now, on to the highlight of the lunch – the main courses!

Crispy Chicken with Goose liver & Mango Sauce

This is easily one of my favorites during our meal. Slices of chicken and mangoes are cradled in cups of lettuce. The mangoes were the ones that brought magic to each bite, complementing the saltiness and the chicken and strong flavour of the sauce.

Sautéed Prawns with Wasabi Salad Sauce

Bite-sized prawns with a surprising kick of wasabi in every bite. The wasabi is a giveaway that this dish has a strong Japanese influence, but it’s still prepared and served Chinese style. The wasabi goes very well with the sautéed shrimp that it was coated in, although I wonder if it’s also great with other seafood.

Steamed Live Garoupa Roll with Chinese Sausage in two kinds of Sauce

The name says it all. We were served with a beautiful dish made up of rolls of steamed garoupa, conveniently grouped into its 2 different ways of preparation. One was prepared with more herbs while the other has Chinese sausage carefully wrapped inside the fish meat. The head and tail of the garoupa was fried, I’m guessing for those who wish to take a break for the steamed parts.  Lovely and tasty at the same time.

Fried Assorted Grain Rice in Hot Stone Bowl

There had to be rice, of course! But this one’s extra special. It was a colorful mix of red rice, white rice, corn, and a few more spices to make every mouthful a merry mix of different grains. It was the perfect partner to the next dish in our menu:

Braised Pork with Special Sauce

I have mentioned many times in my blog that I’m a carnivore and sucker for pork, chicken, and beef, so it’s no wonder why the Braised pork, also known as the “Dong Po Rou”, was my favorite dish. Soft, bite-sized pieces of pork belly where generously smothered with thick, savory sauce that was heavenly to the taste. We were told that the meat was patiently cooked for a long time in order to achieve that melt-in-your-mouth softness and consistency. If the sauce becomes too overwhelming, you can have it with the assorted rice, or you can accompany it with bites of steamed or fried buns that go with the order. Naturally, I loved the fried buns more.

The Braised Pork with Special Sauce can also be enjoyed by guests with a minimum spend of Php 5,000.00. Groups of 10 or more with a minimum spend of Php 10,000.00 will be treated to 2 servings of this meaty delight.

Chilled Red Wine Jelly with Mixed Fruits

This is my favorite part in any meal! We had the Chilled Red Wine Jelly with Mixed Fruits for our dessert. This sweetie should get an award for innovation! We were told that there was a special, time-sensitive process in preparing the red wine and turning it into gelatin, which was then served in a wine glass topped with mangoes and cherries. The taste of the red wine is very distinct, yet it’s still sweet enough to pass as dessert.
I really, really wanted to eat up more of the food served to us but my tummy reached its limit, so I might just have to come back another day to experience the rest of their specialty dishes (I would love to try the Double Boiled Brab Claw Soup in Fresh Coconut, and the Chilled Mango Pudding!).
As we left, we took home with us a box of Crystal Jade’s Bolo BBQ Buns and their Creamy, Salted Egg Yolk buns. The BBQ buns had a decent size, although I wished it was stuffed with more meat. The egg yolk buns on the other hand, was delightful! I can gobble up a piece in a single bite!
You can also experience Crystal Jade’s Chef’s Special Recommendations for yourself for the whole month of November. Check out the different sets below (rates indicated are subject to 10% Service Charge):

SET MENU A – Php 5,288+, Good for 4

Fried Crispy Chicken with Goose Lover and Mango Sauce
Pumpkin Thick Soup with Diced Seafood, Asparagus, and Beancurd
Sautéed Prawns with Wasabi Salad Sauce
Pan Fried Minced Pork with Salted Fish
Baked Assorted Mushroom with Black Truffle
Fried Assorted Grain Rice in Hot Stone Bowl
Chilled Mango Pudding

SET MENU B – Php 10,800+, Good for 6

Peking Duck (half)
Double Boiled Crab Claw Soup with Superior Mushroom and Fresh Coconut
Pan Fried Stuffed Scallop with Minced Shrimp
Braised Beef Oxtail in Hotpot
Steamed Live Garoupa Roll with Chinese Sausage in two Kinds of Sauce
Chilled Red Wine Jelly with Mixed Fruits

SET MENU C – Php 12,888+, good for 10

BBQ Combination with Suckling Pig
Double Boiled Cabbage Soup with Capsicum in XO Sauce
Live Garoupa Served in 2 ways
Sautéed Seasonal Vegetables with Crab Roe and Crab Meat
Braised Crab with Vermicelli in Pot
Yang Chow Fried Rice
Chilled Mango Sago Cream with Pomelo

What’s more, this Christmas, they’ll have a limited offer of Peking Duck and Roast Duck available for take home! This is going to be a refresher from the usual ham that we have during the holidays.

Crystal Jade Dining In

Address: SEUG201, Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Contact Number: (02) 808-5233

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