Shop 2018, Level 2, IFC Mall, Central
Visited 8th May 2009
At last count there were ten outlets of this extremely popular chain in the Territory, though I'm not sure how many of the devotees who regularly queue for tables realise that the Crystal Jade started life as a Cantonese restaurant in Singapore. In Hong Kong they have morphed into Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Bao and specialise in Shanghai cuisine. Their branches are scattered amongst many of Hong Kong's larger shopping centres, but if you're planning on visiting the IFC outlet, evening is the best time as the lines at lunch time are often ridiculously long.
Four of us hit Crystal Jade's for some much needed Friday night sustenance. We ordered up a pile of plates that featured Shanghai dumplings, pan-fried dumplings, turnip pastries, deep-fried shredded 'pancake', chicken with dried chilli, beans with minced pork, tea smoked pigeon and of course the signature Sichuan style 'la mian'. The delicate Shanghai dumplings were delicious with a tasty soup filling as were the flaky turnip pastries and shredded 'pancake'. I enjoyed the rich gaminess of the pigeon, while the spicy chicken came with plenty of cashews and chillies. My favourite however was the Sichuan 'la mian' or pulled noodles; served in a fiery peanut and chilli sauce the tender noodles with beautifully cooked. To drink I went for a couple of cold cans of Tsing Tao, though if you are in the mood for wine a useful tip is to BYO as corkage is a very reasonable $50 a bottle. With its shopping centre location, long queues and crowded layout Crystal Jade has more than a passing resemblance to a fast-food chain; they're just lucky their food is so good so that the mistake never gets made. The service at Crystal Jade is decent; polite staff handle the craziness with good natured efficiency. I was pretty impressed when our bill came to less than $100 per person excluding booze. For such well prepared grub and a selection of eight different dishes that really is a bit of a bargain. To put it simply; everyone, everyone, everyone loves Crystal Jade.
Visit restaurant website.