Besides an assortment of traditional Cantonese favourites, the Crystal Jade brand has expanded its reach to other forms of Chinese cuisine to stay ahead of its competitors.
At Plaza Singapura, the name of the game is: steamboat. True to its name, Crystal Jade Steamboat Kitchen offers healthy, hearty steamboat buffets all day long at a price upwards from $20 or adults and $17 for children under 13 years old.
Over 35 choice ingredients abound at Crystal Jade, from fresh selections of mussels, mushrooms and vegetables to “comfort food” types like instant noodles and udon. The one you’d want to pay most attention to, though, is the spread of meat that is what makes this buffet worth the price.
Fresh chicken, pork and beef slices are readily available, though you won’t the actual platters at the spread, as they can be ordered personally to preserve their freshness. And if that isn’t enough for you, look out for the minced pork and home-made minced chicken pastes, which you can scoop and roll into bite-sized balls to be dropped into the soup. How’s that for a little pre-meal playtime? 😛
Speaking of pre-meal to-dos, Crystal Jade also dishes up snacks like deep fried fish skin, chicken skin and mushroom stems to munch on. The crunch and texture is exactly like the keropok we Singaporeans are so fund of munching on to our TV dramas. Another way to enjoy it is to dip it into the broth for extra flavour.
Gone are the days when we would have to fight over which soup base to have for our steamboats; with the split design, diners can enjoy 2 out of 6 different soup bases: pork’s bone, tomato, curry, miso, superior, and spicy mala for the unusually daring or iron-willed.
Just for variety, we had pork’s bone and curry, the latter of which emitted a very fragrant and enticing aroma throughout the meal. 😀
Though the focus is undoubtedly on its soup, the point of a steamboat is also how its amalgamation of ingredients blend together to bring forth the rich, full-bodied taste that it is known for. Steamboat ingredients are pretty humble components, with little more than a ‘homely’ kinda association on its own – but combined together in a bubbling broth, become something else. 😀
Besides peaceful tables, another benefit to having two soup bases instead of one is that you get to experiment with how different ingredients taste with different broths. (Oh, and not forgetting – instant noodles always go better with curry soup! :P)
No limiting yourself to plain ol’ steamboat chilli, too, with 12 condiments for you to dip ’em steamboat goodies into. Winged it with my custom made dipping sauce of chilli oil, garlic, spring onions, and sesame sauce!
If you’re a cook noob who’s worried about how to work the stove, don’t be. Crystal Jade’s tables are installed with a foolproof gadget with which you can control the temperature throughout your meal. The tabletop’s a bit of an innovative feat, too, as it is fixed with an induction cooker (instead of a traditional gas stove), so that you save space for more dishes regardless of whether you’re having steamboat. 😀
While its claim to fame rests on the very dish it is named after, Crystal Jade Steamboat Kitchen also offers a variety of Cantonese favourites, such as the formidable Roasted Combination Platter ($25.80 for 3-4 pax and $38.70 for up to 6 pax) which boasts a trio of roasted duck and pork meat.
While they don’t particularly stand out from roast meat dishes elsewhere, the roast duck and roast pork belly were none the less tasty. The skin was crisp, with a level of oiliness and crunchiness that is to die for. The roast pork belly wasn’t too fatty, either, which I like. 😀
Honey BBQ pork, on the other hand, was a tad rubbery and chunky for my liking (I prefer mine thinly sliced). Skip this and save space for other dishes.
Traditional dim sum at Crystal Jade Steamboat Kitchen remains top notch, with hot favourites being the ha kau, siew mai, deep-fried yam puff with minced meat and pan-fried fish cake with radish, so be sure to sneak in a couple of plates between your bouts of steamboat feasting! And best of all: no hour long queues unlike at its neighbouring competitor over at Plaza Singapura’s new wing. 😛
Kudos to Crystal Jade’s PR team for hosting us, and their endless hospitality in making sure we were well fed throughout the tasting. I’ll know where to go if I’m craving steamboat in town! 😉
Address: Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road 02-32
Contact: 6336 2833
Monday to Saturday: 11am – 9.45pm
Sunday: 10.30am – 9.45pm