We were invited for a lunch treat on August 18, 2015 by a popular Singapore brand restaurant called Crystal Jade Shanghai Delight located at VMall Greenhills in San Juan so they could let us try their new Xiao Long Bao flavors - Hainanese Chicken Xiao Long Bao and Chili Crab Xiao Long Bao.
The new flavors were for the month-long celebration of Singapore's 50th National Day. The new Xiao Long Bao flavors will be available only for a limited time which started last August 1 and will be up to September 30 - that's actually two months of opportunity to drop by the restaurant and order the two new flavors for dine in or take out.
The Xiao Long Bao, which means "small basket dumpling" or is sometimes called "soup dumpling," looks like an ordinary dumpling but what's unique about it is there's usually a bit of "soup" inside. It is served hot so be careful when eating this in one bite. Traditionally, crab meat or shrimp is used as the filling but now Crystal Jade Shanghai Delight is offering Hainanese Chicken and Chili Crab as an alternative for a limited time only.
I bet you already know which of the Xiao Long Bao's, as seen above, is the Hainanese Chicken and the Chili Crab based on the outer color of the dumpling. The reddish orange is obviously the Chili Crab, while the other one is the Hainanese Chicken.
I would definitely come back for more of the two flavors but if I were to choose only one between the two, I would pick the Hainanese Chicken flavor whose taste really stands out from the other. The spiciness of the Chili Crab is very light and could also be enjoyed by the youngsters.
Crystal Jade Shanghai Delight, which was originally called with a longer but hard to remember name, has two branches (Greenhills and Bonifacio Global City). But according to the Marketing peeps who met with us, the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) branch is more high-end, and also offers a different set of menu. I haven't visited the BGC branch yet so I couldn't really compare accurately. But I'm willing to tell the story again once I had the opportunity to visit their other branch.
The restaurant is of average size because I've seen many Chinese restaurants that are bigger and even have another floor and some function rooms for private gatherings. I've estimated the restaurant to comfortably seat around a hundred people. They have round tables for larger groups and have comfy enough seats for several hours of dining.
The Wi-Fi Internet, another added dining attraction for every restaurant, is reliable for Instagram and other social media networks. Though I've commented that they should fix up a spot that can be highly Instagrammable like putting up an instance of their logo indoors or a huge iconic image that would identify the place as Crystal Jade Shanghai Delight. These days, many are always on the look out for fabulous photo ops opportunities to share the moment with others and also relive the memories on a later date.
|Crystal Jade Shanghai Delight menu|
A bowl of skinless peanuts were served to pass the time while waiting for our food to be cooked.
They have a number of choices for drinks but I always choose the fruit shakes or anything that sounds new and different for me. This time I chose the seasonal Avocado shake. I would have sort of mistaken it for a mango shake at first glance since it's not really greenish in color and more yellowish close to the colors of a mango, but the taste is definitely very avocado. The added milk must have changed the drink to a more yellowish hue.
|Hainanese Chicken Xiao Long Bao and Chili Crab Xiao Long Bao|
The new but limited time offering of Xiao Long Bao's can be eaten the proper way by putting it in the appropriate soup spoon, biting the top edge to make a hole were you can put the two seasonings that came with the order. The paper-thin skin enveloping the perfectly seasoned fillings and rivers of hot, flavorful soup are what makes the Xiao Long Bao a level above the rest of the dumplings. You can also choose whether you want all Hainanese Chicken or all Chili Crab as your order.
But aside from the Xiao Long Bao, we were also served with some of their popular culinary treats.
There is no denying how good the Peanut noodles are. I would have eaten it all up if there were no other food on the table to try. I needed to have room for the rest of the dishes so I fought the urge to consume the entire bowl.
|Fried Rice in Yang Chow Style|
The Fried Rice in Yang Chow Style has a good amount of bits and pieces of flavors that were harmoniously mixed into fried rice. It goes great with the rest of the viands served.
|Sauteed Beancurd with Seafood in Hot Stone Pot|
Voted as my favorite among the other dishes served, the Sauteed Beancurd with Seafood in Hot Stone Pot, has the right amount of flavor to tingle my taste buds into delight. I may be biased to seafood, but if I will compare this with other seafood dishes I've tried, I will surely recommend this as the better choice.
|Sauteed Sliced Beef with Broccoli|
Beef and broccoli is a good combination. I loved the freshness of the broccoli. It was not overcooked and was still very crunchy. The beef is tender to the bite, and I loved how it was sauteed into a flavorful dish.
|Sauteed Squid with Salted Egg Yolk|
The Sauteed Squid with Salted Egg Yolk came in second to the Sauteed Beancurd with Seafood in Hot Stone Pot. This is outstandingly unique in taste and texture due to the salted egg ingredient. I was born in Pateros where there are a lot of salted eggs and eventhough it was a common taste for me, I never grew tired of the taste of salted egg.
|Mango Cream with Sago and Pomelo|
We were asked to pick a dessert so I just asked the food attendant for her recommendation. She told me that the Mango Cream with Sago and Pomelo is the most requested one. I was hesitant to order it since I've tried a lot of Mango-based desserts already. I wanted to pick something different but something inside me said I should try to see if it was significantly better.
I was actually right, though the dessert was creamier, the taste was not too remarkable to boast. The only added attraction was the pomelo bits added on top.
This prompted me to order a second dessert with the hopes I would be able to share a new dessert experience. I ordered for the Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Taro, and the choice was pleasing.
|Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Taro|
The Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Taro comes in three pieces. I ordered it because it was the dessert displayed in front of their dessert menu. I thought it had to mean something special for it to be in the front page, or was it just placed there because it looked great?
Well, I was satisfied, and it was good enough for me. I can't wait to try out the rest of their desserts maybe at their other branch in BGC so I could really share which among the desserts is the best one.
Thank you for the great dining experience, Crystal Jade Shanghai Delight! I am looking forward to our next lunch date.