Dad organized a mini reunion dinner for the extended family and I must say, this was probably the most extravagent chinese dinner I have ever had. Personally, i would rather spend on french food but I guess most of the others will probably not appreciate the petit morsels of joy like me 0.0
While I embrace my chinese culture and stuff, I don’t deny that I am a francophile and a tinsy tiny part of me actually wishes I had a grandma/mum who baked macarons ( and even better, taught me how to bake it) for me when I was younger. Of course i love my grandma and mum to bits but heyy, my macaron baking is still a failure, i can’t help feeling a little sour right?
Anyway, back to the point. Dad originally wanted me to book peach garden at novena but they had a wedding function that night. So by a turn of events, we ended up at the entrance of crystal jade golden palace in paragon, being led into the private room for our dinner. Note that only meals costing more than $600 ++ will be entertained in the private room.
The guest of honor would have to be my grandma, who is now 79 years of age :O So all dishes were chosen specially to suit her tastebuds.
Crystal Jade Golden Palace offers both Teochew and Catonese dishes. This cold flower crab is a classical teochew dish, first steamed then chilled. The steaming retained all the natural juices and flavours of the crab meat, what a delight! The chef also saved us a lot of trouble by cracking the shells making it a less messy affair. Undoubtedly one of my favourite dishes of the night.
Three pieces of roasted suckling pig for everyone. Far far too fatty for my liking though the crispy skin deserves commendation. Incidentally I watched a show about hong kong that day and the chef described that the fats of her suckling pig melted away as she roasted for long hours. If only this was accomplished at crystal jade!
This piece was actually pretty okay, a nice proportion of fats and meat, but the subsequent pieces were just fats+crispy skin.
Dearly in need of tea at that point in time to wash away all the grease!
Yumyum, steamed fish. Another unanimous favourite for all ages. Dad was reminded of the procedure in hong kong of inspecting the fish before consumption. Our waitress pleasantly obliged his request and brought forth the huge fish in a plastic bag. She was obviously a little terrified of the flipping fish much to the amusement to all of us. Oops xD
4 simple dishes to fill the tummy. The fried items of crab balls and prawn rolls were normal. The waitress said that there was no shrimp in the crab ball but I immediately suffered an allergic reaction after chomping on one. Thank goodness for the ample amount of tea provided that helped to soothe my throat. The scallop was really juicy and well marinated with a sweet and spicy sauce. And of course adhering to the chinese tradition, we had all these with a bowl of rice.
Individual mini winter melons were served brimming with double-boiled soup. The whole room lapsed into silence as everyone tried to cool down each spoonful lest it scalded our tongue.
Austrailian Lobster, deshelled and stir fried in a sticky savoury sauce. Well executed and fyi, the most expensive dish of the night. However, I don’t agree that the price correlates with the quantity or quality, but then again as long as everyone is happy, I should not dampen the mood should I?
This black sea cucumber served with xiao bai cai got me really impressed by it’s sheer size. My thoughts were immediately echoed by my grandma who exclaimed that she only saw one of this size sold before and the price was definitely not within a normal grocery shopping budget. Taste-wise, it was sublimal. The mildly sweet and savoury starchy sauce complimented the soft and slightly ( oh so slightly) Q texture of the black sea cucumber. It tasted exactly like fats sans the oily finish. Everyone around the table was awed by the quality of this dish and repeatedly heaped praises about it even after it was polished off the plate.
Glutinous rice balls with sesame filling rolled in fine peanut powder and agar agar served complimentary from the chef
Not the best tang yuan of course due to the slightly hard and thick skin but no faults for the oozing fine black sesame filling. The agar agar was surprisingly refreshing and well recieved around the table. I liked the extra touch of adding stewed red beans at the bottom layer making it more than just the typical agar agar we have.
Everyone ordered an individual bowl of dessert to end off the meal with a sweet note. Although the orh nee was supposedly one of their signatures, dad commented that it was too dry for his liking. I enjoyed my mango pudding immensely due to the gernerous slices of tart mangoes enveloped in the sweet smooth pudding. Wiping the bowl clean presented no problems at all.
After three long hours of eating and gaffawing over jokes ( the working language here was in hokkien by the way) we left stuffed and satisfied. Restaurants offering chinese cuisine are ubiquitous in Singapore, but Crystal Jade Golden Palace edges out of the competition by adding a touch of panache to the traditional dishes through not scrimping on quality, quantity and presentation.
While Chinese cuisine is certainly not my favourite, the happy smiles on everyone’s faces and enjoyable unpretentious company made the whole dinner worth it and as dad says, one to remember for a lifetime.