Suckling pig, pigeon, ‘treasure pot’—auspicious menu for the Year of the Earth Dog
Many of our Sunday lunches are at Crystal Jade in BGC.
My son Diego and I are huge fans of the restaurant’s magnificently lacquered, crisp-skinned Peking duck with a very thin layer of fat. The meat is delightfully moist and not dry, drizzled with the resto’s special sauce which is fragrant yet mellow. Rolled in a soft, pliable wrapper with spring onions and cucumber, the meat is just sheer delight with every bite.
What sets this duck apart is that you can have as much of it without leaving your palate laden with oil.
An alternative way to enjoy duck at Crystal Jade is the deep-fried version. It is served with little buns and a combination of sauces.
Another staple for us is Crystal Jade’s thinly battered sweet and sour pork. It has a delicate crunch on the outside, but is soft and succulent on the inside. The pork pieces are tossed in a harmoniously melded, brightly colored sweet and sour sauce.
Also worth mentioning is the Sautéed Ee-fu Noodle with Prawn and Wild Mushroom Sauce. The Ee-fu noodles are earthy and deep in flavor, with a pleasurable chew.
To finish, my choice is the Almond Jelly—jiggly, curdy and not too sweet.
Kudos to Chinese chef Lam Pui Hung for ensuring the consistent quality of the food they serve.
Last week, I was fortunate to have a pre-taste of Crystal Jade’s celebratory menu to usher the Year of the Earth Dog. I was most enamored by the suckling pig, which was done differently. Imagine prawn forcemeat with black truffle wrapped in delicate crackling pig skin. Each ingredient lent itself to the dish.
The Fried Rice in Abalone Sauce wrapped in Lotus Leaf was absolutely delicious. Even if this was all I had, I would have been satisfied.
The Pigeon in Egg White Wrapper “Pomegranate Style” was pleasurable, the slightly sweet and savory sauce complementing the gaminess of the tender pigeon meat.
The Egg White with Fish Meat and Crab Roe served in Winter Melon was a delicate dish. Make sure to have this first, while the palate is fresh. The elegant dish was a combination of creamy egg white and fish meat topped with plump crab roe, served on winter melon.
Other auspicious dishes for the Lunar New Year include Stewed Black Chicken Soup with Four Treasures “Sibut.” Black chicken is known to be rich in antioxidants, which can help your immune system. Combined with “four treasures”—Goji berry (kham ki), Chinese foxglove root (siok te), angelica sinesis (dang gui) and Chinese lovage root (chuan xiong)—this aromatic, comforting bowl is said to be beneficial to the heart, lungs and stomach.
The Lo Hei Yusheng (Prosperity Salmon Toss Salad) represents prosperity, abundance and a wealthy life. It is a rainbow of colors, textures and flavors, the salad as fresh as it is refreshing.
At Crystal Jade, a server guides you through the process of making the salad. Eating this dish is supposed to be a cultural activity, especially in this festive season, as it signifies abundance and good fortune for you and your family as you chant the 12 steps to “Lo Hei” (the actual tossing of ingredients).
My friends and I had so much fun chanting and manifesting our wishes for the new year while tossing the salad, with our chopsticks as high up in the air as we could. The higher you toss, they say, the bigger your fortune will be.
Showcased as well is the Crystal Jade Treasure Pot, the resto’s rendition of the Poon Choi (Big Bowl Feast). It overflows with prime ingredients such as prawns, abalone, scallops, duck. The abundance signifies overflowing happiness and auspicious tidings during the new year.
The treasure pot is a meal in one, meant to be shared by the whole family. Available in two sizes, the small size is good for 3-5 persons, and the large for 6-8 persons.
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