Latest Stories

Word of Mouth

How the new Crystal Jade ups the ante


I have noticed a trend. Successful restaurants get copied, with the “Greenhills version” turning out to be cheaper though still with the same quality, or quite close to it.

A few weeks ago, I was in Taipei where I experienced the simple yet delicious cuisine of Din Tai Fung. I noticed, however, that the menu was somewhat familiar to me and had seen it somewhere. Singapore’s Crystal Jade in Greenhills, that’s where I saw the similar menu.

The dishes I love at Crystal Jade were what I ordered in this Taipei chain. Loved them. I also recalled the days when Crystal Jade at Virra Mall looked like a blockbuster movie—with the long lines outside.

Then another restaurant at The Podium opened. Shi Lin has most of the bestsellers of Crystal Jade and Din Tai Fung, but a shade less in cost.

A notch higher

The distinction begins when one of them decides to go a notch higher. Crystal Jade has just opened a Cantonese restaurant at the Fort. With five imported chefs from Hong Kong and an executive chef overseeing the kitchen, this new restaurant will again elevate the standards of Chinese cuisine in our shores.

Crystal Jade, incidentally, has been ranked as one of Singapore’s best restaurants from 2008 to the present.

We started with a crispy duck sandwich. At the bottom of this layered canapé were a steamed bun and chicharon. There was crispy boneless duck on top, with a drizzle of hoisin. Sarap!

I also raved about the bestseller in the resto’s Singaporean bakery chain, which is the Baked Bo LO BBQ pork bun—baked pork bun or baked siopao with two types of bread. The pork filling rested on a chewy bread bun while the top was covered with a crusty baked dough. Loved it.

(Why are we Pinoys this way? We still want to eat more, but we leave one or two pieces on the plate, then regret when someone else gets it.)

Steamed version

Another appetizer was the steamed radish cake with egg white and wine. We are all familiar with the fried radish cake. This version was steamed. Also quite good.

We were then served a delicious double-boiled crab claw with mushroom in a fresh coconut. I loved the richness of the broth. Then we had sauteed prawns with chicken and an assortment of mushrooms. That was good, too.

The assorted grain rice in hot stone pot looked delicious, but I found it a bit bland. Maybe a little seasoning would have woken up this dish.

The one that hit home was a very unhealthy looking Braised Pork with special sauce, served with a bun that was either steamed or fried. Get the fried version; that was a lot better.

Going back to the pork, it was a wobbly pork belly with a brownish anis-laced sauce, so tender you could cut it with a spoon. You cut the pork and stuff it in the fried delicious bun, then you close your eyes as you bite into the bun. It is that good.

For dessert, we had chilled avocado pudding and a glutinous rice dumpling with taro. Both were also good.

Every time I go to a new Chinese restaurant, there are two things I always order to gauge how good the place is: chicken feet or sweet-and-sour pork.

John Sy is a friend who also orders these dishes in every new Chinese restaurant. He said the pork dish didn’t pass, but my chicken feet certainly got a cum laude. Also loved it. Authentic!

I would like to wait for other restaurants to elevate their cuisine, just like Crystal Jade. In the end, we foodies will all benefit.

Happy eating!

Crystal Jade is at Bonifacio High Street, 30th corner 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; call 519 8191.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Crystal Jade , Din Tai Fung , Food

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. World bids Gabriel Garcia Marquez ‘Adios’
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  5. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  8. Garcia Marquez left unpublished manuscript
  9. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  10. Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  5. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  6. This is not just a farm
  7. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  8. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  9. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  10. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer


  • Napoles tags over 100 officials in pork scam – Lacson
  • Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  • Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  • 43 out of 414 Etihad passengers yet to be found, tested for MERS-CoV – Palace
  • Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  • Sports

  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • UST posts twin kill in Filoil pre-season cup opening day
  • Wizards beat Bulls in OT to take 2-0 series lead
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • China won’t budge, wants PH gov’t to apologize to HK