Monday, 14 September 2009

Food Journey #18 - Crystal Jade Xiao Long Bao (翡翠拉麵小籠包)

Am always a regular at this hot-spot in Times Square on the basement floor for some simple Shanghainese dumplings & noodles on the weekends. Always try to avoid the weekdays as it is virtually impossible to get a table in the Times Square location & the IFC location.

Crystal Jade was originated from Singapore and first moved into Hong Kong on 2002. 8 locations all over Hong Kong and in general, the quality of the dishes are good and authentic. 4 of us visited Crystal Jade on Saturday and we ordered our usual dishes:

a) Deep Fried Eel -- not my personal favourite and it actually tastes like twiglets. In fact, it is deep fried eel with Shanghainese Soy Sauce. Very crispy texture but very odd fishy taste if you ask me!

b) Drunken Chicken (醉雞) -- One of the signature dishes on the menu and as I have recommended such dish in several reviews, it is simply chicken which is marinated in Chinese wine and served cold. The chicken which they use in Crystal Jade is "organic" -- apparently so but only costed $60 for this which I was highly doubtful. Nonetheless, the chicken was very good and the meat texture was very tender and sweet.

c) Xiao Lun Bao (Steamed Pork Dumplings) -- Another signature dish at Crystal Jade and one of the most traditional Chinese national snacks or dishes -- How Pork Dumplings didnt make it to the Top 50 dishes, I am puzzled. The Xiao Lun Bao is very juicy, and the most important point is that it was extremely hot when it arrived. However, I dont think the quality is as good as the dumplings I tried in Taipei (read Food Journey #11 in Taipei)

d) Various Noodles Dishes -- We ordered the sweet & sour soup with noodles, traditional Shanghainese Noodles with Fried Pork Cutlets + my personal favourite Spicy Szechuan Broth Beef Noodles. If you like something to spice up your start to the weekend, the Spicy SzeChuan Broth Noodles is so riduclously spicy that it makes you cough and you will be tears the next second. You dont want to know how much chilli there are in this bowl of soup but it definitely give you a good kicking. The noodle texture is very fine and all noodles are fresh made and you can see the kitchen staff working their b*lls off inside the steaming hot kitchen. Another special mention must be the deep fried pork cutlet, not greasy and perfect meat texture!

If you like something simple, authentic & cheap, this is the place for you. Food is well flavoured, seasoned, traditional and definitely NON pretentious. Highly recommend my readers to visit the outlet in Causeway Bay instead of the IFC location as it is impossible to get a table on regular basis. Definitely one of my favourite spots in Hong Kong to enjoy a simple, casual and pleasant meal.

Address: B221, Times Square, Matheson Street, Causeway Bay(銅鑼灣勿地臣街1號時代廣場地庫 B221A )

Tel: 2506 0080

Food Quality (5* the highest): ***1/2

Price for lunch (5$ = very expensive): $



  1. I recommend the branch at Tai Yau Plaza, corner of Johnston Road and Fleming Road in Wanchai. If you go there not directly during lunch or dinner time, it's really easy to get a table. (Which makes me think maybe they won't keep this branch there forever.)

    Interesting to note that Crystal Jade in Singapore operates several different styles of restaurants under this name - I think they have 3 or 4 at the Takashimaya Shopping Centre alone!

    Crystal Jade has my #3 favorite xiao long bao. #2 from Din Tai Fung, but only the original shop in Taipei. #1 from some crappy hole-in-the-wall no-sign-in-front joint near Peoples' Park in Shanghai.

  2. Hi Spike,

    Tai Yau Plaza is also good but I find the quality to be very inconsistent at times. I totally agree that it is much easier to get a table.

    Again, I agree with you regarding the Xiao Long Bao.

    Are you also a foodie and what is your blog?

    Happy Eating

  3. I'm a foodie when my budget allows (which isn't too often anymore!) and I do blog about it from time to time, as well as a bit of stuff related to nutrition and home cooking, but that's probably just 10% of my blog - Hongkie Town at

  4. Hi Spike,

    I am now following your blog and do also follow my food blog as I will try to do a daily update on my culinary adventure.

    Enjoy and Happy Eating!