This is post #40, part of my #50PostsIn50Days personal challenge to document my first 100 days in Hong Kong. Other posts in this series may be found at the bottom of the original post.
Crystal Jade is a well known, very popular dim sum group of restaurants originating out of Singapore with locations around the world. We've been to the ones in Singapore, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, and have always been impressed with their authentic Cantonese dim sum, roast pork, noodles, and other Chinese specialities.
The new concept Crystal Jade Jiang Nan was born in 2016, the 15th anniversary of the original Crystal Jade restaurants. You can think of Crystal Jade Jiang Nan as the contemporary, more health-conscious cousin of Crystal Jade. Crystal Jade Jiang Nan offers both traditional and modern takes on Jiang Nan cuisine, as well as healthier and creative interpretations of classic Chinese dishes.
Jiang Nan, which literally means south of the Yangtze river, refers to a region of China that includes Shanghai as well as parts of Jaingxi, Jaingsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui province. Signature Jiang Nan dishes that Crystal Jade Jiang Nan offers include homemade wine flavored egg (from the Jaingsu and Zhejiang regions), braised pork belly, and braised pork ribs Wuxi style.
We have visited Crystal Jade Jiang Nan a few times and we like it a lot. We like how the menu has a nice variety of Crystal Jade classics such as xiao long bao (soup dumplings) and noodles, while also incorporating Jiang Nan fare and the newer, contemporary dishes. The environment is classy and modern, and the food is all quite good. Here's a look at some dishes we've enjoyed.
In general we find the soup dumplings to be very good here. I will still give Din Tai Fung a slight edge when it comes to dumplings, but these are still excellent and very authentic. There was only one strange freak time when all four dumplings broke open upon us trying to pick them up with chopsticks. It was an anomaly, I believe. In general, the dumplings have been great.
I love their shenjianbao, or pan fried dumplings. They are fluffy and soft on the outside, nice and crispy at the bottom, and full of juicy porkiness on the inside. They are one of my favorite things to order at Crystal Jade (available at both the original and also at the Jiang Nan branches).
Here, a humble siumai, or shrimp dumpling, is elevated with the addition of caviar on top.
Dim sum items are modernized in various ways. This cute daikon pastry is shaped like a carrot and filled with cooked daikon and scallions. So cute!
Hot and sour soup is flavorful and chock full of bamboo, meat, and other goodies.
Pictured above is a feast we enjoyed with a party of six at the Wan Chai location. We had the privilege of dining with a woman who grew up in Shanghai. She was quick to point out which dishes were from her region, and we ordered several of them.
Some regional highlights include the deep fried yellow croaker (upper right), stir fried crystal river shrimp with dragon well tea leaves (middle right), braised wheat gluten (lower right). We also had to enjoy several of Crystal Jade's well-known classics, such as the pork dumplings (xiaolongbao), pan fried dumplings (shenjianbao), as well as their wontons in spicy sauce. The stewed pork belly, a Jiang Nan signature (center), came with little steamed buns with which you could make sandwiches. They were delicious (highly recommended!).
Dessert was unusual. We tried glutinous rice balls in a fermented glutinous rice wine (jiu niang 酒酿). The soup is a bit tart and a bit "boozy". An acquired taste, but interesting nevertheless.
General Thoughts - Crystal Jade Jiang Nan
After moving from TST to Wan Chai, we were thrilled to discover we still had a "Crystal Jade" in our neighborhood. Better yet, it was arguably a slightly more contemporary version of the famous restaurant, yet still included many of our favorite dishes.
I've found Crystal Jade Jiang Nan to be a bit less crazy when it comes to lines, and in general I haven't had trouble getting a table. The ambiance is quite nice (though it an get a bit lively and chatty during weekend dim sum times!). The food is great, and it's a super fun option for larger group meals (where you get to try lots of things on the extensive menu!).
Crystal Jade Jiang Nan - WAN CHAI
Shop 310, Level Three, Tai Yau Plaza
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Crystal Jade Jiang Nan - YUEN LONG
Shop 2045, Level 2, YOHO MALL
8-9 Long Yat Road & 9 Yuen Lung Street
Yuen Long, NT
Hours 11:00 - 23:00
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