This was the last Saturday lunch with Ernie before he flew off to Hongkong that very evening. I'm going to miss him terribly.
He wanted to have dim sum and salted egg yolk prawns as his last Singaporean lunch (yes, really, he still wanted dim sum in Singapore despite the fact that he was re-locating to Hongkong, the land which invented dim sum). So we met at Crystal Jade Golden Palace at Paragon, the premier fine dining restaurant of the ever-growing Crystal Jade Group. This restaurant recently garnered the Asiaone People's Choice 2009 Awards for the top Chinese restaurant, and it's easy to see why.
The food is consistent, exquisite and absolutely scrumptious. Service is top notch, efficient and well-trained. And, prices are very easy on the wallet as well.
We started off with the Sauteed Diced Beef with Black Pepper ($26), which was tender and juicy. Loved the sticky garlicky pepper sauce and the golden garlic crisps.
I got my favourite soup, the Crabmeat, Conpoy and Diced Melon Soup ($9), delicate yet rich in flavour and depth. They were generous with the ingredients, freshly shredded crabmeat and dried scallops for sweetness and diced melon, yellow fungus for crunch and mushrooms for that earthy flavour.
Ernie lurves his prawns, and although I usually restrict his intake of prawns, it was his last Singaporean lunch so I cut him loose that afternoon and let him order as many prawn dishes as he wanted. We ended up ordering 5 prawn dishes that day! First up was the Steamed Shrimp Dumpling with Bamboo Shoot "Ha Kau" ($4.80). A perfectly thin transculent skin enveloped a plump juicy prawn. This is easily one of the best versions around.
The Deep-Fried Beancurd Skin Rolled with Shrimp ($4.50) was another classic gem. This was crisp, not-too-oily, and delicious.
Ernie also ordered the Crispy Roll with Prawn and Mango ($4.50), very similar to the dish before but with a twist of mango. The skin was also more flaky.
The Rice Roll with Shrimp ($5.20) was also another amazing dish. Thin, slippery layers of rice sheets with succulent prawns were slathered with a delicate soy sauce.
The last prawn dish was the Baked Prawns with Salted Egg Yolk ($28), of course (Ernie wouldn't leave Singapore without eating that). I think our cholesterol levels must have shot up several notches after that prawn-laden feast. We requested that the shells be taken off as I'm not a fan of chomping on prawn shells. This was incredibly addictive. The prawns were coated in a luscious batter of sandy salted egg yolk.
To wash down all that seafood, we ordered Braised Seasonal Vegetable with Crab Roe ($22). The bright yellow hue of the dish may look menacing (for the arteries anyway) but it was surprisingly mild in flavour.
Crystal Jade Golden Palace
290 Orchard Road
Tel: 6734 6866
Open Mondays to Fridays from 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm
Saturdays from 11am to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm
Sundays from 10.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm