Due to extensive renovations undertaken at Suntec City, it's become quite the ghost town. We like going to the restaurants there for meals because we can be sure there's no crowd or queue to jostle with. Just the way we like it. Plus, we get more personalised and attentive service because of the dearth of customers. By the way, the restaurants are taking turns being closed for renovations to be done, so call ahead to check if the restaurant you want is, in fact, open.
We've been patronizing Crystal Jade Kitchen for the longest time. It's one of those places you can rely on for cheap, homestyled, albeit MSG-laden, food that's familiar and comforting. We opted for the very value-for-money 7-course Chinese New Year Set Meal ($288 for 4 persons). We were completely stuffed and relatively satisfied by the end of the meal.
We started off with the obligatory Yu Sheng, with chunky pieces of fresh sweet salmon and the unusual addition of fried yam strips, which I'm particularly fond of. Huat ah!
The soup course was the somewhat controversial Shark's Fin Soup with Fish Maw. While I may not support the finning of sharks for food by not ordering this at restaurants, I'm not about to reject a soup if it's already ordered and presented in front of me (what, and let the shark die in vain and its fin go to waste?!). Ethical considerations aside, the starchy soup was well-flavoured, and choc-a-bloc with spongy fish maw, crunchy strips of bamboo shoots and diced fresh prawns and scallops.
The Stir-Fried Prawns with Greens had peppers, celery and bamboo shoots for crunch, while cashews lent a nutty element and extra crunch. A simple dish with minimal seasoning, leaving the focus on the vegetables and seafood. The fresh prawns were mighty fine as well, sweet and bouncy. Great texture and flavour.
The Dried Seafood with Black Moss, and Chinese black mushrooms on a bed of layered lettuce and slathered with a luxuriously rich oyster sauce gravy was very nice, even if we're not fans of dried oysters and abalone. We just kept to the juicy mushrooms, lettuce and moss whispers.
The Steamed Soon Hock was perfectly steamed, the fresh fish was done to a flaky moistness, and served in a pool of delicate soy emulsion that complemented the mildness of the fish.
The Pan-fried Glutinous Rice, was enlivened by cubed Chinese dried sausages, mushrooms and omelette strips. To be honest, I would have been quite happy with the rice alone, it was moist and luscious and soft, tinged with a hint of sweetness.
For dessert, each of us got a bowl of Red Bean Soup with Tang Yuan. While the soup could have done with a lot more body, the tang yuan was pretty good. Bouncy texture, balanced and sweet filling.
Crystal Jade Kitchen 3 Temasek Boulevard,
B1-013, Suntec City Mall
Tel: 6338 3511
Open daily, 11am to 10.30pm