Our first L.A. meal of 2014 was Dinner at the much lauded Crystal Jade Golden Palace. Although their usual set menus are priced upwards of $738++, I got them to customize a menu to fit with our budgetary constrains at $500++. On this note, I have to correct a common fallacy: Contrary to popular belief and what's depicted on the telly, we lawyers in Singapore aren't exactly rolling in the dough and earning obscene amounts of money. We're comfortable, but we ain't no "Wolf of Wall Street". I blame the damn "Suits".
While service over the phone with their foreign staff was a little contentious, I appreciated the effort they made in accommodating the last-minute changes to the menu. Service at the restaurant, on the other hand, was their usual brand of efficiency and warmth, albeit a little slow-ish between courses due to the full-house on a Friday night.
Food-wise, there was little to complain about. Their Teochew-Cantonese cuisine was very well-received; refined, exquisite and executed with finesse.
The Roasted Peking Duck, served with flour wrappers, was beautifully carved with nary a sliver of fat clinging onto the paper crisp skins.
The fat slices of Sauteed Seabass Fillet were simply seasoned with ginger and scallions, leaving the focus on the fresh flaky fish.
A crowd favourite, the Deep Fried Prawn with Salted Egg Yolk were uniquely seated on rings of fried mantous.
I loved the luscious oyster sauce gravy slathered over the Sauteed Mushroom with Baby Cabbage.
The Stewed Eefu Noodles laced with shredded duck meat and beansprouts were robust and possessed a good amount of wok hei.
A signature dessert here, the Sweetened Mashed Taro with Gingko was impossibly smooth and nuanced.
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