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Monday, July 16, 2012

Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao - Erawan Plaza, Bangkok

Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao - Chinese Restaurant at Erawan Plaza, Bangkok 

Overall Score  9/10
Taste   4.5/5
Ambiance  3.5/5
Service  3/5
Value   4/5

Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao - Chinese Restaurant on BumRes.com

In Thailand (Bangkok), there is a famous Chinese kitchen from Singapore – The name is Crystal Jade.  There are now three locations in Bangkok.  First is the Crystal Jade Golden Palace @ Siam Paragon serving Cantonese and Tae Jew Cuisine.  Second branch is the Crystal Jade Kitchen @ Citi Resort, which serves Dim Sum and simple single serving menus.  Third branch is the one I am reviewing - the Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao @ Erawan Plaza, where you will find the Shanghai style cooking.  Highlight menu is the La Mian or noodles.  I have gone to the first two branches and both of them impressed me greatly.  Therefore, I have a high expectation on this La Mian Xiao Long Bao location at Erawan Plaza. 

Located in the basement floor of the Erawan Plaza, the Crystal Jade is not so hard to find.  Erawan Plaza has plenty of parking spaces available.  I was there about 2pm on a weekday and I was so surprised to see the place full of customers.  Half of them were from other countries in Asia and the others were possibly westerners.  Seeing the crowd was telling me that this place is popular among tourists and expats.  The menu at Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao is so expansive just like the other two locations.  Their main concentration is on the noodles and fried rice, not many Dim Sum dishes.  All were priced between 150 – 300 baht approximately.  Please see the details of the menu in the tab menu as usual.

I started off my late lunch with the Steamed pork dumpling with French goose liver (120 baht).  It was the Chef Recommendation of the Crystal Jade with its huge photo in the menu.  It was a delicious Xiao Long Bao.  However, the best one in town is the Ding Tai Foo at Ramkamhang 14 (not Ding Tai fong).  The menu said that there is goose liver but I didn’t taste it at all.  Second one was the Steamed Chicken in Sichuan style (180 baht).  Its preparation is similar to the drunken chicken except this one has the chili paste instead of the alcoholic sauce.  It tasted just like drunken chicken dipped in chili paste but the Crystal jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao @ Erawan Plaza used good quality chicken, perfectly steamed.  In the chili paste sauce, the thick and tender chicken meat with the soft fatty skin was To-Die-For.  Emm… lip smacking good!   

Third one was the Sauteed egg white with fish meat & Conpoy  (280 baht).  With its weirdest look, it was actually appetizing.  I mixed the egg yolk with everything and there I was, in heaven…  mild and buttery but so…  FIN!  Fourth dish was the highlight – the Hand sliced noodle with stewed beef (180 baht).  Noodles weren’t perfectly shaped since it was handmade served with a little bit of broth and a pile of stewed beef.  This one was such an amazing menu with only noodle and beef.  The trick to the noodle is that the Crystal jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao @ Erawan Plaza made the noodle fresh to order right when you order.  Anything fresh or made fresh is always better right.  Processed noodles had nothing to compare to this noodle. 

Other menus I had were simple ones like Dim Sum and Rice buns.  One was pan fried shanghai pork bun (85 baht) and the other was Beijing pork dumpling (115 baht).  Honestly, both types of rice buns looked lame at first.  It seemed so dried out and boring.  In my Dim Sum experience, rice buns that look like this always taste worse.  My sense was wrong this time.  It wasn’t dry like it appeared at all.  Stuffing was delicious and the bun was moist and soft.   Delicious buns! I highly recommend both of them.  The last menu of this meal was the Beancurd, Conpoy & sweet corn thick soup (95 baht), served hot and it was delicious.  I would be great to have it as a breakfast. 

The Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao @ Erawan Plaza well maintained its greatness in all their branches.  This one is actually the first one of all three.  Now I understand why Chinese food in Singapore is so popular in Asia.  For all of you who is interested in delicious Shanghai style Chinese food, the Crystal jade is the place.  I highly recommend it!

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