A year has passed, and despite the highs and lows of last year's bumpy ride, there's definitely a lot to be thankful for. And as the new year begins, it just seemed appropriate to celebrate it with a proper feast...
Crystal Jade Dining IN, one of the iconic dining concepts from Singapore's multi-awarded Cantonese restaurant group, hosted a thanksgiving luncheon for friends featuring both classic favorites and new dishes. Great to see old and new friends over some classic and authentic Cantonese cuisine, and new dishes, to start the year right.
Located at Bonifacio High Street Central, Crystal Jade Dining IN is known for truly authentic yet contemporary Cantonese cuisine. The flavor profiles are noticeably different from the localized Cantonese dishes, and that's what makes it stand out. I go for a refreshing Grape Shake, and the Thanksgiving Feast begins...
...with a cool surprise. Crystal Jade Dining IN now serves the popular Xiao Long Bao, the signature dimsum of the Crystal Jade Group's other concept restaurant, Crystal Jade Shanghai Delight. Now you can enjoy your favorite soup dumpling at Bonifacio High Street, the perfect appetizer for the thanksgiving feast.
Our feast started with a uniquely Singaporean dish to mark the Chinese New Year, the traditional Yu Sheng or Prosperity Toss, a medley of fresh vegetables, fruits and raw fish. Yu Sheng, or Lo Shang in Cantonese, simply means "tossing up a good fortune", which perfectly describes the way the dish is traditionally served among Chinese communities in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia with a celebratory toss by all diners for good fortune. Each ingredient has a specific symbolism, blending not only the collective hopes of the diners, but rich flavors as well. Raw fish is used to symbolize abundance and excess through the year, and the premium salmon does the job with its rich and creamy flavor. Pomelo and lime are added to represent luck, a dash of pepper to attract wealth, a drizzle of oil for the flow of money, fresh carrots for more luck, white radish for prosperity and promotion, green radish for youth, ground peanuts for a household filled with gold and silver, sesame seeds for a flourishing business, and finally, deep-fried flour crisps for a "floor filled with gold." Now that not only pretty much sums up my own hopes and aspirations for the new year, but the combination of ingredients also presents unique and rich flavors.
The dish is prepared by Crystal Jade Dining IN's staff, adding the various sauces, including apple sauce, and the dish is ready for the ceremonial toss. Armed with chopsticks, we gather around the dish, and toss the salad several times while chanting "Lo Hei" for good measure. A rich tradition, and even richer flavors, all in one dish.
The thanksgiving feast started on a high note with the Prosperity Toss, and our feast continued with Crystal Jade Dining IN's classic Roasted Peking Duck, with the signature tender and juicy duck meat with thin layers of duck fat under crisp skin...just can't get better than that.
Crystal Jade Dining IN's staff then proceeds with the carving, and the feast rises up another notch as we eagerly await with anticipation. A sharp knife, precision, and a series of swift motions, and the plate is ready. Soft pancakes filled with duck meat and skin with cucumber, scallions and sweet yet sharp bean sauce...perfect.
The next dish was then served, Double-Boiled Fish with White Fungus and Papaya, with a mildly flavored broth. The comforting soup perfectly balances the richness of the Roasted Peking Duck served earlier, with the delicately flavored fish, gelatinous white fungus, and sweet papaya.
Crystal Jade Dining IN then served two of its newest dishes, with Golden Sesame Balls Stuffed with Fresh Mushrooms, glutinous balls with a savory filling coated in sesame seeds for a rich play on flavors and textures...
...and the Crispy Prawn with Sliced Apple and Sweet and Sour Sauce, sweet and briny fresh, plump prawns kicked up by the intense flavors of the tart sauce. The apples infuse a layer of sweetness balanced by the mildly acidic notes of the sauce for balance. New and exciting fresh flavors, and there's more as Crystal Jade Dining IN introduces other new dishes like Sauteed Scallop with XO Sauce, Braised Crab with Vermicelli, Rock Lobster in Superior Broth, Braised Beef Oxtail and many other Cantonese dishes to welcome the new year.
And the feast continued with more of Crystal Jade Dining IN's traditional favorites, including Steamed Live Garoupa with Olive, with the delicate flavors of the grouper punctuated by the sharp notes of the olives...
...and Sauteed Assorted Vegetable with Preserved Vegetable, a rich and contrasting blend of crisp fresh vegetables and soft and chewy preserved vegetables. The diversity of flavors reflect the rich culinary traditions of Cantonese cuisine, recreated in every dish at Crystal Jade Dining IN.
Finally, the last dish in an impressive feast, Braised Noodles with Shredded Duck Meat and Mushroom, soft noodles in a rich sauce made richer with the addition of duck meat and nutty mushrooms. Hearty and comforting noodles for long life, prosperity and abundance, and I go for another bowl. And another. Just to be sure...
Coffee Jelly and Taro Balls with tea capped an impressive thanksgiving feast on a sweet note. New dishes and old favorites, start the year right at Crystal Jade Dining IN. For more on Crystal Jade Dining IN's extensive range of authentic Cantonese dishes, including seasonal specialties, check out my previous posts here at http://dude4food.blogspot.com/2014/09/a-mid-autumn-festival-feast-at-crystal.html, and traditional Cantonese cuisine here at http://dude4food.blogspot.com/2013/04/authentic-cantonese-fine-dining-comes.html.
Crystal Jade Dining IN is located at Unit SEUG201, Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Avenue corner 30th Street, Bonifacio Global Cuty, Taguig City or call 808-5233 for reservations and inquiries.
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