Sunday, July 7, 2019

When a Typical Sunday Cantonese Lunch is Transformed with a Luxurious Crystal Dragon.

A late Sunday afternoon lunch becomes more than just a weekend meal, taking you on an elegant culinary journey with authentic Cantonese flavors at Crystal Dragon...

Crystal Dragon at Nuwa in City of Dreams turns an ordinary day into a memorable one with masterfully executed dishes in an elegant setting. There's just no ordinary days at Crystal Dragon, every meal becomes an experience. But for the culinary and service teams of Crystal Dragon, it's just another day... 

The luxurious interiors at Crystal Dragon exudes that sheer opulence matched by their impeccable service, this is Cantonese dining elevated with a graceful elegance. It's a recurring vibe that defined my own countless experiences at Crystal Dragon (for more on Crystal Dragon, see my previous posts, A Delightful Feast for the Senses with Crystal Dragon's New Dim Sum Creations, #CNYatCOD: Chinese New Year at City of Dreams Manila's Crystal Dragon and Authentic Cantonese Flavors with an Elegenat Spin at Crystal Dragon). From the service to the sumptuous dishes, Crystal Dragon adds a touch of class to the usual narrative of Cantonese cuisine.  

Crystal Dragon's amuse bouche of Homemade Tofu with Seafood in a light broth sets the stage for an elegant feast. The clean and comforting flavors of the tofu pair well with the shrimp capped by the flavorful broth. That's how you start your meal at Crystal Dragon.

The menu at Crystal Dragon can be overwhelming with so many tempting choices. Our server, Christine, managed our menu selection asking what we liked and made the appropriate recommendations. And her recommendations were spot on. We began with a comforting bowl of Braised Hot and Sour Soup with Crab Meat and Scallops (P 440), opening up the palate for the next course...

The Barbecue Meat Platter (P 680) is a double dose of pure porcine love with Roasted Suckling Pig and Barbecue Marinated Honey Pork served side-by-side in one plate. The clean slab of Roasted Suckling Pig is delicately sliced to eight juicy cubes topped with a lightly crisp layer of crackling...

...while the Tender Marinated Honey Pork is neatly laid on the white platter topped with curled thinly sliced cucumber, carrots and micro greens. Feeding the eyes before the palate, it's a dish plated in that elegant Crystal Dragon style with its balanced symmetry. And this dish tastes as good as it looks.

The richness of the Roasted Suckling Pig, with its juicy meat and crunchy crackling, is tempered by a dab of hot and spicy mustard for balanced notes. Seasoned just right, the subtle sweetness of the pork comes through with the very first bite, draping your palate with an indulgent and savory finish. 

The vibrant and bold notes of the sweet Tender Marinated Honey Pork is amplified with a dip in the dark hoisin sauce for a burst of flavors. And the pork is tender, unlike the usual variety. But that's no surprise when you're at Crystal Dragon, where nothing but the best is expected.

The Steamed Rice Roll filled with Seafood (P 280) has been a favorite since my very first visit. The elegant dish features six pieces of soft and silky rice rolls stuffed with a variety of fresh seafood.

But it's the play on contrasting textures and subtle flavors that make this dish a personal favorite. Inside, plump shrimps draped in a crisp layer of light breading adds a crunch to every bite. The soft rice roll, crunchy shrimps and succulent seafood combine for a richly layered bite of fresh and clean flavors.

The briny sweetness of the fresh seafood are complemented by a light soy-based sauce and a dab of the special homemade peanut sauce. The range of flavors are matched by the textural contrasts with each bite. That's why this is a favorite at Crystal Dragon. 

The savory Sauteed Spicy Eggplant with Minced Pork (P 430) adds a layer of soothing heat to our feast at Crystal Dragon, tempering the richness of the minced pork with the gentle sweetness of the sliced eggplants completing the flavors. Sweet, spicy and savory, you'll need some rice with this one...

...and Crystal Dragon's signature Wok-Fried Fragrant Rice Yang Zhou Style (P 530) is just what you need. Loaded with pork, succulent shrimps and vegetables, it's a complete meal in itself.

The beautifully plated Salted Egg Prawns rounds out our feast at Crystal Dragon. I've seen this dish served in countless restaurants, but Crystal Dragon really sets the bar when it comes to plating this popular dish. 

The large and plump prawns deliver an audible snap with each bite, releasing its briny notes followed by the unique flavors of the salted egg sauce. Crunchy cereal and thin strands of egg complete the flavor and textures of Crystal Dragon's Salted Egg Prawn. When the plating and the flavors are in perfect sync, you know this is one more dish in your list of favorites at Crystal Dragon.

It's never an ordinary day when you visit Crystal Dragon for a sumptuous meal. Each masterfully executed and plated dish just makes the day even more special.

Crystal Dragon caps your feast with their version of a Cantonese Petite Four, ornate and intricate bite-sized confections with sweet fillings of strawberries and chocolate. Served in a birdcage, it's the perfect ending to a feast at Crystal Dragon where even a typical day becomes special.  

Crystal Dragon is located at the Upper Ground Floor of Nuwa, Tower 1, Aseana Boulevard corner Macapagal Avenue, Paranaque City or call 800-8080 or +632 691-7782 for inquiries and reservations.

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