Crystal Jade Steamboat Restaurant – Steamboat and Chef Specialties in Balestier
It was a rainy day – perfect day for steamboat! We arrived at the newly opened Zhongshan Mall in Balestier, to try the new Crystal Jade Steamboat Restaurant.
Steamboat lovers is definitely familiar with Crystal Jade’s steamboat outlet in Holland Village. I often go there for supper and eat their endless supply of xiao long bao, together with steamboat. And what is different about this new concept is, it is Crystal Jade’s FIRST full-day steamboat restaurant, serving lunch, dinner and supper (opened till 2am)!
Cystal Jade offers 7 types of soup base, 14 fresh meat and poultry items, 11 shellfish and seafood items, 28 vegetables, roots and mushrooms items, 5 bean and gluten items, and 8 rice and noodle items. And we love our sauces when we eat steamboat, they have over 20 sauces for you to mix and match.
The restaurant has 9 steamboat sets for 2 persons, priced between $28.80 and $38.80, which includes assorted meat steamboat set , seafood tom yam steamboat set, drunken chicken steamboat set, teochew style pork rib & bittergourd steamboat set etc.
Our assorted meat steamboat set ($32.80) which includes beef, lamb, kurobuta pork and chicken, assorted meat balls, chilled bean curd, golden mushroom, fresh mushroom, white cabbage, baby cabbage, Chinese cabbage and vermicelli.
Crystal Jade takes effort in making their meat balls, prawn balls, fish balls and squid ball. I particularly love their squid ball where plump squid, carrots and celery make the squid balls a flavourful addiction to the steamboat. The carrot and celery complement this mild tasting seafood, bringing out the sweetness of the fresh squid and giving the squid ball a light crunch.
If there is one side dish you must order to pair with steamboat, then it must be the Handmade Deep Fried Bean Curd Skin Roll ($5.90/portion). Specially imported from Hong Kong, these bean curd skins are carefully rolled in hot oil when deep fried and turned into delicious crispy golden sticks. The bean curd became so soft when it is instantly dipped into the soup. But it’s so tasty!
We had two soup base: pork bone and tom yam. These superior broth are simmered for more than 12 hours, with fresh whole chicken, chicken feet, lean pork and pork bones make the base for these two versions of soup.
The pork bone soup is made with the pork that was used in making the superior broth, pan fried till golden brown and further boiled in superior broth into a milky soup for an additional 3 hours. Such a tedious process! But all the flavours and goodness of the pork bones are in the soup and it is a very popular choice.
The tom yam soup base is for those who loves spice – like me! It is made with superior broth simmered with a Thai chilli paste specially imported by Crystal Jade, together with fresh chilli padi, lemongrass, scallion and lime juice. For me, if I find the tom yam too spicy, I would just combine it with a few spoonful of pork bone soup to achieve the mild spicy taste – which usually works very well!
Other than steamboat, the restaurant also offer a selection of Cantonese and Teochew favourites such as Grilled Sea Bass with Preserved Vegetables ($32.80) which I love it very much. A perennial favourite in Teochew cuisine is the steamed fish with preserved vegetables. This dish is the grilled version – a firm and meaty fish grilled to golden brown perfection and packed with a savoury yet piquant sauce.
Another dish we tried that night is an aromatic and intense pot of Sauteed Chicken with Dried Chili & Onion ($18.80/half chicken; $32.80 whole chicken). Fresh and tender chicken pieces are sauteed with dried chilli and onion. First mouthful you get a slight numbing feeling but it gets more addictive as we ate it. Because the dish gets increasing more flavourful overtime when the meat absorbs the zesty sauce.
Steamboat is all about freshness of the ingredients and Crystal Jade has definitely done a good job in ensuring the quality of the ingredients. And even if it is a hot day where you may not like steamboat, they also have a good selection of Cantonese and Teochew favourites. I would say this is great for families and supper lovers!
Crystal Jade Steamboat Restaurant
Address: 20 Ah Hood Road, #01-18 Zhong Shan Mall
Tel: 6339 0283
Opening hours: 11.30am to 3pm; 5.30pm to 2am
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