With modern Chinese cuisine in vogue, we are seeing more creative adaptive use of ingredients that are not so commonly found in this part of the world. It is also a sensory revolt as Western aesthetics to plating is often more dramatic than their Chinese counterparts.
Ever since getting acquired by French luxury house LVMH Moet Hennessy’s L Capital in 2014 (for the uninitiated, LVMH Moet Hennessy owns Louis Vuitton, probably the world’s most prominent luxury brand), the Crystal Jade Group has been rapidly expanding its outlets both internationally and domestically, experimenting with newer dining concepts, the latest being Crystal Jade Prestige (“CSP”), a slightly upclass modern Cantonese establishment offering a menu that is pricier than its standard general outlets but more affordable than fine dining.
On one of the saturday when we visited, the restaurant was filled to the brim with diners flocking here for the Prestige Signature Weekend Brunch, which was newly launched on 1st May. For $48 one get to sample a 10 course meal with 5 Dim Sums, 1 appetiser, 1 roast, 1 wok-fried dish and 1 dessert thrown in from the reasonably extensive menu. Top up to $88 for an additional free flow of Veuve Cliquot.
On the recommendation of the restaurant manager, I promptly made up the decision for the 5 Dim Sums from the 10, of which I knew innately that the Baked Abalone & Diced Chicken Pastry would be the most promising item. The pastry was fluffy like croissant, and firm like an empanada, buttery, warm and fragrant. While I did not manage to catch any glimpse of the abalone, the flavorful sauce of the braised chicken more than made up for it.
Also worth a mention was the Deep-fried Dumpling with Chinese Parsley. This humble Teochew snack usually is served steamed but over at CSP, they fried it so the skin turned crispy and chewy, like fried mochi-balls. With frying, the taste of the Chinese parsley within also became more piquant and enhanced the overall composition of the Dim Sum.
For the final three, we had the Steamed Dumpling with Shrimp & Black Garlic which I thought had a lot of potential since the ubiquitous garlic flavour is often overlooked in Dim Sum making. However, the pickled garlic chunk did not seem to bode well with the steamed shrimp. It was an interesting dish that just needed that little bit more improvement.
Next was the standard Poached Beancurd Skin rolled with Prawn in Superior Broth. Version CSP here was simply an upgrade from Shrimp to Lobster broth.
The final Dim Sum item was the Steamed Pork & Shrimp Dumpling which was topped with a generous amount of caviar. Perfect with the bubbly.
I wished the latter half of the meal was as epic. More conventional fare followed, with the Deep-fried Fish Skin with Salt and Pepper as our Appetiser. It was a regretful choice considering how much umami was bursting in the mouth on each bite, and I wished they could tone down a little on sodium.
On retrospect, this might not be that bad a complement to our free flow of champagne.
Next was a series of standard fare; Soya Sauce Chicken with Rose Wine, Chef’s Special Soup of the Day (coconut chicken soup) and the Simmered Fillet of Garoupa with Egg White and Sake.
All were pretty straightforward Cantonese, no-frills style cooking you would associate with the Group.
Food here in a gist is reminiscence of London’s Hakkasan or Sydney’s Mr Wong, but a little stoic, the kind of food that probably my parents will take into; modern enough to be different yet with an unmistakably comforting taste.
Fret not this coming Fathers’ day.
PRESTIGE SIGNATURE WEEKEND BRUNCH
Crystal Jade Prestige
8A Marina Boulevard Marina Bay Link Mall (Ground Plaza) #02-01 Singapore 018984
Saturday and Sunday: 11am to 3pm
Tel: +65 6509 9493
The above article is written by Guest Writer @ramenking2016. You can find him on instagram where he shares his love for food and travel