Beijing’s second branch of the Singaporean-based chain, Crystal Jade, has opened in Indigo Mall. Crystal Jade La Mian and Xiaolongbao serves up authentic Cantonese cuisine, with a contemporary twist. Dim Sum dishes include spring rolls, pork buns, dumplings, and xiaolongbao, with innovative fillings such as foie gras and ginseng. Some of the more popular dishes are from the wide selection of seafood, such as deep-fried mandarin fish with sweet and sour sauce and pine nuts, and sautéed shrimp with long jing tea leaf.
There is no separate kids’ menu, but plenty of enticing dishes to please the palate of younger diners. The fully bilingual menu comes with pictures and chili spice indicators, to help everyone choose their favorites. Kids will enjoy the pan-fried Shanghai pork buns (RMB 24), sweet and sour pork loin (RMB 48), egg fried rice (RMB 42), and sautéed rice cakes (RMB 42).
Our hungry diner is 7-year-old Julius Cheung, a Grade 2 student at Western Academy Beijing. Julius has been living in Beijing for six years. One of his favorite foods is burgers, but today Julius samples steamed Shanghai xiaolongbao (RMB 26) and cheese xiaolongbao (RMB 32), claypot braised meat with kelp and potato (RMB 52), sautéed bean curd with shrimp (RMB 52), and la mian with minced pork and vegetable wonton soup (RMB 38).
Julius loves the Shanghai xiaolongbao, the tender filling steeped in a tasty savory soup all wrapped up in delicate skins. The shrimps are big and juicy, the sautéed bean curd full of flavor, making for a great dish for kids. Crystal Jade’s la mian dishes offer up a mound of perfect handmade noodles. Swimming in delicious wonton soup, the minced pork version is a huge hit! To quench his thirst, Julius enjoys a refreshing watermelon juice (RMB 20) and samples the lemon tea (RMB 16).
The restaurant seats 65 with “al fresco” seating indoors, but underneath the Indigo solarium. The restaurant has a great atmosphere, and service is fast and efficient. It gets busy, especially at lunchtimes, so arrive early to ensure a table. Alternatively, you can make use of their take-out service. The chef is happy to prepare dishes to suit special dietary requirements where possible.
The restaurant is non-smoking throughout. There are ample high chairs available. The mall has several clean, Western-style bathrooms with soap and toilet paper. Kids can run around and enjoy the big indoor space opposite, or head to the outside playground.
Crystal Jade 翡翠拉面小笼包
Daily 11am-9.30pm L1-25, Indigo Mall, 18 Jiuxianqiao Lu,
Chaoyang District (6184 1627) www.crystaljade.com
This article originally appeared on page 28-29 of the beijingkids November 2015 issue. Click here to read the issue for free on Issuu.com. To find out how you can get your own copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by C.M. Studio