Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Golden Xiao Long Bao

I chose to hold my birthday dinner at Crystal Jade. Having never tried it even when I was in HK and SG, I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. After all they even have banners proclaiming “Greenhills Shopping Center PROUDLY brings you Crystal Jade la Mian Xiao Long Bao”. And I was intrigued by the long lines snaking the venue during weekends.

Parang ginto pala ang mga Xiao Long Bao na yan! I called on a Sunday to reserve for Wednesday night and I was told that their first available table was for Thursday night. Ano ito, El Bulli during its heyday? But I persevered, even with Mr. So and his tsk tsk. For my Chinese husband, eating Chinese on dinners out is about as exciting as eating restaurant adobo for Filipinos.

So finally: Dinner night. My kids Micky and Becca, especially Becca in her full Chinese baby glory, felt right at home. It’s like Chinatown! Even the chef working on the hand-pulled noodles was Chinese. Good sign. And the much awaited Xiao Long Bao! Naman!!! Ikaw na, Xiao Long Bao! It’s a soupy pork dumpling which I dipped in heavenly black vinegar. I’ve been told that the one in Din Tai Fung tastes better. Here’s my question: Is there Din Tai Fung in Manila? There you go. Till then this will do for me. I placed two orders (10 dumplings) and it’s so bitin! Mental note to come back for more.

Since I brought hubby, our kids and the yayas – we had to order family style. No individual noodle dishes tonight but hubby and I plotted to return someday. The dishes we ordered all rated highly with everyone: Drunken Chicken marinated in Chinese wine and wollberry, Poached Beef in Spicy Sauce, Stewed Pork in black vinegar with salad dressing. Ofcourse we also had the customary dumplings, steamed veggies, yang chow and salted fish fried rice. I wanted to order the crabs too but decided to wait for the Clawdaddy dinner set the next day. The mango sago with grapes and pomelo was an excellent finish.

On a side note, I am so happy that my babies are really well-behaved. No one threw a tantrum. The yayas all ate heartily (too heartily actually, haha) and the other Chinese patrons gave my baby girls adoring looks which made me so proud. But after a while Becca got sleepy. Maybe she figured: since you’re not feeding me those damn dumplings I might as well call it a night.

Mrs. So Says: Something tells me Crystal Jade will be my fave hangout for the next couple of months.

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