After having been quite adventurous recently, we decided to return to a tried and familiar place. Our Orchard Road dim sum lunch at Crystal Jade Golden Palace at the Paragon shopping mall took place on a weekday afternoon. We had thought that it would be quiet. But that was not the case. The Paragon mall was very busy. It took a while to get into the car park and the only parking option was to leave the car to the valets. Fortunately, the restaurant itself still had a few tables for walk-in customers. Still, it would be safer to make a reservation even on a weekday.
Going for an Orchard Road dum sum lunch at the Crystal Jade Golden Palace was like revisiting an old friend. The decor has remained the same since its opening many years ago but it still retains a classy and elegant atmosphere. The service is brisk and attentive. We ordered a selection of familiar and traditional dim sum items.
The roast crispy pork belly ($14) started the lunch on an unhealthy but tasty note. The skin was super crisp and the fat content was not as high as we had expected, but we know it is not something we should eat too often.
Har kau ($6) and char siew pau ($4.80) are the classic dim sum dynamic duo to have for lunch. At Crystal Jade Golden Palace, the steamed prawn dumplings were delicately made and the BBQ pork buns had their usual fluffy skins. The char siew content seemed a bit low on that day.
The Teochew steamed dumplings ($4.80) was our favourite. Packed full of different ingredients including crunchy peanuts, each bite was a burst of flavours. The steamed olive vegetable dumplings ($5) provided some contrast. The vegetables had a more earthy and heavy taste.
Finally, the last dish was the xiao long pau ($5.50 each). While the preceding dim sum items were made with their usual high standards, we thought that these XLPs were not as well made. The skins were thick and got stuck to the bottom of the baskets, leading to the rapturing of the skins when lifted. They were also quite shrivelled up, with low soup content within, even when intact.
We were charged the usual overheads – $2.50 per head for Chinese tea and $4 for pickles. Total cost of our Orchard Road dim sum lunch was about $27 per person including tax and service charge.
Overall, apart from the disappointment with the XLPs, the Crystal Jade Golden Palace dim sum was still reliably good.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Crystal Jade Golden Palace
#05-22 Paragon Shopping Centre
290 Orchard Road
Tel : +65 6734 6866
Nearby Stations : Somerset, Orchard