In a nutshell:
A large and nice restaurant in Gurgaon, part of an International chain, nice décor, large restaurant, generally awesome food but aweful Peking duck.
Address & other details: crystal jade
Meal for 2: Part of stay package. Not aware of retail price of breakfast only.
Cuisine type : vegetarian & non vegetarian
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I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short description – in case ur in a hurry:
We came to know about Crystal Jade from Little Black Book. Sounded very interesting & hence decided to check it out.
This is part of a large chain of restaurants based out of Singapore. It has branches in many countries. Gurgaon branch is the first in India.
The large restaurant is located on first floor of a shopping complex that is called a mall. There is a small & very beautifully done ground floor reception area.
The décor of the restaurant was nice & it had the wooden patterns that r typical to most Chinese & Far east asian restaurants.
The menu card was very user friendly. Not seen too many restaurants with such nice menu card in India. It is however common in China & most other South East Asian countries to have name of the dish, description & color pictures of the food.
Day 1 we were served by an excellent guy. He knew all items very well & helped us take decisions on the menu. Day 2 we were not lucky & things got muddled up quite a bit till we got hold of our server from the previous day. Things soon got better.
Loved the Dimsums, soups & mains but hated the Peking duck.
Detailed description – in case u have the time to NJOY reading:
We started with Steamed pork and shrimp dumpling with crab roe. Lovely dimsum, super thin and nice outer cover, super juicy and soft, solid filling of shrimp and slices of pork.
Intense flavours, awesome taste. However the presence of crab roe was as much as presence of ‘sharafat’ in gabbar Singh:):). Rate it 4.5/5. Had the potential to b 4.75 or even 4.95/5 had the crab roe not been shy in presenting itself.
We then moved to Soup dimsums. These dimsums were unusually Colourful. I enquired about the color & was told that they have used synthetic food color, not natural.
The Green colored dimsum was minced pork and veggies. We had this dimsum in a soup spoon coz there was soup inside the dimsum. The soup was thick, intense, bursting with flavours and yumm. The filling was yumm, soft and very nice. Rate it 4.5/5
The Red dimsum (Spicy minced pork Xiao long bao) had a very hot soup, with oil, unlike the subtle Cantonese type. I rembered having almost similar hot dimsums in China. Rate it 4.5/5
We also tried the light brown colored Minced mutton and pork Xiao long bao. Really enjoyed those. Strong flavors of the meats and a super soup. Rate it 4.5/5
After dimsums we ordered soup – Thick Spinach soup with tofu and seafood. Spinach signed off after donating its color. Did not bother much to contribute to taste or flavour. Spinach behaved like the non passionate worker, I wud say – 8 hours over, leave office even if KPI not met.
The soup was thick as expected. Tofu was lovely to munch on. The seafood ( fish and prawns in this case) made their presence felt in terms of bold flavours in the soup. Excellent to munch on the fish and prawns too – super soft and retained their full taste and flavour. Soup had suboptimal salt. On sprinkling salt it sprang bk to life. Rate the soup 4.25/5
For main course we ordered Sauteed beef with Mushroom & garlic. The mushrooms were really nice, full of flavors, soft & YUMM. The garlic amply made its presence felt.
The beef was good , soft & YUMm but I have had much better. The flavors of the meat was overpowered by sauces. Beef usually has strong flavors but here that was totally hidden.Rate this dish 3.5/5
We also had Braised pork belly. This was quite a drama on the table. A big chunk of pork belly was brought to the table.
Then our server cut it into smaller pieces with not a knife but a pair of scissors!!!!
The layers of fat & meat were sandwiched & togeter they tasted YUMM. Super soft, melt in the mouth & flavorful r words I wud use to describe this experience.
Rate this dish 4.5/5
We had the above dishes with Steamed oat bun. The picture showed specles of brown on the oat bun.
What we got was plain white – looked like maida buns. Our server reconfirmed that they were oat buns.
These were warm, freshly made. Super duper soft & nice to eat.Rate them 4.5/5
We also ordered Fresh lime soda. It was good but nothing great. No twist to the tale but plain jane fresh lime soda. Rate it 3/5.
For dessert we had Chilled mango cream with sago. Lovely dessert. Sago reminded me of my days in China & Vietnam. Thick creamy mango based dessert with sago balancing off the excess sweet. Rate this dish 4.5/5
We also tried Glutinous rice ball with black sesame paste in ginger soup. Ginger soup tasted like Ginger – I think most Indians wud not b able to have it in this form. The rice balls looked like rasgullas in ras. Once we bit into the rice balls, we found black sesame filling. The only black sesame Indian dish I remembered recently was kale til ke laddoo at Ram Asrey.
Loved munching on this. Super soft yet a little bit chewy , the rice balls were a revelation. Sesame paste tasted wonderful . Unique as compared to most desserts served at Asian restaurants in Delhi NCR. Rate it 4.5/5
Difficult to believe that this was a lunch in India.
On day 1 we had seen Peking duck on the menu. I have had Peking duck in Peking (Beijing). That’s really a memorable experience. We also found that The China Kitchen at Hyatt served as good Peking Duck.
So with great hope we went to Crystal Jade to have Peking duck.
We ordered one soup and one Peking Duck.
Our Waiting staff did a real dumb job. He got the soup and the Peking duck at the same time. Soup was getting cold and so was the duck. Worthless planning at the kitchen.
The half Peking duck was brought to the table with its eyes, head and beak intact. That impressed me coz that is how it is presented in China.
The person cutting the duck was a novice. She just cut out the outer skin without the meat and the fat. The outer layer was also pretty thin and suboptimally crisp (Due to improper marination). We were horrified at the Murder of the Peking duck in front of our eyes – Not sayng that coz it was cut in front of us but becoz it was improperly cut & reduced to a waste.
I cud see juices flowing out of the duck & falling off on a tissue paper on the plate !!!!! why tissue paper? The juices oozing out shud b served coz that is meat juice. Shuld’nt b wiped off with a tissue paper.
Usually chefs themselves come to the table and slice the Peking duck. It takes huge skill to do it. People undergo training for Peking duck and get certified, I was told. Usually what is served is a thick layer of outer skin, a portion of meat & a portion of fat.
The thin skin did not taste much on its own. There was no fat or meat left. That was taken to the kitchen to make a sauteed duck!!!!
The pancakes were excellent – super soft , super thin & very nice.
The dark brown sauce was very nice.
So the rolls with sauce, cucumcer, duck skin was just another good to taste roll but nothing close to the awesome Peking Duck in its full glory.
Rate the dish 1/5.
The soup had no flavor, it had tasteless fish, lacked salt. Disaster. Horrible day. Pathetic lunch experience.
Generally oriental soups are plain, have no corn starch and most of them r of thin consistency. However the taste and flavor comes from the base of the soup being made from meat stock / fish stock. This soup was made from water instead of stock. It was blander that something served to a patient in hospital and it had not even one flavor popping out. Fish used was basa which is the cheapest fish that has no taste – it’s like blotting paper. So needless to say, the soup was so bad. Rate the soup 2/5
For dessert we had Mango pudding. It was the saving grace for the day. It had chunks of real mango in it. We were served a sauce that had milk like consistency. That added a twist to the taste. Loved this dessert quite a lot. Rate it 4/5.
Overall rating of food at Crystal jade averages out to 3.8/5
I wud revisit to have dimsums, sides of lamb, pork etc but never even think of eating fish (they only serve basa) or Peking duck here………..