Located in Chinatown, Crystal Jade is a popular eatery for Chinese cuisine. They offer Yum Cha (Dim Sum) for brunch/lunch and your typical Chinese cuisine for dinner and of course seafood amongst many of their dishes. Bookings are essential for weekend Yum Cha but luckily they have two sessions available.
We had Yum Cha at Crystal Jade based on reviews on Zomato, and pretty much picked all our usual dishes to compare it against other Yum Cha places we have frequented.
The Chee Cheong Fun (Rice Noodles with Prawns) at Crystal Jade was decent, it was lacking in a lot of flavour in the filling, and you kinda needed chilli sauce to add some punch to it.
Not being of Cantonese background, I don’t actually know the name of this one but it was like this prawn dim sum, that also needed some extra seasoning, even a bit of salt to enhance the flavours would be good.
The Century Egg Congee (Rice Porridge) on the other hand was great! I love the crispy things they added on top with the fresh spring onions. Great Century Egg flavour, and just how I like it.
The Har Gow (Shrimp Dumplings) was actually again a bit bland. Goes well with the chilli sauce though which is on the salty side of things, so I guess it balances out. The pastry was also a bit thicker then I’d like.
This particular dim sum was one of their specials at Crystal Jade, so you do pay a premium for it as it is topped with scallops. It had a nice seafood flavour to it but nothing spectacular.
Siu Mai is probably my second favourite dim sum item, seems like you can’t go wrong with making it. Or I just haven’t come across a bad one yet.
Lo Bak Go is my favourite dim sum item, I love this turnip cake and how I know it’s done right is the consistency. Shouldn’t be dense, and shouldn’t be too flour-ry, and with just enough salt, sugar and pepper seasoning and Chinese sausage pieces throughout it. Lastly, it should be crispy outside. At Crystal Jade, it pretty much checks all the boxes apart from the uneven frying which I can overlook because taste-wise it’s pretty good.
We also ordered the Tofu Fa, it’s one of these desserts that you can have warm or cold. The lady that served didn’t do the proportions correctly, as we found it just needed quite a lot more of that sugar syrup otherwise it can be quite bland. We had to request for a small bowl of the syrup to adjust it to our liking, but at least it wasn’t too sweet as you wouldn’t be able to rectify that!
Overall, dining at Crystal Jade doesn’t leave a lasting impression. A few dishes seem to be lacking in flavour, and the other dishes, while are good, aren’t any better than the other places I’ve been to.
154 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Every time go have Yum Cha, I have to order Lo Bak Go (Turnip Cake). It’s been a favourite of mine ever since I was young . Since I seldom have Yum Cha now, I thought what a perfect opportunity to make my favourite Yum Cha dish. I have found a lovely recipe from Saucy Spatula that has amazing Cantonese/Hong Kong recipes which I’ve tweaked slightly to my liking.
Preparation time: 40 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour 50 mins
Total time: 2 hours 30 mins
1 3/4 cup of rice flour
1.5 kg of daikon, finely grated
3 tbsp of dried shrimp, diced
1 cup, 4 small Chinese sausages, diced
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soy sauce
1 cup daikon liquid/water
1. Soak the dried shrimp in warm water for about 10 minutes or until soften, then discard the water and dice.
2. Dice the Chinese sausage.
3. Wash, and cut both ends of the daikon, then peel.
4. Finely grate the daikons.
5. Cook the Chinese sausage then toss in the dried shrimp, stir-fry for about 10 minutes until golden brown and set aside.
6. In a large wok, add in the grated daikon and fry for around 20 minutes and drain off as much liquid as possible and save it for later use. If your daikon does not release much liquid, top it up with water.
7. Combine the rice flour, black pepper, white pepper, sugar, salt and soy sauce with the saved liquid/water until the flour is dissolved and all other ingredients are well mixed together.
8. Add in the Chinese sausage and dried shrimp to the daikon and mix well.
9. Add in the rice flour mixture to the daikon batter and keep stirring to combine. After the daikon batter is mixed, the mixture should be “doughy” and dense.
10. Steam the batter for an hour in a heat-proof container. Make sure that it can fit in a wok with the lid on.
11. After an hour, the Turnip Cake is done. Let it cool and the cake will become more firm.
12. Place in the fridge overnight. To cook, make 1.5 cm slices and pan-fry until golden brown on both sides.
If you are seeking some Dim Sum (Yum Cha for us Aussies) in Toronto with scenic views, or as scenic as Toronto can get. Then Pearl HarbourFront caters to you. My sister took us here one morning and while it didn’t amaze it or anything, it was a pretty good meal all in all.
The carts come around frequently and there’s your usual dim sum, such as dumplings.
Or the more interesting sorts.
Your dim sum in bamboo steamers. A prawn dumpling steamed or fried usually is a winner for me, especially if it’s in that translucent pastry.
I never know what any of these dim sum are called, I just point and they provide but this beef one is one of my personal favourites. With a bit of chilli sauce it’s fantastic.
Chicken wings, because why not.
Chee Cheong Fun, wasn’t all that great to be honest and I’m not even a big fan of it and I could tell.
The steamed sticky rice in banana leaf was also a slight disappointment, lacking in flavour.
Saving the best for last is my all-time favourite dim sum dish that is ordered without fail, Lo Pak Ko (Surprise! I know another Dim Sum). A great Lo Pak Ko in my tastebuds is slightly crispy outside from the pan frying, and soft inside with a good mixture of Chinese sausage and turnips, with just enough salt to give it that something extra. Here it almost lives to my high expectations but I’m always happy to have it.
Pearl Harbourfront doesn’t steer too far away from the norm, and its food also it’s something I would say was amazing. However, its array of Dim Sum I would say is above average on taste, but I do recall it being a bit pricier than I’m used to.
207 Queens Quay W
Toronto ON Canada M5J2M6
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