If you’re a huge fan of Xiao Long Bao, and simply can’t get enough of it (especially when you had to order another round at Din Tai Fung which is a bit costly), you can just dine at Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao at Holland Village, where you get unlimited Xiao Long Bao plus steamboat buffet for a fraction of the price!
A bit of a background on Crystal Jade: It’s a chain that’s like McDonalds for Chinese food. There’s a lot of Crystal Jade brands scattered around the city that you can find in almost every nook and cranny. Each restaurant is a curated experience, one different from the other. To give you an idea, here are some of the Crystal Jade brands:
With a 100 Crystal Jade outlets spanning 18 cities in 9 countries, the Crystal Jade Group has grown to more than just a humble restaurant in Cairnhill back in 1991.
In this particular review, I’ll take you to one of Crystal Jade’s restaurants where you can experience steamboat buffet, and that free flowing Xiao Long Bao you can just eat all night.
Steamboat Buffet Opening Hours and Rates:
The rates indicated below include the free-flowing Xiao Long Bao. If you choose to dine from 5:00pm, you will have to finish everything you ordered by 7:15pm. They’re extremely strict about this. So if you ordered 10 orders of Xiao Long Bao, be sure you finish it! You can’t wrap it for to go.
Monday – Friday:
5:00pm – 7:15pm, 7:30pm – 9:45pm: $23.80++ for adults, $17.80++ for kids
10:00pm – 12:00am: $19.80++ for adults, $13.80++ for kids
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays:
5:00pm – 7:15pm, 7:30pm – 9:45pm: $25.80++ for adults, $19.80++ for kids
10:00pm – 12:00am: $21.80++ for adults, $15.80++ for kids
Yes you can feel free to pig out until midnight.
There are two broths that are poured in the “steamboat”: Sichuan Mala and Pork Ribs Soup (Kinda like Bak Kut Teh too). The Sichuan Mala is incredibly spicy. Beware! I tried drinking this like soup and my tongue was on fire! Literally! I felt like red ants were crawling the tip of my tongue. And you know me as someone who has high tolerance for spicy foods. The other pork ribs soup is more bearable.
You are given a piece of paper where you can select what seafoods and other steamboat items you want to boil. My suggestion is that you avoid noodles, so you can eat more Xiao Long Bao. It can get heavy afterwards. Also, I ate more shrimps, because these are light to your stomach and you can eat more Xiao Long Bao. But then again, it’s your choice!
I like the fried beancurd though. It’s crispy once cooked.
For your sauce, feel free to head over the self-service counter to DIY your own creation. I like mine bare, just spicy peanut sauce and where I sometimes dipped my Xiao Long Bao, which is weird I know!
The Free Flowing Xiao Long Bao
One thing I liked about Crystal Jade’s Xiao Long Bao is that its freshly made. Since a lot order the Xiao Long Bao during steamboat buffet, you can be assured that it’s freshly made. It’s still piping hot and the dough is thinner and softer in texture compared to Din Tai Fung.
Yes, this is the first time I had an entire order to myself. In fact, I just ate on the basket because there’s no more room for plates!
Here comes the second order. Yes, we did ask for 10 orders of Xiao Long Bao. I manage to eat three orders, with 4 pieces of Xiao Long Bao’s each. That’s 12 pieces of Xiao Long Bao. One Xiao Long Bao has 70 calories. You do the math. Forget the diet!
Coconut Sago Dessert
Because of the hot Sichuan Mala soup which virtually made anything we dipped in the soup as hot and uber spicy, we need to something to extinguish this fiery tongue. Milk is supposed to calm your burnt tastebuds so this coconut sago dessert is supposed to be perfect. But this dessert is a fail. I feel like I was just drinking milk.
Well, that was my steamboat experience. I was very full afterwards and I feel like I couldn’t eat Xiao Long Bao for the next couple of months. But writing this review just makes me crave for Xiao Long Bao right now.
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao Rating:
[usrlist “Taste and Originality: 3” “Customer Experience: 3” “Value for Money: 3” “Brick and Mortar: 3”]
Check out the rest of Candid Cuisine’s Singapore Series:
Singapore Airlines Inflight Economy Cuisine
Food Republic Suntec City
Lau Pa Sat
Crystal Jade Steamboat and Xiao Long Bao Buffet, Holland Village
Din Tai Fung
Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh
Dragon Tree Katong Laksa