Unstructured days are blissful. They are one of the great pleasures of a staycation. On those days, I sometimes find myself wandering about the city, enjoying Melbourne. And every now and then, making an impulsive decision to have yum cha in Chinatown! On those occasions, I head to the Crystal Jade Palace.
The yum cha selection at the Crystal Jade Palace is fresh, yummy and diverse. It includes chicken feet, chicken wings, pork spare ribs, beef tendon, beef stomach, mussels in chilli broth, oysters with cheese, and one of my favourites, a very tasty eggplant and mushroom dish. There are dumplings galore, and my favourite is the scallop dumpling. Hubby loves the pork dumplings. Sweet tooths can choose from mango pudding, sweet bean curd, jelly and custard tarts.
When you are in the Crystal Jade, look up at the wall. At first glance you may be forgiven for thinking you are looking at some type of stock market board! There is a vertical list and next to each item is a price. In fact, it is the daily price of the seafood available on the a la carte menu! The a la carte menu is also on their website.
If you are going to the Crystal Jade on the weekend, particularly on a Sunday, you should make a reservation. There are two sittings on Sundays – at 11.30am and 1.00pm.
The Crystal Jade is licensed, and is open daily for lunch and dinner. It’s a great late night dining option as the kitchen is open until 10.00pm, or later, each night. So, what do we eat there for dinner? Always Buddha’s Choice (pictured above), which has more types of mushrooms than I’ve ever seen in one dish. A great way of satisfying your taste buds and topping up your Vitamin D levels! I also love the fresh ginger with the scallops, shimeji mushrooms and seasonal vegetables. As for Hubby, he reckons the sautéed diced grain fed beef with black pepper is one of his top 10 favourite dishes. A big call, but he just loves how the beef is pan-fried with the pepper and lots of garlic. He also enjoys tucking into the steamed chicken with Chinese sausages in lotus leaf. Jasmine tea is our beverage of choice with dinner at the Crystal Jade. The glass teapot enables you to see the jasmine flowers mixed in with the tea leaves. A complimentary fruit platter may arrive on your plate after dinner. A nice touch, along with the good service.
Prices are on the Crystal Jade website. We find ourselves spending about $90.00 for dinner for the two of us. Yum cha usually costs us about $65.