opens today! we heard that there was a really long queue and hours-long wait outside the restaurant everyone's been waiting to open in manila: crystal jade la mian xiao long bao (that's the complete name).
but last thursday, we were one of the guests invited to the exclusive food tasting :-P the muñoz family—who also own the local franchise of girbaud, the body shop, and m)phosis—invited family members, friends, business associates, and select press to be the first to taste a few popular items on the menu. here is the muñoz family with the man who started crystal jade, mr. ip yiu tung (center, in gray short-sleeved shirt):
crystal jade's arrival in manila was actually five years in the making. the muñozes already had a spot reserved in greenbelt 5 when it was still being built, but when the glorietta 2 "bombing" happened, it scared mr. ip off and he requested for another location. the search was not easy apparently; they had to wait for seven stores to eventually close down in V mall (formerly virra mall) to make enough space for the 150 minimum seats they required (which is still relatively small for chinese-resto standards). as crystal jade fans know, this singapore-based restaurant is famous for its hand-pulled noodles and the soupy pork dumpling called xiao long bao. here is one of the seven chinese chefs, who will be stationed in manila, showing how the noodles are freshly made by hand.
and, of course, the xiao long bao—as you can see, we already took one, hehe... (P158, 5 pcs):
here are some of the other yummy dishes we got to try in tasting portions (prices listed are from the menu, which is easy to order from because there are pictures for everything):
beijing pork dumpling (P115, 8 pcs), crispy chicken fillet in lemon sauce (P288), cold cucumber with minced garlic in sesame oil (P180):
radish pastry (P98, 3 pcs), pan-fried shanghai pork bun (P135, 4 pcs):
braised beancurd with minced meat & chilli sauce (P288):
spicy & sour soup in sichuan style (P150):
crystal jade la mian xiao long bao is located at V mall, greenhills shopping center, san juan, tel 570-6910 or 570-6912, www.crystaljade.com