The craze on Hong Kong Cafes had certainly died down these days, no more newspaper features or new entrants into the market. First thing first, I feel that none of these cafes are actual replicas of those in Hong Kong, more of modified variants that had been suited to local tastebuds. Despite knowing that, I was still curious enough to check out what this one could whip up!
Located at Orchard Central, the cafe is a casual eatery operated by the Crystal Jade group. Decor was modern and vibrant, furnished with colourful seats and gleaming lights, while the booth sides had splendid unobstructed view of Somerset Road and beyond. You could self-service and tick on the paper menu yourself, or the efficient waitresses would gladly do it for you too.
Iced Milk Tea ($3.90)
The things they do to glam up a humble cup of milk tea! Served in a tall flask with dried ice smoking from the hole, you would then pour the milk tea into a slanting shooter for drinking. I thought that it did has the wow factor initially, until you got tired of pouring and tempted to drink straight from the flask instead!
Gimmick aside, the milk tea itself was of rather good quality, nothing less than what I would expect of Crystal Jade. Then again given the above-average price, you were probably paying more for the effect than the tea!
Club Sandwich ($7.90), Deep-fried Mid Wings ($5.90)
Now that's something I would agree with for afternoon tea! Double-decked ham and cheese fillings with refreshing tomato and cucumber slices, heaps of hot fries and a bunch of in-house salad. You could even share this as a side!
It was my fault that I thought it was coated with their signature prawn paste, but the usual wings were nonetheless nicely done with crispy coating and juicy meat.
Steamed Rice in Lotus Leaf ($8.80), Seafood Baked Rice ($10.90)
Both dishes used fried rice with egg as base, a good change from the plain ones. While the Chinese sausages, mushrooms and pork ribs were nicely marinated, fragrance from lotus leaf was clearly lacking. The baked rice to put it bluntly, was just run-of-the-mill.
Bill for three was $53.20 after taxes. Hits and misses, I would probably return if I were in the vicinity for teatime, with my verdict on local HK cafes remain unchanged. Maybe I will bring my own extended straw to sip from that flask too!
Crystal Jade Hong Kong Cafe #07-05 Orchard Central Tel: 6509 3118