When the girlfriend started working awhile back, her first pay finally gave me a valid reason to freeload, as she treated family to meals and I tagged along without guilt. Don't you worry that I'm bullying her, I can assure you that's nowhere near the truth, really.
Now before my life gets threatened, the story goes that we were thinking of a place for her to bring my mom and grandma for Sunday bunch. Wanting to try new places for dim sum, we eventually decided on Crystal Jade Dining IN!
Located at Vivocity, CJ Dining IN had a more upmarket concept as compared to the CJ Kitchen outlets. Very packed for brunch, decor and furnishing were more lavish and the huge panel glasses gave an excellent view of Resorts World @ Sentosa.
Snacks ($3.00), Tea ($1.20/pax)
By the way, I'm not sure if you know, most dim sum places are actually able to vary dish quantity according to the number of diners. The standard serving here was three pieces in each dish, though they were more than willing to serve in fours for us. At extra cost, of course.
Deep Fried Whitebait ($8.00), Rice Roll in XO Sauce ($7.00)
Our first dish was rather suitable as an appetiser, for the strips of soft fish had a crispy coating and made us hungry for more.
Although the XO sauce was nice, the steamed rolls had no layering effect and sort of disintegrated to form a lumpy mass.
Roasted Pork Belly ($9.00), Congee with Sliced Fish & Century Egg ($9.00)
Looking rather awkward, the foremost 3 pieces were obviously not from the same batch as the rest, though I had nothing to complain about its crispy skin, wobbly fats beneath and tender lean meat.
I always thought that I could rely upon CJ's congee collection for comfort food, but the standard here seemed to be subpar as it was rather plain-tasting and had lesser ingredients as compared to CJ Kitchen.
BBQ Pork Pastry ($5.20), Egg Tarts ($4.40)
We started off on a good note as the 叉烧酥 was simply faultless. Ample drizzle of sesame seeds, flaky, buttery skin with juicy sweetened pork fillings. A really outstanding one!
Unfortunately, things started to get a little downhill as the egg tart skin didn't quite crumble nor had a layered texture. Fillings was eggy and smooth though.
Shrimp Dumplings ($4.80), Pork Dumplings ($4.40)
The 虾饺 failed the skin test completely, torn as I picked it up where it was stuck to the paper liner. I usually wouldn't fault a 烧卖 either, but this was way too plain after getting pampered by the likes of Royal China and Imperial Treasure. Enough said.
BBQ Pork Bun ($4.80), Chicken Feet ($3.50)
The fillings was as good as the pastry version, but the issue was again the exterior being too thick and dry for my liking. As for the other one, it was just as normal as braised chicken feet could get.
Flowing Custard Bun ($4.80)
I remembered when I was young, flowing custard bun wasn't really a mainstream dim sum, but it sure grew in popularity over the years where restaurants compete to create the best rendition!
And the best, definitely didn't apply here. I had no idea what the orange colour was for nor had any taste to it. Yet again to prove my point for bad flour skin, the entire bottom layer was peeled off alongside the paper wrapper. The filling was just alright, could have more volume in contrast to its thick walls.
Total bill for 4 was $85.55 after taxes. We weren't quite satisfied with the quality here, evident in almost all of their flour products having troubles to create a decent skin. A surprising conclusion for the Crystal Jade group which had given me positive experiences for all my other meals. I guess its time to revisit the Kitchen outlets already, just to be sure!
Crystal Jade Dining IN 1 Harbourfront Walk #01-112 VivoCity Tel: 62785626