Crystal Jade Golden Palace at the Siam Paragon is the Singapore-owned Crystal Jade Group's flagship outlet in Bangkok. It's very popular for its dim sum, but we opted for Cantonese and Chiuchow dishes from its regular menu during lunch today.
What we had:
- Bird's nest with crab-roe soup. We ordered this as an alternative to the usual sharksfin soup. The soup was relatively bland, although amount of bird's nest was pretty ok.
- Singapore-style chilli crab. Crystal Jade Golden Palace has the recipe correct - Thai crabs are also have sweeter and tastier flesh than the meatier but bland Sri Lankan crabs used in Singapore. It was good but not cheap - one large crab for THB1800 (US$55).
- Steamed garoupa, Cantonese-style: the fish served to us (4 pax) was huge! Very fresh - we were shown the live fish swimming in a tank near us a few minutes earlier. The soy-sauce used was not as fragrant or tasty as the ones we have in Hong Kong, and seemed blander than the sort used in Singapore. Strange - I'd have thought the recipes and condiments used should be standardised at Crystal Jade's various outlets throughout the world, but is certainly *not* the case.
- Broccoli with crab-roe sauce. Pretty average rendition.
For desserts, we opted for:
- Chiuchow-style steamed "crystal dumplings", filled with purple yam and lotus paste. The dumplings "look" correct, but the skin proved chewier than should be.
- Chiuchow-style "Orh Nee": sweetened, mashed Asian (purple) yams, topped with sweet gingko nuts. These were denser than I expected - not nearly as good as the renditions one can get in Bangkok Chinatown stalwarts like Tang Jai Yoo or Sin Kwang Meng.
Overall, pretty average experience. Crystal Jade Golden Palace is regarded as one of the best Cantonese/Chiuchow fine dining restaurants in Bangkok - but I don't really see any evidence of that from my experience there today. The restaurant seemed very understaffed and service was harried, and the restaurant manager made rude remarks about foreign customers (including our table) in Thai to her staff, not realising that I understand her language. Not a smart thing to do on her part. Prices were very expensive by Bangkok standards: THB10500 (US$320) for 4 persons - we only had Chinese tea (no wine/alcohol).
Crystal Jade Golden Palace
991 Siam Paragon, S20 Street Level
Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2 129 4342/43/44