Open-kitchen noodle bars will be gradually rolled out across always-packed Crystal Jade Xiao Long Bao’s 13 branches around Hong Kong, starting with those in Causeway Bay’s Times Square, MOKO in Mongkok and New Town Plaza in Sha Tin.
At the stylish open bar, diners can watch the chefs performing their mesmerising hand-pulled noodle technique, stretching and flipping the dough just so (it’s an art form in its own right). These freshly hand-pulled noodles come in three different shapes: double width (which is the norm), triangle or – the thinnest type – “dragon beard”, best suited for Sichuan-style dishes like dan dan mian. We tried the dragon beard noodles with poached beef in Sichuan spicy soup ($78). We loved the ultra-chewy texture of the noodles, which soaked up all that fiery, numbing goodness, and the thin beef slices, which were silky-tender.
We also couldn’t resist digging into several of Crystal Jade’s popular standbys, including crispy bean curd sheets with assorted mushrooms ($58), chilled poached chicken in Sichuan style ($78), sautéed shrimp in chilli sauce ($138) and xiao long bao ($38 for 4). There’s a reason this chain has been pulling in the punters since its launch in Hong Kong back in 2001 – it’s consistently delicious, good value for money and located conveniently at shopping centres around town. The only drawback is the oftentimes rushed service.
Though we were at an adults-only tasting, the newly introduced children’s menu ($38, or just $28 from now until 30 September 2018) also piqued our interest. This varied, colourful, healthy set menu includes steamed red bean paste buns, deep-fried spring rolls, poached seasonal veggies with sesame sauce, noodles with scallion oil and soy milk – the lot! This knocks chicken nuggets and fries right out of the park.
Times Square: Shop B221A, Basement 2, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, 2506 0080
MOKO: Shop 505B, 5/F, MOKO, 193 Prince Edward Road West, Mongkok, 3586 9498
New Town Plaza: Shop A238, 2/F, New Town Plaza Phase III, 18 Sha Tin Centre Street, Sha Tin, 3580 8772
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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