A blog about food in Thailand
and elsewhere.

Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao

Posted date:  July 17, 2007

Along with having one of the longest restaurant names in Bangkok, Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao must also serve some of the city’s best Chinese food. The restaurant is one of a Singapore-based franchise that has branches all over Asia. Bangkok’s branch opened about a year ago, and always seems to be packed during lunch time. It was my turn to impress Aong with my restaurant choice prowess, and I thought this place, with its excellent and authentic Chinese noodles, would do the trick.

We began with Shredded celery with dried beancurd and sesame oil:


The dish was served chilled, and was flavoured with little more than sesame oil and perhaps a drop or two of soy sauce. The celery and carrot carried this subtle flavour, and also provided the dish with a deliciously crunchy element.

But this was just a starter, and the real reason people come here is for la mian, fresh, hand-pulled noodles:


We split a huge bowl of Hot and spicy ‘La Mian’ with Sichuan preserved vegetable and minced pork. The noodles come to the table coated with a layer of oily broth redolent of Szechuan pepper and cumin:


Immediately after receiving your bowl, you’ll be approached by an employee wielding a pair of kitchen shears who will ask if you want your noodles cut. I would recommend this, as the noodles are very long, and otherwise you’ll end up getting most of the oily broth on your shirt. The noodles, no doubt made minutes earlier (you can see the noodle pullers at work behind the counter) taste fresh and soft, and are surprisingly light. The broth is spicy, sour (from the pickled veggies) and salty.

These were followed by the restaurant’s other namesake, Xiao long bao, steamed, broth-filled pork dumplings:


which Aong and I agreed were average at best. The wrappers were thin and tore easily, making it a messy and difficult dish to eat, and the pork filling seemed disproportionately large.

The only possible complaint I have would be that much of this is cold weather food, and this being Bangkok, it wouldn’t hurt the restaurant to turn up the air conditioning a few notches just for atmosphere!

Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao
Urban Kitchen (located in the basement of the Erawan Bangkok)
494 Thanon Phloen Chit (Phloen Chit BTS station)
02 250 7990

6 Comments for Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao

Having had xiao long bao at the original Din Tai Feng in Taipei as well as in dozens of places in Shanghai, I have to tell you that Crystal Jade’s xiao long bao are about the best I’e ever had in Hong Kong – but their crab ones are far more of a treat than their pork ones. I was amazed that the Crystal Jade I went to in Singapore didn’t have xiao long bao on their menu. Saddened to read they’re not doing such a good job in Bangkok.

And yeah, their noodles are also nice.

Was in Hk last week n made it, despite time constraint, to Crytal Jade in Harbour City. Am disappointed i didn’t try the crab baos. do u find tt Crysal Jade is better in HK than in Spore coz i do.

was in Bangkok about a month ago, and we saw Crystal Jade, but we did not step in. (why? coz it’s from Singapore!) we were looking for Thai food 🙂

You must go to the Cystal Jade has lots of branches and they serve different cuisine, even for their La Mian Xiao Long Bao branches. They have Beijing style, Shanghai Style, Macau, etc… So the food’s different 🙂

Austin.. glad you’re back. There is apparently a ritual about eating xiao-long-bao which could improve your experience. Try taking a small nibble on the skin and slurp up all the stock before finishing it with a slice of ginger/vinegar.

Crystal Jade is a reliable chain here. I go back monthly to our local branch for the la mien in hot and sour soup. But the xiaolongbaos in DinTaiFung is better.

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There are some impolite staffs in IFC branch.
I pushed down the drinks, and asked for help. The captain (a young, tall lady with short hair) came and gave some towel tissue to my father-in-law(he’s 74 years old), and asked him to clean up the floor!!! I grabbed it and asked her to clean up, of course, she’s very unhappy. But she still did it. After we ate the food, we want to order some more dishes. Two tall waiters stood behind us and talked abt us loudly, they said we placed order again and we should leave and let other clients come??? We are very very unhappy and never go to this branch again!!!!!


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