As Buddhist lent day or Vassa is coming next week, me and friends decided to visit temple to do some praying and giving some goods for monks to use during the lent day. We visited Wat Prathum Wannaram, a peaceful temple in the busiest shopping district of Bangkok. Aside from general goods such a soap, umbrella etc. we are giving to monk, I bought light bulbs to give to the temple as well. I actually like this idea. The tradition of Thai is that in the past before Buddhist lent day everyone will dedicate big candles to temples so monks can use them during the rainy season. As time flies with electricity everywhere, it is more practical to dedicate light bulbs to temples additional from just candles. How thoughtful!
Anyhow, after doing good deeds, we decided to dine at our fave Chinese restaurant which we haven't dined for so long. It's "Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao" on underground floor of Erawan Shopping Complex. After waiting for some friends coming, we just ordered food like crazy.
We, of course, ordered Xiao Long Bao. Speaking from my point of view, I think Crystal Jade does better job than Ding Tai Fung. Or at least comparing with branches in Malaysia, anyway. In KL, I have tried both Crystal Jade and Ding Tai Fung and I'd prefer Crystal Jade as the soup is more juicy and I like moist thin flour sheet than the thick one of Ding Tai Fung. Too bad that Ding Tai Fung hasn't opened branch here in Bangkok yet. I would like to give them another chance before claiming that Crystal Jade wins this war.
We've ordered some fried vegetable in oyster sauce, chicken in szechuan sauce and jellyfish in sesame oil. N and I started persuaded everyone to agree on ordering deep fried duck instead of Peking duck that we usually go for. The deep fried duck comes with the sweet dark sauce, just like Peking duck, and the small soft bun. I love love the crispy duck skins from deep fried and the duck meat isn't too tough.
I ordered the corn soup with egg and dried scallop instead of my usual hot and sour soup. I seriously have a thing for soup with a trace of egg white. I think it's a perfect combination and this dish reminds me of good old days. When I was young when me and my family went on a trip to US, we usually ate at Chinese restaurant and they would served this soup at almost every meal. How nostalgic!
Some of us weren't still full so we orderd dumplings with braised beef in szechuan sauce to cheer. The beef was incredibly tender. The sauce isn't too hot, unlike its look and the dumplings were very juicy and meaty. If you like beef, I would recommend to everyone. After finishing our meal, we decided to complete the day by visiting Thao Maha Brahma Shrine, just outside Erawan Shopping Complex, to do some praying. I noticed that there are a lot of Chinese-speaking people visiting and praying there. Probably they have their wishes granted by Thao Maha Brahma before, that's why this has become one of tourist hotspots of Bangkok.
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao
Erawan Outlet - Lower Ground Floor Urban Kitchen Erawan Bangkok
Tel: 02 250 7988
BTS: Chid lom
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