Sometimes, you're in the mood for dim sum, but you have no real desire to fight the crowds at the popular dim sum places like Crystal Jade or Lei Garden. All you're really looking for is a quick meal. Where do you go?
Well, one option is Jade Palace in Forum Galleria, a more modest establishment that has soldiered on in the face of competition from its more prolific rivals.
Located at the basement of Forum Galleria, the restaurant is a nice place to stop for lunch afer shopping at Toys 'R' Us, or if, like us, you hadn't made a prior reservation somewhere else. While not full to the brim with cacophonous patrons, the restaurant still attracts its fair share of diners, so you certainly won't be eating alone.
Personally I think the best thing about this place is the steamed peanuts they serve you at the start of the meal. Steamed peanuts used to be so common at any Chinese restaurant, but now they're an extreme rarity. For some reason I can't get enough of the little things, and I could easily polish off three or four plates before the meal begins.
My sister always craves century egg porridge when we have dim sum. None of it for me though.
We had an order of steamed egg tarts ($3.80). You can see that one of them was slightly singed, which is not really a good sign. Thankfully, in terms of taste, it didn't suffer much, but the disparity between the quality of food between Jade Palace and some of the higher-end restaurants is noticeable.
The char siew sou ($4.20) was perhaps the most disappointing item of the entire meal. They're meant to be served piping hot, steaming as you bite into the crispy pastry and exposing the sweet meat within. Yet, the pastry was merely at room temperature.
The siew mai ($5) was pretty decent, but again, not the most delicate dim sum you can find.
The steamed shrimp dumpling ($5) was also good, except the skin wrapping it was a bit thick. Only a problem if you're expecting the best, which you shouldn't be.
I quite liked the pan-fried carrot cake ($4.20), which was starchy and tasty, though it could get very filling if you ate it in sufficient quantities.
The steamed shrimp roll ($6.80) was very enjoyable, and is generally a safe order in any Chinese restaurant.
This was the other item I didn't enjoy. The steamed glutinous dumpling ($5) was basically just glutinous rice stuffed into some sort of skin and steamed. Rather tasteless.
Lunch rounded off with an order of char siew pau ($4.20). You can see from the ochre hues on the buns that some of the sauce from the meat must have seeped through. Again, an indication of a less than highly-skilled chef, though the taste wasn't much affected.
Service is generally acceptable, there aren't throngs of waitstaff, so you have to try a bit harder to attract their attention.
Jade Palace Seafood Restaurant (Chinese)
#B1-13 Forum Galleria
Overall: A suitable place for a hassle-free lunch, if you're looking for standard dim sum fare and nothing spectacular