food

Plant-based alternatives shake things up at Crystal Jade — and we’re here for it

Last Updated: October 7, 2021

Written by Wani

As the advent of plant-based foods is increasingly prominent, I have to admit that it’s even infiltrated my fridge and now an easy consideration for home-cooked food—all without compromising on taste or texture. One of the must-haves in my stash is OmniMeat and its Luncheon iteration.

It’s fuss-free to prepare and amazingly, it’s really like the real thing. But luncheon meat isn’t its only claim to fame; OmniMeat Mince is a versatile substitute for pork that’s not only plant-based, but also environmentally friendly, uses non-GMO soy, has zero cholesterol, had no added MSG or preservatives, and lower in calories, higher in calcium, iron, and fibre. Among all these wonderful benefits, it can also be used in many ways, for a myriad of recipes, such as stir-fries, deep-fried, taco fillings, in meatballs, and simply too many more to mention.

OmniMeat dishes at Crystal Jade

As it’s already available in over 20 markets worldwide, including USA, UK, Australia, and now Singapore, you can now easily enjoy OmniMeat at your favourite Crystal Jade restaurant, with the launch of a Crystal Jade X Green Monday plant-based menu.

Crystal Jade Hong Kong Kitchen and Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao are just two of the many places in Singapore that offer OmniMeat-, Beyond Meat-, and Heura-based dishes. Before you quit reading on, it’s worth noting that I gradually grew impressed with each and every dish I savoured.

What I tried

Steamed Crystal Dumpling with Preserved Olives and OmniMeat

The translucent beauty of Steamed Crystal Dumpling with Preserved Olives and OmniMeat (S$6.30 for three) is one to behold as you remove the steam basket lid. What hits you first is the moreish, earthy preserved olives—a flavour that gradually grows on you.

The contrast of supple dumpling skin and chewy OmniMeat is a pleasurable one, and it doesn’t take long for me to scarf down three in just a few minutes.

Sweet & Sour Heura Chicken with Assorted Fresh Fruits

Heura, who, you might ask? It’s a plant-based chicken brand that you’ll quickly grow fond of, especially in the Sweet & Sour Heura Chicken with Assorted Fresh Fruits (S$16.80). It puts a refreshingly sweet spin on your typical sweet & sour dish, with the addition of apples adding a gratifying crunch.

Close your eyes and I doubt you’d be able to tell the difference between actual chicken and this plant-based alternative, but what really steals the show has to be the impeccable demonstration of sweet and savoury in a single dish.

OmniMeat Dumpling with Homemade Hot Chilli Vinaigrette

Fans of fiery numbers will absolutely take to the OmniMeat Dumpling with Homemade Hot Chilli Vinaigrette (S$8.80 for six)—like moths to a flame. Packed to the edges with meaty OmniMeat, there’s plenty of tang and spice to keep your tastebuds at the edge of their seats.

While it does pack some heat, I still manage to savour the crumbly, minced texture of OmniMeat, which momentarily makes me forget that this is, in reality, a plant-based recipe.

Deep-fried Heura Chicken Fillet with Crispy Minced Garlic

Out of the entire meal, the Deep-fried Heura Chicken Fillet with Crispy Minced Garlic (S$18.80) has to be my top pick. Not only does it do justice to the bouncy Heura chicken fillets, but it also highlights its versatility and its ability to truly mimic the satiating joy of deep-fried chicken.

The juxtapose of crunch and chew is needless to say, utterly enjoyable, but the masterful seasoning is what really keeps me coming back for more.

Ma Po Beancurd with Minced OmniMeat

Make sure to request an additional bowl of steaming white rice, because the Ma Po Beancurd with Minced OmniMeat (S$14.80) warrants it. Its delectable sauce nails the point of delightfully spicy and I’m able to relish the silky cubes of tofu and OmniMeat Mince in all its glory.

Signature Dan Dan La Mian with Minced OmniMeat

While I’m still fanning myself of relief from the OmniMeat Dumpling with Homemade Hot Chilli Vinaigrette, the Signature Dan Dan La Mian with Minced OmniMeat (S$11.80) gives a rousing kick to the back of my throat with its potent spiciness. The bold, rich flavours held on so fiercely, but it’s the immense heat that’s truly taken over my being.

I tried my darndest best to consume more than just a few mouthfuls but I was ultimately defeated by the racy heat that has, by now, overwhelmed my entire mouth. It’s a solid dish that’ll win enthusiasts of spicy food, but, for now, I have to wave my white napkin in defeat.

Final thoughts

Just when you thought plant-based meat only belongs in burgers and meatballs, the latest menu at Crystal Jade sets a new perspective on the many ways we can appreciate plant-based foods. As the saying ‘don’t knock it till you try it’ goes, these new menu items are surely a testament to that.

Whether you’re a self-professed meat lover, someone who’s exploring going meatless once a week, or a full-bloom plant-based advocate, there are countless ways to enjoy OmniMeat’s products—all while knowing you’re respecting both your body and the environment.

Expected damage: S$20 – S$40 per pax

*This post is brought to you in partnership with Green Monday.

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