Crystal Jade Palace is the JW Marriott’s modern Chinese restaurant, serving authentic Cantonese food. They offer a vegetarian set menu, which after a few changes was easily adapted making it 100% vegan. It opens daily for lunch and dinner and diners can enjoy views over the lake during their meal; it really is a very pretty spot.
We started with a chilled bitter gourd salad in plum sauce, a super healthy Asian classic that is often a little unusual for the western palate. The sweetness and sourness of the plum sauce balanced out the bitter flavours a little making it much more edible for our tender British tastes.
Our starter was followed by ‘Beancurd Bites’, the homemade tofu was so firm and fresh and even though it had been deep fried there was no sense of it being oily, it was a real pleasure to eat and disappeared in the blink of a vegan eye.
Next a classic double boiled soup arrived. A sweet, mushroom flavoured clear hot broth full of umami flavour. Soft Chinese cabbage, spongy tubes of bamboo pith, meaty succulent Chinese mushrooms all floating around in the delicious soup. It was rich but light, smooth and mellow but full of flavour. Nothing but soothing goodness in a bowl. Cooking soup in this way (using a double boiling pot) not only locks in flavour but it does the most amazing things to the vegetables, making them soft and tender and truly exquisite.