Food & Dining

Enter the (Crystal) Dragon

The weekend before school started again after the Christmas-cum-semestral break, Kap & I took the 3 kids out for a special lunch. It’s been 30 glorious days of 24/7 bonding that I was once again emotionally unable to let them loose & back to their regular programming. The longer their break, the more I get attached. Sigh.

So funny coz just the day before, Ate & I were having a conversation & it took me by surprise when I found out that most of her med classmates are living on their own na & just goes home-home to visit their parents on weekends. Malaking HAAAAAA? Mom, she said. We’re all 22. Most people my age have jobs already. Some are engaged & even married. I’m the only one who still goes home to her mommy & makes paalam before going anywhere. Lolz.

Bigla naman akong na-sad. Oo nga naman pala, Ate is now 22. Only 3 years younger than when I got married to Kap & started a family of my own. Babyson is turning 20 in November, and my Bae 18 in October, the same age when I started adulting & took charge to help out my ever-busy mom move our a$$e$ down south. Gosh, they’re at that age where they can live independently na. I feel so blessed that they still opt to stay with me even though they have their own little teeny tiny nests. I’d DIE if I don’t see them every single day, major major withdrawal! @_@

So to lighten my dark mood & lift my sagging spirits, we had a special lunch after church at Crystal Dragon in Crown Towers, City of Dreams Manila. Sabi kasi ni Kap ako bahala kung saan eh. Oh-em-gee, my spirits lifted really high upon entering the resto! How fab, I just laveeet! <3 Si Kap naman dahil alam nyo na, Chinese food.. APRUB! ;)

Do. Not. Fear. Jesus promises to comfort us from fear, worry, distress, and anxiety. #GodwillturnyouranxietytoANSAYAteh Boy oh boy, Kap didn’t know just how the message was so swakto for him that day hehehe.

Crystal Dragon

Upper Ground Floor, Crown Towers, City of Dreams Manila, Aseana Ave. cor. Roxas Blvd., Entertainment City, Paranaque, Philippines (632) 800-8080



I’m really, REALLY feeling this year & I’m claiming 2017 as MY year. I was born Year of the Rooster so yeah, #luckymemommy ang peg!


Since we alighted at the main entrance of City of Dreams & the kids are not allowed to cut through the gaming center because of the casino’s age limit, the staff were so kind to call for a golf cart to drive us to Crown Towers where Crystal Dragon is located. Thaaaank you so much for your kindness! :-*


Now this is what I call the good life. ;) The kids call us, their parents Yin & Yang. Coz as you know, where I love luxury, Kap is the exact opposite. But this round, I won. Told ya it’s my year, lol! ;)


Kap: Sweetheart mahal yata dito. Naka-carpet eh, ang haba pa. Me: HAHAHAHAHA! Relax ka lang Honey, sagot kita. ;P


Kap visibly couldn’t move upon seeing the ENTIRE ROOM & not just the hallway covered in plush carpet. Sarap nyang kunan ng #mannequinchallenge trololol! ;)) I had to hold his hand & pull him along to our reserved table. I say: “Honey! New Year na New Year umaatake na naman ang kabaratan mo. That’s bad juju, stop it.”


Kap glances at the menu. With unnaturally big round eyes, he takes out his hanky & wipes his huge beads of sweat. “Sweetheart sigurado ka ba dito?” Me: Wag ka nga mag-alala diba, sagot kita. Ako bahala sayo! ;))


Sautéed Sliced Chicken with Cordyceps Flowers 620 php. One of my 2 ultimate favorites at Crystal Dragon. <3


Wok Fried Beef Tenderloin with Sichuan Pepper Sauce 1,130 php. Tender & juicy plus I loved the additional peppery taste.


Hong Kong Seasonal Vegetables with choice of either Poached/Wok Fried/Garlic/Ginger/Oyster Sauce 540 php. This is Kailan veggie in garlic sauce. Our top fave that day. The stalks were so crunchy covered with lots of garlic.


Wok Fried Egg Noodles with Seafood and Vegetable Sauce 450 php. We have always preferred this crispy noodle variety so it was double happiness indeed.


Stewed Pork Ribs with Chinese Wine and Vinegar 770 php. Fall-off-the bone tender & tasty meat!


A wonderful surprise was this Oven Baked Marinated Cod Fish Fillet with Five Spices 980 php. The taste is clean & refreshing, perfect palate cleanser as we ended our meal. PS: Prices are in Philippine Peso, inclusive of VAT and subject to local tax and service charge.


It’s always a great time with this bunch. <3

The bill. ;) O tignan mo Honey, not bad naman diba? Tiwala lang. Sabi sa church kanina, God will turn your ANXIETY into ANSYAH-teh. O, di ang saya-saya naman talaga ng lunch? ;))


Looking to gift your friends with something special this CNY? Crystal Dragon at City of Dreams Manila has beautiful yet edible works of art guaranteed to make your friendship dikit na dikit for 2017! Pineapple fondant 996 php++ and Mandarin Cake with Rooster Chocolate 680++ for 365 days of sweet & harmonious relationship.


Kung hawak-kamay at together-forever naman ang peg, then get them this uber cute Koi Tikoy (koi-shaped tikoy, how witty!) for 2,003 php net. It’s the perfect ti-KOI, I’m telling you! ;)

By the way, congratulations are in order. Crystal Dragon at Crown Plaza, City of Dreams Manila made it to the Philippine Tatler’s top 20 Best Restaurants in 2017! And if our yummy lunch was any indication, Crystal Dragon most certainly deserves it. \m/

You too can celebrate prosperity and good luck with special Chinese New Year dishes especially prepared by Chef Bong Jun Choi, Executive Chinese Chef at Crystal DragonCity of Dreams Manila – available from today until February 11, 2017.


Crystal Dragon serves exclusive Chinese New Year themed a la carte and set menus from January 16 to February 11 to usher in the Chinese New Year with exceptional dining options signifying good luck, happiness, and prosperity this 2017! The Chinese New Year Happiness Menu is priced at P3,680++ per person, while the Chinese New Year Treasures Menu is at P 6,680++, both for a minimum of four to six persons. A la carte offerings range from P460++ to P1,680++. Crystal Dragon is open daily for lunch from 12 to 3 pm and dinner from 6 to 11 pm.

The Chinese New Year Happiness Menu starts with Prosperity Salmon Fish Yu Shang with Fruit Salad, followed by Braised Eight Sea Treasure & Shredded Abalone Broth; Oven-baked Marinated Cod Fish Fillet with Fragrant Golden Garlic, Hong Kong Style; Wok-fried King Prawns with Reduction Supreme Soy Sauce; Wok-fried Shanghai Rice Cake Sliced with Selected Seafood; and ends with Chilled Mango Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream and Double Flavor of Chinese New Year Nian Gao Platter.


Oven-baked Marinated Cod Fish Fillet with Fragrant Golden Garlic. Cod fish fillet symbolizes abundance while the Golden garlic represents eternity & long life.


Wok–fried King Prawns with Supreme Soy Sauce Reduction. Tiger prawns represents liveliness.

Meanwhile, the Chinese New Year Abundance Menu serves Prosperity Salmon Fish Yu Shang with Rock Melon Salad; Double Boiled Sea Treasure with Baby Abalone in Cordycep Flower Soup; Steamed Sea Grouper with Shredded Ginger in Homemade Soy Sauce; Roasted Chicken Roll filled with Foie Gras and Wild Mushrooms; Stew Pork Belly with Sea Cucumber, Bean Curd and Green Vegetables; Wok-fried Shanghai Rice Cake Sliced with Selected Seafood; complemented by Warm Sweetened Eight Treasures Tea with Ginseng in Honey and Double Flavor of Chinese New Year Nian Gao Platter.

Both the “Happiness” and “Abundance” menus come with traditional Chinese Tea.


Double-Boiled Sea Treasure in Cordycep Flower Soup. Chicken symbolizes prosperity, togetherness of the family, and joy so make sure you always have this on your dining table. Fish maw is for abundance, and Dried scallops represents the opening of new horizons.


Roasted Chicken Roll filled with Foie Gras and Wild Mushrooms. Chicken symbolizes prosperity, togetherness of the family, & joy. Something we have at home all year round so I hope we’ll always be together come what may, lolz. Wild truffles represent longevity. Can I just mention that I so loved the crispness of the chicken skin.


Slow-cooked Supreme Sea Cucumber with Abalone and Pork Knuckle in a Clay Pot. Pork knuckle symbolizes income and a wish fulfilled. While the pricey Abalone represents gold, money, wealth. This sea cucumber dish brought back so many memories when I was still living in Binondo. The streets would be littered with sea cucumber set out to dry. Nasty on the nose and yet so tasty. ;P

For guests who prefer to choose their own menu & dine a la carte, make sure you order Kap’s & my top 2 favorites among the CNY menu, the very refreshing Shredded Roasted Duck with Fresh Fruit Salad in Dressing. And for dessert, the Three Flavor Chinese New Year Nian Gao Platter. Also available: Steamed Cod with Baby Cabbage in Supreme Soy, Hong Kong Style.

Medium portions are ideal for four to six guests while large orders are best for six to ten. Pag kami ni Kap ang kasama, good for 10 is A-OK! ;))


Not yet the year of the Rooster & fortune already smiled at us as Kap & I were able to try some of the featured exclusive CNY menu just several days after our last visit. Many thanks to the wonderful people behind Crystal Dragon & City of Dreams Manila. <3


Shredded Roasted Duck with Fresh Fruit Salad in Dressing. Colorful salad symbolizes wellness and celebration. Roasted duck for fertility. Melon for family unity, growth and good health. Onion oil represents cleverness. Peanut sauce for health, long life, and the birth of prosperity. And Peanut itself for continuous growth, multiplication in wealth and good fortune. Everything you’ll ever need in life displayed in one platter teehee! ;)


You can even make your own version of prosperity toss and it comes out as something like this..


The best part of every meal, and what I always look forward to.. DESSERT! <3 Chilled mango puree with vanilla ice cream that balances the tanginess of the mango, and of course to celebrate CNY, this beautiful 3-flavor Nian Gao Platter (steamed dried shredded coconut nian gao, deep fried rice net water chestnut cake, cashew nuts broken red bean paster pandan roll). Something sweet & sticky for togetherness, unity & prosperity.

How lucky we are that we live in an asian country where Chinese New Year is a celebrated tradition. We celebrate new year TWICE so we actually get a do-over hehe. What we failed to accomplish at the start of the year, we can TRY AGAIN with the coming of the Chinese NEW Year. :)

Wishing you all my dear readers happiness that comes from within, the best of luck to keep you pushing, and peace & prosperity in all the days of 2017! :-*

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