SSI GROUP, Inc. is bringing back Singapore restaurant chain Crystal Jade to the Philippines next year, as the upscale retailer continues to expand its food and beverage portfolio.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Tantoco-led firm said it has entered into a territory agreement with Crystal Jade Management PTE Ltd that would allow it to own and operate Crystal Jade restaurants in the country. This includes international brands Crystal Jade Golden Palace, Crystal Jade Hong Kong Kitchen, Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao, and Crystal Jade GO.

SSI will initially open Crystal Jade Hong Kitchen in Central Square, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig by the first quarter of 2020. The menu will feature the brand’s signature dim sum, congee, roasted delicacies, and sizzling wok specialties.

“The opening of Crystal Jade in the Philippines is aligned with our desire to provide consumers with complete lifestyle offerings through global partnerships that cater to the eclectic and sophisticated taste of the Filipino consumer,” SSI President Anthony T. Huang said in a statement.

Established in Singapore in 1991, the Crystal Jade group now has more than 100 locations in 30 cities across the Asia Pacific region. It was recognized as a Michelin one star brand in Singapore from 2016 to 2018, while also receiving several Michelin Bib Gourmand commendation awards for outlets in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts Holdings Chief Executive Officer Douglas DeBoer called the partnership with SSI “another proud moment” for the company.

“Crystal Jade is dedicated to bringing authentic, quality Chinese cuisine to contemporary audiences around the world and we look forward to delighting consumers across the Philippines very soon,” SSI quoted Mr. DeBoer as saying in a statement.

Crystal Jade previously had two restaurants in the country, namely Crystal Jade Shanghai Delight located at VMall in Greenhills and Crystal Jade Dining IN in BGC. Both are now closed.

The partnership with Crystal Jade comes after SSI opened the first Philippine store of New York-based burger chain Shake Shack last May. SSI’s unit Specialty Food Retailers, Inc. has the exclusive franchise for Shake Shack in the country.

Mr. Huang then said they would like to expand their food segment, which currently accounts for only 2.5% of the total business. SSI also operates the Salad Stop chain in the country.

SSI had a total of 593 stores by end-June, covering a floor area of about 116,345 square meters. The company has 91 brands under its portfolio, including Hermes, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Zara, and Tiffany & Co., among others.

The company’s net income grew 22% to P346 million for the first half of 2019, after net sales rose 6.3% to P9.85 billion.

Shares in SSI jumped 2.48% or six centavos to close at P2.48 each at the stock exchange on Wednesday. — Arra B. Francia