Crystal Jade Korean Ginseng Chicken & BBQ restaurant is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year at a brand new location. Formerly located at the top levels of Takashimaya, Crystal Jade Korean Ginseng Chicken is now opened in the basement just directly across the main atrium. With an expanded space, more seats, some slight additions to the menu on top of traditional favourites, Crystal Jade Korean Ginseng Chicken & BBQ is set to cater to fans of the brand.
The Korean banchan, or serving of side dishes, will be available at $10 for 6 varieties per serving. The set of appetizers changes daily and is refillable. Each dish is made using traditional methods and recipes refined over the years. Individual portions of the side dishes are available at $4 per serving.
I quite enjoyed this serving of Spicy Chestnut Cake. Piquant, flavourful, with a playful, gelatinous texture, I thought this was delightful as a starter to the meal.
One traditional dish to go for is the Authentic Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup ($28++, serves 2-4 pax). A fresh whole young chicken is stuffed with an assortment of glutinous rice, red dates and gingko nuts. The mix is then immersed in ginseng water and ginseng, sealed and steamed before being further combined with chicken broth and boiled for another 3 hours. With such a laborious process, this ginseng chicken soup certainly stands well on its own. It is best enjoyed when served immediately, and one can expect calming, crisp flavours that are a nice balance between savoury bitter ginseng against the backdrop of a wholesome broth.
When I last visited South Korea in December, I remember enjoying a good serving of Korean Seafood Pancake ($15++) on heated benches in the frigid open. That was an experience that certainly added a dimension to the food. While the entire experience cannot be recreated, Crystal Jade does serve up a pretty decent Pan-Fried Seafood Pancake that is savoury and meaty, hearty and goes well with the chilli dip by the side.
To enjoy something a little different, maybe one dish to order would be the Braised Pork Knuckle in Korean Style ($22++). Thinly sliced pork knuckles are served on a platter with a side of vegetables and seasoned cabbage. Interesting when you combine all the ingredients together on a single leaf of lettuce.
I was pleasantly surprised with this dish of Stewed Top Grade Beef Short Rib ($29++). Upon serve, I noticed the unmistakable scent of sweet salty juices beautifully caramelizing over a hot casserole, further flavoured by the oils from the short rib. Considered a local delicacy, this dish is served as an honour to guests as it used with the best grade of meat. It is prepared using Australian beef ribs, rock sugar, pepper, sesame, red dates, ginger, garlic, apples, pear, carrots and radish. My, this is definitely one dish that I will order again when I’m back at Crystal Jade. It certainly gets top marks in my books.
A bountiful serving to share with all at the table will be the Korean Imperial Hotpot with Assorted Vegetables ($39++). Crystal Jade’s version of the popular Korean hotpot is presented with three variations – chicken, beef or pork. With the stock meticulously prepared over a few days, the dish is then served up with silken tofu, Enoki mushrooms, sweet corn, carrots, cucumbers, cabbages and black fungus. For the night’s dinner, I had the Spicy Kimchi Hotpot with a pork soup base. To my understanding, the broth is prepared over a few days by boiling fresh pork bones and chicken feet. The boiled bones are discarded and fresh ones added daily, all to achieve that natural, sweet intense and milky flavour. After which, a 5 day old kimchi is added for the final serve. Very hearty and tasty.
Fresh Korean Handmade Noodles ($3++) to be enjoyed with the hotpot.
The restaurant’s namesake as a BBQ place is therefore one of the main reasons to visit Crystal Jade Korean Ginseng Chicken & BBQ at Takashimaya. Enjoy delicacies such as the Marinated Beef Short Ribs ($28++), Ox Tongue ($25++) and Pork Collar ($22++). I found the BBQ meats to be good, decent and satisfying. The smoky consequences usually found after barbecuing meats at the restaurant is kept to a bare minimum here. It will be a plus for those who like enjoying a good spread of barbecued meats without smelling like you just walked through a charcoal pit.
Marinated Beef Short Ribs – Marinated over 3 hours in a secret recipe that itself is prepared with fruit, ginger, garlic, sugar, chili and soya sauce.
A great way to end the meal is by going for the Double-boiled Snow Pear with “Chuan Bei” and Dried Longan ($5++). This pristine dessert is simple, yet immaculately conceived. Prepared traditionally as a remedy for colds and coughs, the Korean dessert of ‘Baesuk’ is prepared using whole Snow pears double boiled with fritillaria extracts, dried longans and rock sugars. Fritillaria extracts or Chuan bei is used to treat dry coughs. This dessert is available either hot or cold, and is very, very refreshing. Excellent after a hearty barbecue.
Crystal Jade Korean Ginseng Chicken & BBQ at Takshimaya Shopping Centre is one of those household restaurants that many families would know within the Orchard shopping district. Its new location at the basement promises a more seats and space that is always a plus point for groups dining in. The dishes are generally decent with items like the Stewed Top Grade Beef Short Ribs, Imperial Hotpot and Double Boiled Snow Pear dessert leaving a memorable delightful aftertaste. I would make a return visit just for those dishes.
Thank you Crystal Jade for the invitation
|Crystal Jade Korean Ginseng Chicken & BBQ|
|Takshimaya Shopping Centre
391 Orchard Road
Reservations: 6733 3229
11am to 10pm