Thursday, March 09, 2006

Crystal Jade Ginseng Chicken & BBQ

From top: kimchee fried rice, tongue, ox soup, and kalbi

This place (Ngee Ann City #04-20, 6733-3229) used to be a Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao with mainland Chinese chefs hand-pulling noodles in the back. But tonight when I approached from a distance, I thought I had spotted Korean dresses on the waitresses, which seemed weird. As I got closer, I realized that they had switched gears and converted into a Korean BBQ, complete with do-it-yourself grills. Wow - it's about time that I find a place around here with that...and that atrociously nasty Seoul Garden place at Ngee Ann City doesn't count!

So we went in and got our usual Korean BBQ favorites: kalbi and hye mit gui, plus some kimchi fried rice. It fared better than I thought it would; the tongue was thinly sliced and came complete with a sesame oil dip, the ox soup was tasty, and the fried rice was done just right too. The kalbi's marinade was a bit too strong (and too sweet) for me though. They didn't provide the shredded scallions that the Corner Place in LA offers either, but hey - I was still relieved to find this place either way.

Crystal Jade is actually a big chain of Chinese restaurants across Singapore that I usually try to avoid, so it's interesting that they went Korean with this place (it looks like they have another Korean location at Centrepoint too). The Crystal Jade DNA still shows through though; after all that Korean food, the dessert menu was still Chinese, and in fact, the servers had to go out of the restaurant to their Chinese neighbors to go fetch the dishes. Well, just as with most Crystal Jade restaurants, the food is of bearable quality, but I still kinda yearn for better, be it in Korea...or even the Japanese counterpart: yakiniku.


Anonymous said...

Try AbuRiYa near Mohd Sultan (Yakiniku) . its pretty near Miharu at Gallery Evaston . Reservations are recommended. Only opens for dinner though. They apparently have an outlet at Holland Village but i haven't tried the food there yet.

bma said...

You mean these guys?