Crystal Jade Korean Ginseng Chicken and BBQ
July 7, 2014 | BY Amy Van
For more than 10 years, patrons have streamed into Crystal Jade’s Korean outlet for robust and wholesome meals, and they continue to do so in the new location.
Thanks to its larger unit at the basement of Takashimaya, the newly relocated Crystal Jade Korean Ginseng Chickenand BBQ now boasts a bigger, brighter space, plus ample elbow room for all. Never stooping to follow food fads, the restaurant continues to deliver consistently good food even after a decade. Menu-wise, more authentic home-style Korean dishes are offered alongside the signatures.
A dish that’s justifiably popular is the fortifying Korean ginseng chicken soup served in a claypot. A whole chicken is stuffed with glutinous rice, red dates, ginkgo nuts and chestnuts, before being steeped in ginseng water with whole four-year-old ginseng root. It’s steamed first, and then double-boiled with a chicken soup base for three hours to extract all the flavours. So well-received is this speciality that an average of 60 bowls are dished out on weekdays and about 80 to 100 on weekends.
If you have a party of four, you can share the Korean Imperial Hotpot crammed with an assortment of colourful ingredients. It comes with a choice of beef, pork or chicken, arranged like artwork alongside green veggies, mushrooms, carrots, pumpkins, corn, fish cake, silky tofu and black fungus. A soup stock that’s been slowly boiled for a few days is poured into the hotpot and allowed to simmer. To further enjoy the soup stock, order up a serving of handmade Korean noodles that's perfect for dunking into the piping hot stock. Freshly made daily using high-grade flour imported from Korea, the tangle of noodles maintains its smooth, springy texture even after simmering.
If all that is not hefty enough, there are plenty of meat dishes to tuck into. One of the specialities is the stewed beef short rib. Top grade prime Australian beef ribs are cooked for several hours with radish, carrot, ginkgo and red dates plus a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil and rock sugar. Before serving, your portion of stew is scooped into a casserole and reduced further to create a dark, thick sauce. The result is a boldly flavoured dish with tender chunks of quality beef.
Another drawcard is the ubiquitous Korean barbecued meats. The restaurant offers 12 types of fresh and marinated meat dishes and two combination sets, ideal for bigger groups. Recommended are the prime wagyu beef and pork collar flavoured with apple and pear puree, soy and sesame oil. If it’s too much effort to grill the meats at your table, the waitstaff will inform the kitchen to prepare it for you. It’s little wonder that this restaurant has stood the test of time; its reliable and satisfying meals are certainly hard to beat.
Takashimaya Shopping Centre #B2-36A, 391 Orchard Road. Tel: 6733 3229.
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