After discovering that we have quite a few common interests, one of them being crazy about anything Korean, Evan and I met up for a Korean feast!
Recently, CJ Korean (only the Centrepoint branch) has launched an Eat All You Can! ala carte and BBQ promo. With prices starting from
S$19.90++ per person for weekday lunch, we thought it was quite a bargain, considering BBQ normally costs at least $16.00 per meat item at Korean restaurants.
Of course, for this price, don’t expect beef ribs! But the marinated sliced beef was quite tender and well-marinated. I didn’t enjoy the mutton so much, but the chicken and pork (both spicy and non-spicy versions) were delicious!
There was also seafood. The king prawn (limited to 1 per person) was sweet and crunchy. The fish and squid were decent too. However, I felt that, in general, the marinades tended to be more salty than sweet.
I was kinda peeved that fresh lettuce, garlic, and onion wasn’t provided. How could authentic Korean BBQ not have these items? We were told the vegetable set is available at an additional $5.00! What a rip-off!
Oh well, we weren’t going to let this affect our good mood! 🙂 The boiled sliced pork was alright, but this time, the bossam kimchi seemed to be lacking punch.
The ddeok bok ki was delish! A popular street food, the chewy rice cake in the sweetish-spicy sauce tasted authentically yummy!
This is another of my fav Korean dishes. These days, I don’t order this in restaurants, cos it’s so easy and cheap to make at home using premix!
But I remember having an excellent version of seafood pancake at the Ngee Ann City branch of CJ Korean. This time, it was a little stodgy and dry. Quite disappointing.
The japchae was another letdown. Lots of dang myun (sweet potato noodles) and not much ingredients, compared to the ala carte version I had before. Are they stinting because we’re having the buffet?
Here are the usual side dishes. Flavors seemed to have been toned down to suit local palates not used to heavy Korean seasonings.
Koreans do not typically have dessert, what they do enjoy after meals is a platter of seasonal fresh fruit. The dessert selection for the buffet does include fruit, but only pathetic slices of watermelon and honeydew. There’s also red bean paste and coconut sago with watermelon, but they are awfully watered down, so please, don’t bother!
We also sampled the ginseng chicken soup (too diluted), dumpling soup (not bad), and grilled mackerel (ok). We skipped the rice and noodles cos we wanted to attack the BBQ selection. Hey, no point filling up on carbs, right?
Overall, I think the quality seems to have dropped. Don’t know if they cut corners because we ordered the buffet, or quality control is not as stringent as the Ngee Ann City branch. The service staff were efficient and polite.
Still, for those new to Korean cuisine, or those who aren’t used to the strong flavors of authentic Korean cooking, this buffet is an affordable option to sample different Korean dishes.
I think the weekday lunch (S$19.90++) and dinner (S$24.90++) pricing is still reasonable, but for the weekend dinner (S$29.90++), the price doesn’t justify the quality. For the complete pricing and menu, click on the thumbnail.
Crystal Jade Korean Ginseng Chicken & BBQ
176 Orchard Road
Tel: 6737 3282