Panda Peeks – JANG Korean Cuisine
Jang aims to position itself as the first Korean restaurant in Hong Kong to serve high quality, Korean cuisine – without the associated smells and poor quality of service.
Upon entering JANG Korean Cuisine, no barbecue grill tops will be in sight. Instead, you will be greeted by a sleek black contemporary interior complemented by wooden chairs and Japanese-style tableware.
One has to order the Bulgogi Salad, a Korean classic of marinaded grilled beef. This dish was seasoned well enough to tenderise the meat.
We ordered two salads to start: the Bulgogi Salad ($108) and the Pork Dumpling Salad ($108). The beef was sufficiently marinaded and flavoursome while the salad leaves were paired well with the Korean yuzu style dressing. There were four dumplings in the pan-fried pork dumpling salad. Dumplings were generously sized and filled with pork and an assortment of vegetables. The lettuce leaves were dressed in a spicy, tangy and sweet dressing. A good start to the dishes to come.
Now for the real deal. My favourite dish in any Korean restaurant is the staple Korean rice dish, Bibimbap with beef ($158). I love it with raw egg and beef. As tradition dictates, the bibimbap arrived at our table in a hot stone pot called a dolsot. The base was filled with rice and topped with a colourful array of vegetables and meat. The vegetables definitely adds to the aesthetics and makes me feel like I am getting my daily nutritional intake (despite being served on a bed of refined carbs). Here our bibimbap came with shiitake mushrooms, shredded cucumber, sliced courgette bean sports, and dried seaweed.
The raw egg adds a final boost of colour and sunshine. Accompanied with a side serving of gochujang – a thick, shiny, deep red chilli paste – this added the extra perk factor. The dolsot is coated with sesame oil and heated on the stove so that the rice continues to cook and crackle invitingly after it has been brought to the table. Advice is to let it sit for a minute or two so that the rice crisps up nicely against the side of the pots. Then plonk on as much or as little of the chilli paste as you like (for people like myself who can’t tolerate ‘heat’, I prefer to go without). Overall, I thought it was a decently sized bibimbap though it was higher in price when compared to its local Tsim Sha Tsui Korean counterparts.
Last dish to arrive was one of Jang’s signature mains, the braised short ribs with assorted vegetables in sweet soy ($258). The ribs arrived in a casserole and were generously sized and garnished with thin strips of delicately fried egg. As the name suggests, the sauce is plentiful and sweet so paired perfectly well with the bibimbap rice we ordered (which helped soak up all the flavours).
Verdict: Jang definitely gets the thumbs up for the cool factor, boasting a sleek, contemporary design with modern fare to match. Since there are no smokey tabletop grills, Jang offers a more sophisticated setting to the usual Korean barbecue joints. Without the associated smoke and fumes, the dim lighting and attentive services makes it a great place to bring a date.
JANG Korean Cuisine
Address: 18/F, L Place, 139 Queen’s Road Central.
Order online here.
See map below for direction: