Crystal Jade Korean BBQ Buffet – Boil and Broil

Our lunch appointment was 11am but everyone started their journey at that time so we were all late! I was the first to arrive but the place was crowded. I had to wait for a table but I didn’t mind since the rest were not here yet. I had time to walk around the neighbourhood. Rokeby, serving artisan coffee and Australian fare (nestled in Jalan Riang a rather off track venue), would never have come to my attention had I not stumbled upon it online. The reviews were mixed but I miss Australia… especially Melbourne, where the coffee culture (mostly Italian, btw) is great!

Rokeby - Australian fare cafe.

Rokeby –  in suburban neighbourhood serving artisan coffee and big breakfasts Oz style till 3pm on weekends.

Only outside seating like these were available at Rokeby.

Only outside seating like these were available at Rokeby. It was a super hot and humid day today.

Chi Sao and Benjamin came and we were beginning to order when we were told mains would only be served after 3pm on weekends. Brunch (mostly big breakfast items) was ongoing for another 3 hours and Benjamin was anticpating meat! Chi Sao said we’ll come back another time so we left. Since we were already in this suburban neighbourhood, it makes no sense for us to go back into town. We walked on a Saturday under the hot and very very humid weather. You cannot imagine how grateful I was to be inside the air-conditioned Nex (Northeast Exchange – the largest shopping mall in the northeast region and one of the largest suburban malls in our country; it has an integrated air-conditioned Serangoon Bus Interchange).

We strolled around leisurely peeping into restaurants and browsing the menus displayed outside the outlets. Finally, we settled for Crystal Jade’s Korean BBQ.

We were led to one of these booth seats on the left aisle.

We were led to one of these booth seats on the left aisle.

This was supposedly Korean Chicken Soup limited to one per person. There's a hint of ginseng but I did not feel it tasted like the traditional Korean Ginseng soup I am used to having.

This was supposedly Korean Chicken Soup limited to one per person. There’s a hint of ginseng but I did not feel it tasted like the traditional Korean Ginseng soup I am used to having.

Buffet style Korean BBQ.

Buffet style Korean BBQ.

I don’t know why they call it Korean BBQ when there’s no Kimchi, L.A. Galbi or Spicy Pork Belly like those we ate at authentic Korean BBQ restaurant and certainly most of the food looked more like those served with Chinese steamboat. Anyway, we’re here and hungry by now. The buffet spread looked decent enough for the price we paid so there’s nothing to complain about.

We were led to a booth seat and given some cups to fill in our choice of beverage which I had iced green tea. The 3 of us took turns to put food on the table. We had to be decisive of the type of food and amount we would eat as there’s a charge of $3 per plate of wasted unconsumed foods.

We could choose either kimchi broth (perhaps that's their definition of Korean but it's still not BBQ, steamboat perhaps, oh I could go on and on...) or chicken broth and we had the latter.

We could choose either kimchi broth (perhaps that’s their definition of Korean but it’s still not BBQ, steamboat perhaps, oh I could go on and on…) or chicken broth and we had the latter.

BBQ Unmarinated Sliced Pork.

BBQ Unmarinated Sliced Pork.

Chilli Pork and Chicken (marinated and plain).

Chilli Pork and Chicken (marinated and plain).

Lamb and more Chilli Pork.

Lamb and more Chilli Pork.

Chi Sao and Benjamin tending to the BBQ.

Chi Sao and Benjamin tending to the BBQ.

Boil or Broil? Have it your way.

Boil or Broil? Have it your way.

The fire was quite uncntrolled and some of our food got burnt.

The fire was quite uncontrolled, leaning to the left, and some of our food got burnt.

The fish was a bit

The fish was a bit “gamey” as the stomach was not gutted. Some people like it but I prefer otherwise.

We put lots of Nappa Cabbage into the soup pot as it sweetens the broth the natural way.

We put lots of Nappa Cabbage into the soup pot as it sweetens the broth the natural way.

A slab of frozen Beef and more Lamb for the Benjamin. He's been craving meat remember?

One last  slab of frozen Beef and more Lamb for the Benjamin.
He’s been craving meat remember?

Perhaps this was the only Korean item here - thick threads of mung beans.

Perhaps this was the only Korean item here – thick threads of mung beans I had with Chinese chilli dip.
There were no Korean sauces to be found.

These puddings are definitely Chinese!

These puddings are definitely Chinese!

The food was fresh but tasted normal at best. The amount we ate made the price reasonable, so if you are a big eater or a buffet person, then this is the place for you. The service, however, was terrible right from the start! The usher at the door and cashier was rude and had a “black” face. We joked that she had missed the lottery or someone owed her money. The table service was also slow. Besides, the bad service, my other qualm was they shouldn’t mislead people with the name “Korean” BBQ. It was to me anything but Korean!

Our bill for 3 pax.

Our bill for 3 pax.

Crystal Jade Korean BBQ Buffet
Address: 23 Serangoon Central
#01-01/02 Nex Shopping Mall.
Tel: (+65) 6634 4920
Daily: 11.30am – 3pm and 5.30pm -10pm.

Pricing (approx. after taxes):
weekdays: $24 for lunch, $28 for dinner and
weekends: $28 for lunch, $32 for dinner.
There is also a students’ promotion $16.50 for lunch buffet on weekdays.

Happy eating 🙂

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Comments
8 Responses to “Crystal Jade Korean BBQ Buffet – Boil and Broil”
  1. Laura Lynn says:

    Love your photos. Makes me want to try it. I’ve never cooked at my table before. Looks like fun.

    • Sam Han says:

      It’s a lot of fun DIY meals and interacting with your diners. This boiling broiling gadget is available in most home appliances stores. 😀

  2. Sofia says:

    Yum, I want to come too!!!

  3. A lil bit confuse with the cooking technique…hehehe
    broil is roasted with it’s own juice steaming over….
    but actually i had this tools in my cabinet, just use it once after brought…
    btw, i hate the sukiyaki style since why would us pay for cooking by ourselfes in the rsataurant. right???

    • Sam Han says:

      we love DIY here. fills in the awkward silence once in a while. let’s you interact with your co-diners. while waiting we are “forced” to communicate, lol…

  4. No kimchi!! The sign should be torn down, the menus burnt, and the owner’s wife should divorce him (if she is Korean) 😉

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