Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Shanghai] Chi-Q

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Add: Three on the Bund 2F, 3 Zhong Shan Dong Yi Lu  / 中山东一路3号外滩三号2楼
Tel: 6321 6622
Hours: 6-10:30pm
Price: 350-450 RMB/person
Visited: Jan 2015

Please note that this is an invited tasting.

Upscale Korean barbecue by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his Korean-American wife Marja. As you can expect from Jean-Georges and Three on the Bund, Korean barbeque becomes a rather chic affair here with top quality ingredients. They’ve brought in chef Bina Yu, who is South Korean by birth and previously sous chef at Jean Georges’ namesake restaurant in New York, to run the kitchen of Chi-Q. I’ve had Korean barbecue quite a few times both in Shanghai and Seoul but never in such high style, and I was curious to find out how it works.




But first, the space. It is designed by Neri & Hu (a familiar name in Shanghai by now), who put together a sleek dining room with long communal tables crowned by a dramatic atrium, as well as individual booths. More details on Three on the Bund’s website.



There’s also a long bar by the entrance, offering imported juices, beers, makgeolli, sojus, sakes and whiskies. I tried Soju Grehound (78 RMB) made with Jinro 25 and fresh grapefruits, which came in a pretty pink and was very refreshing.



And on with the food. Banchans are essential to Korean meals, and at Chi-Q these are made fresh daily and kept for up to two days, as some banchans take a bit of time to mature.


First appetizer, kingfish sashimi, sweet soy and chili oil, avocado and sunflower seeds (88 RMB). Loved the sweet soy and chili oil sauce, a perfect accompaniment to the kingfish.


Foie gras kimchi mandoo (108 RMB), dumpling pockets wrapping foie gras and kimchi, then pan-fried crispy. I quite liked these, though my fellow diner found the strong kimchi flavor to be overshadowing the foie gras.


Stir fried rice cakes with peas and spicy glaze (98 RMB) is definitely not your typical Ddeokbokki. It’s got green peas and fresh mint leaves in the mix, and the rice cakes have a thin layer of crispy skin instead of being uniformly chewy. Very different, very delicious. 


On the barbecue side, there are pre-arranged baskets as well as a la carte options. We went with the a la carte option for more flexibility in variety, and started with some diver scallops (128 RMB/4 pcs). One thing to know about these barbecue pits – they are specially designed to suck away the smoke from the sides, so you won’t see any extractor hoods hovering from the ceilings. Not only does this make the restaurant look neater, your clothes and hair will also smell less like barbecued meat after a full meal. They also use a particular wood called bristle tooth oak, which gives the meat a nice coal flavor, and also emits less smoke and ash during the burning process.


Australian wagyu M+7 short rib (138 RMB/100g) and Beijing black pork shoulder (58 RMB/100g).



Served with condiments, salad leaves, and rice. The rice is from Dongbei and is quite tasty.



New Zealand lamb chops (128 RMB/2pcs), to be grilled with kimchi butter.



Market vegetables (88 RMB/basket) with Tuscan kale, shiitake, eggplant, pumpkin, green beans etc. Eat your veggies, but I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of barbecued vegetables in general.


Sweet and spicy black cod with crunchy bean sprouts (168 RMB), a properly done cod – tender juicy and all that, but  not one of the most memorable dishes of the night.


It’s nice to end with something light after all the heavy sauces, and a good option is berries soup, bokbunja granite (60 RMB). Bokbuna ju is a Korean fruit wine made from Korean black raspberries called bokbunja, and its granite version makes for a very refreshing mouthful.


Strawberry mochi sundae (60 RMB) is slightly more substantial with baked mochi (glutinous rice cakes).


There are also a few desserts on the menu with no Korean elements, like this chocolate mousse and mint in textures (60 RMB).


Chi-Q is Korean barbecue high on style with guaranteed quality food and smooth service, but also with a price to pay (expect about 350-450 RMB/person). If you want to go crazy and order whatever you want on the menu without breaking the bank, this is not the place – try Ben Jia/Bonga instead – but if you are interested in having Korean barbecue in elegance (I don’t know, maybe you want Korean barbecue on a first date), then Chi-Q is probably the only place in Shanghai for this.

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Written by sugarednspiced

February 2nd, 2015 at 1:38 am