JinJiang, Ghent

In Review by Mr Eggplant1 Comment

  • Interior
  • Traditional
The search for a good Asian restaurant can be difficult. Most of asian cuisine has been westernized for our limited taste pallet. As a result you get the feeling that all Chinese restaurants are the same. JinJiang doesn’t have a website and only a handful (only) positive reviews online. Because most of the existing reviews pointed out the “authenticity” of Chinese food we gave it a try.

It’s located on the korenlei, a prime location right in the historic center of Ghent. When we entered the dining room, there where no other diners. Because it’s located in the basement of a medieval building, you could still smell moisture inside the thick old walls. The waitress put on some traditional Asian music and we got the menu. We had a glass of Lychee wine to get the evening started and while the Shanghai cook made our appetisers the smell of moisture disappeared. I ordered some traditional street food. It was something fried made with white carrot and shrimp. Mrs Strawberry ordered pork dim sum. Both where very tasteful and the price/value was amazing. My appetiser was only 3 EUR!

As a main course I had “fish flavoured” pork. On the menu is was described as “weird but good”. Mrs Strawberry took “Red Braised Pork”, it was Mao Zedong’s favorite dish. It is cooked using pork belly and a combination of ginger, garlic, aromatic spices, chilli peppers, sugar, light and dark soy, and rice wine. The pork belly is cooked until the fat and skin are gelatinous and melt easily in the mouth, while the sauce is usually thick, sweet and fairly sticky. As the English name suggests, the melt in the mouth texture is formed as a result of a long braising process, using relatively little liquid. It is one of the most popular comfort food in China. There are official standards on how to cook this dish and they where applied! My fish flavoured pork dish didn’t taste like fish at all (might be a good thing), it was spicy and I guess they used some Chinese ingredients because the taste was very good but I couldn’t identify the main ingredients. It was like the menu said, weird but good! We both had Chinese beer with our food to complete the experience.

As dessert we had Chinese sake and a Chinese fusion dessert, chocolate banana wontons. Again, simple but very well executed. This is what I expect of a foreign restaurant, it should be a discovery of new tastes. JinJiang is an excellent Chinese restaurant. The menu is limited but this allows them to use fresh ingredients. The quality of the food is high. The service is swift and accurate. The cook is Chinese, nothing is fake! In total we paid 70 EUR (everything included) and this makes it the best value for money restaurant we ever came across.

Total price: 70 EUR, enough said!


Final Verdict

Cheapest quality trip to china!

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About the author

Mr Eggplant

Born on a hot sunday morning near Pripyat in 1986.

Korenlei 24, 9000 Gent (Belgium)

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