11212 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton
Last week I went to Jang. It’s a new restaurant on Jasper Avenue that’s where the old Soy and Pepper restaurant used to be. It’s under new ownership and is described as a modern Korean, Japanese, and Western Fusion restaurant. Jang means sauce in Korean, and they try to use a blend of Western and Eastern sauces to create new flavours. Chef Jamie Jang has over 15 years of experience and has cooked in Korea, Australia, and Canada. With his experience, he’s trying to bring something new to Edmonton. Being on Jasper, there isn’t a ton of parking, but there are some imparks in the area and some street/meter parking.
I was invited to their media night but unfortunately had other plans so I couldn’t attend, and went the following week. I had a pretty good experience and it sounds as though they tweaked their dishes from the time I went with the feedback that they received at the media event. Reading the menu, it seems as though a lot of changes has been made even since after my visit so I’m not sure how accurate my experience will be to current dining experiences.
To start off, we had the apple Kimchi. it was light and sweet and the added apple to the Kim Chi was a pleasant addition. It wasn’t as sour as I would have liked and felt like it could have used a little bit more time fermenting but overall it was nice to nibble on this in between bites or while waiting for other dishes.
Next was the Fresh Salmon Carpaccio with fennel. This was salmon sashimi topped with a korean chili vinaigrette and a side of cilantro mayo. This was plated nicely on top of some fresh avocado. It was nice and light, but I would have preferred a little bit less vinaigrette. It was a bit over powering, but overall I liked the flavours (it’s very sauce forward here, but sauce is literally in the name!)
The Kimchi croquette was filled with a sweet potato mash, pan-fried kimchi, and grana parmigiano, and served with a shichimi aioli. This came out really hot and was nice and crispy. There was also a mustard sauce served with this and it was quite the mix of flavours. Overall, it tasted okay but I feel like some of the flavours did not compliment each other.
Next was the Sizzling Hot Ika. Calamari tossed in Korean Chili pesto, a poached egg, and drizzled with an olive oil emulsion. This was served along side sweet potato mash. This was my least favourite dish of the night. The squid was cooked perfectly and was tender, but the flavours of the sauces did not mix well with the sweetness of the sweet mash.
The Kimchi dome has pork loin and tofu simmered in a kimchi tomato sauce, served with naan and rice. The naan was actually quite light and fluffy. Our server came and cut open the dome and placed it all into the soup. I think I would have preferred it with the naan on the side, because it got very soggy, very fast. Overall, this was actually pretty good, and nice to have on a cold winter night. I would order this again, but would ask to DIY the cutting of the dome.
Next was the extra crispy beer-battered KFC. This was one of my favourite dishes of the night. It is served with ganjang dip, and a traditional gochujang dip, taro fries, and korean coleslaw. The chicken was very crispy and delicious, and I really liked the sauces that it was served with (and the fact that the sauce was served on the side! pro trip, I always ask for sauce on the side so you can dip and so the chicken stays crispy!). That being said, I found that the taro fries were really dry and not as pleasant to eat. I’m thinking it was maybe a bad batch of taro, because YEGCravings really enjoyed the taro fries.
Last main was Jang’s Gogi Platter. This comes with teriyaki ribeye with a kimchi butter, galbi, spicy pork shoulder and pork belly. When I went, they were out of Pork Belly but replaced it with their Bulgogi. My favourite two meats were probably the galbi and bulgogi (even though it doesn’t regularly come with the bulgogi). Overall, really good, and I like the variety of meat. That being said though, I think if I were going to go for lettuce wraps, I like the Bossam from Nongbu or from Hanjan a bit more. It’s a bit more modestly priced and you’d be able to get other dishes.
Overall I had an okay experience at Jang. There were some hits and misses but given that they just opened, they have some promise. Their dishes are quite unique from the other restaurants in Edmonton. I would definitely recommend giving them a try. Go for the Fried Chicken and the platters!