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I recently chatted with a dear friend upon whose pop culture knowledge I depend as a gauge for what’s new and noteworthy.  I asked “Do you know who JYP is?” Her response, “He’s the Puff Daddy of Asia.” And as usual, she hit it right on the head.  Jin-young Park is one of the biggest entrepreneurs in the Asian music industry.  Park was the originating force behind the current Korean pop (Kpop) invasion that is battering down the doors of the West.  Besides having his own successful pop career in Korea, he is the man who discovered singer/actor, Rain, the closest thing Asia has to Elvis, and was the first Korean songwriter to crack the Billboard Top 100 when his protégés, The Wonder Girls charted in 2009.

Park has never been one to run from a challenge and so in front of the toughest audience in the world, he opened his first restaurant, Kristalbelli in New York City’s Korea Town.  The upscale “Korean comfort food” is prepared on a special grill created by Park himself that bears a gold, Budai/Hotei-type jolly monk framing a solid crystal plate at its center, or “belly (i),” that equalizes heat and accelerates the cooking time.  The Diva Review was invited to attend the grand opening celebration of Kristalbelli, hosted by JYP himself along with special guests The Wonder Girls, and have a look around.  We sampled a menu prepared by Chef David Shim, formerly of famed eateries, Gramercy Tavern and L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, full of succulent meat dishes prepared in flavourful Korean spices and yummy organic veggies.

We enjoyed the hominess of the main dining area and chilled luxuriantly in the cool, sleek interior of the upstairs lounge, where we were treated to a fabulous DJ spinning a mix of American and Korean pop, helping us work off all that deliciousness.  We were waited on by the preternaturally efficient, gorgeous, enthusiastic staff that treated every diner like a V.VIP.

Emerging from the many lumps of coal on the New York restaurant scene, Kristabelli is pure diamond.  

 

How do you say “Yum!” in Korean?  Some of the delectable eats served at the party:

·   Premium Wagyu Beef cooked on the Kristalbelli BBQ – NY Strip, Rib-Eye (Filet Mignon and Galbi are also available)

·   Milssam – Korean-style crepe rolls with assorted vegetables and beef

·   Dak Gangjung – Korean-style chicken nuggets

·   Kochi - Pork belly, beef and ginko nuts skewers

·   Twigim - Fried sweet potato and burdock

·   Jaeyook Burger - Spicy pork bulgogi burger

·   Japchae - Stir-fried glass noodles with vegetables, with choice of shrimp and beef

·   Dessert was Chaps! by B E S F R E N – Handmade, gluten-free Korean rice cake blended w/ artistic flavors: Choc Caramel Chips, Cheese Cream Oreo, Vanilla Blackcurrant Berry (Think high-end Mochi cakes)

 

~ The Lady Miz Diva

March 26th, 2012

 

Find Kristalbelli at http://www.kristalbelli.com

 

 

 

 

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Exclusive Photos by LMD. 

Corporate images courtesy of Kristalbelli, JYP Foods

 

 

 

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