Crystal Jade's San Francisco restaurant to open on Nov 18

Chinese restaurant chain Crystal Jade will open its massive San Francisco restaurant on Nov 18 at the Embarcadero Center.

The restaurant, which cost US$14 million (S$17.8 million) to set up, is a joint venture between Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts and Mr Ghassan Murad, a real estate developer and restaurateur.

The Chinese restaurant chain was acquired in May this year by L Capital Asia, French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton's private equity arm.

Its San Francisco outpost is called Crystal Jade Jiang Nan and located at Four Embarcadero Center. The restaurant, the chain's United States flagship restaurant, seats 400 people, either in the 15,500 sq ft interior or the 4,500 sq ft patio.

Mr Ip Yiu Tung, chief executive of Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts, says of San Francisco: "The city has been extremely welcoming and we are dedicated to bringing authentic, quality Chinese food to contemporary audiences."

The restaurant was designed by San Francisco-based interior designer Ken Fulk, who drew inspiration from China's Jiang Nan region.

On the menu will be regional dishes from south of the Yangtze River and diners can expect dishes from Sichuan, Jiangsu, Hunan and Zhejiang. Cantonese roast meats are also on the menu and there will be a dim sum brunch on weekends.

Signature dishes include xiao long bao, Spicy & Sour Seafood Chowder "Sichuan" Style and Wood Oven Roasted Duck.

The restaurant also features the Liu Ling bar and lounge, named after the historical Chinese figure from the Third Kingdom (220 to 280 AD). He was one of seven sages who retreated to a bamboo grove to escape stifling imperial court life. One of his most famous poems was titled In Praise Of The Virtue Of Wine, a tribute to the carefree lifestyle and the appreciation of wine.

This newest venture will add to the more than 100 restaurants the group has across Asia.