The last time I ate Korean BBQ was in Ho Chi Minh City with a group of my university friends along with two Korean “uncles” who are learning Vietnamese together with us. The food there was pretty authentic and mind-blowing that I could still remember how good it tasted til today. Thanks to a recommendation by a friend, I’m able to reminisce the time when my mouth was stuffed with thin-cut slices of well-seasoned Korean BBQ beef.
According to my friend, as long as the restaurants is run by the Korean-speaking natives, the food served should be of certain standard or in other words, truly authentic and delicious. It’s certainly quite right because only the natives know how Korean BBQ should be served. Besides, they would probably hired Koreans living in Singapore to be waiter or waitresses as they could could probably understand and communicate better with each other. Occasionally, you might here them exchanging some Korean words, engaging in conversation using their own native language which people,like myself couldn’t figure out what they are rumbling about. With that, you found yourself soaking up the culture of the Koreans as if you were in Korea. The neighbouring Korean restaurants and supermarkets which are only a few doors down had made this stretch of Tanjong Pagar Road a mini Korean Town in Singapore. Don’t be surprise to see Koreans gathering in these restaurants, thinking of their hometown while savouring slices of barbecued meat with lots of Soju.
Handwritten Korean characters (Hangul) on white-washed walls. I wonder what it means.
The huge metallic pipes and large bronze cooking hoods gave a 80’s or 90’s feel to the restaurant.
Though there are fume hoods/cooking hoods to suck up the steam and smoke, you will still be reeking of that barbecue,smoky scent in your hair and clothes. You just can’t get away with that. Even with the use of cologne and perfume. Don’t even bother trying to air yourself before you get on the train because the barbecue scent stays which made you felt like a piece of walking barbecue meat.
Caramelized Onion rings
There are about 6 to 7 side dishes which is refillable once it had all gone into our stomachs. That explains probably why the barbecue meat and main dishes are slightly highly priced.
Kimchi (Fermented Vegetables)
The only appetizing side dish is the caramelized onion, kimchi and dried salted anchovies (ikan bilis) which my friend couldn’t stop eating.
Soju, literally means burned liquor
Can anyone figure out what’s the Korean words printed on the small glass cup?
Don’t forget to include vegetable into your diet. Grab some leafy lettuce and wrapped it around with some meat and dipped into sauce.
Marinated Chicken slices
Kimchi Pancake ( Kimchi-Jeon)
This dish is really a knock-out as it excites my taste-bud to its fullest. It’s good to break the routine by indulging into some other food of different countries which utilises different seasoning and spices to enhance the taste of the food.
Spicy Rice Cake (Tokpokki)
Believe it or not. The piece of chicken is so tender and smooth on the tongue. It just sorts of glides smoothly on my tongue and into the gullet after mastication. Such a tasty slab of meat is not to be missed!
Complimentary side dish : Claypot Steamed Claypot Tofu with Egg
This complimentary dish came about as a surprise as none of us expect the waiter to serve up something in a hot claypot. Do not belittle this Steam Egg Tofu dish just because the recipe is so simple with tofu and eggs that doesn’t cost more than a dollar. When I scooped some of it with my spoon and took a little bite, I was pleasantly surprised by the strong aroma of cooked eggs that covers the bland taste of tofu. I tell you, eggs play an important role in many Asian dishes because eggs are simply delicious!
(For your information: My over powering love for eggs started when I first tasted Eggs Benedicts!)
Marinated Beef Short Ribs ($37)
If our ancestors had not discovered about using heat to cook meat, we could be gorging on raw meat today. Be thankful as we get to enjoy delicious barbecued meat.