With international influences abound, from the classic jjamppong to Vongole ppong and sweet potato pizzas, they’ve got your Korean food cravings covered.
With over 70 outlets across Korea, jjamppong (Chinese-Korean seafood noodles) specialty house Nipong Naepong made its debut in Singapore at Jem shopping centre, Jurong East, just last month. The name translates to “your ppong, my ppong”, and is fitting for the intriguing menu of 9 variations of jjamppong inspired by international flavours.
We tried the classic Cha Ppong ($15.80) which comes in two spice levels. Spice fiends can turn up the heat with Level 2, but we must say that the Level 1 bowl also packed a punch too (at least for spice lightweights)! The piquant soup bore a tinge of smokiness from the fried cabbage, that went well with the quail eggs and a classic seafood trio of mussels, prawns and tender squid. We found the house-made jjolmyeon (wheat noodles) to be smooth and chewy, its elastic texture pairing well with the flavourful soup.
Fans of Thai food should try the pad-thai inspired Tae Ppong ($15.80), the only stir-fried option on the menu. We really liked the sweet sauce that had a slight kick, but especially loved the smokiness of the wok hei that came through with each bite.
A hot favourite was the Vongole Ppong ($16.80) – a Korean take on the classic Italian clam pasta dish. Infused with garlic butter, the soup was fragrant and light, which went well with the ‘al dente’ noodles. The bowl was teeming with mussels and clams, so much so that we think that a bowl is perfect for sharing among small eaters. A must try for seafood lovers.
For those who prefer non-spicy noodles, try the Keu Ppong (Cream sauce, $17.80) – they offer both spicy and non-spicy options! Essentially a cross between the Italian Alfredo pasta and jjamppong noodles, the Keu Ppong comes drenched in a creamy white sauce. A sprinkling of tobiko and toasted tortilla shards decorate the dish along with seafood – mix it all in for more texture from the tortilla and a burst of flavours from the tobiko.
Another fusion option we loved was the Ro Ppong (Roje sauce – korean for Rose sauce; $17.80). The chewy jjolmyeon came coated in a pretty pink sauce made of cream and tomato sauce, with a generous sprinkling of mozzarella cheese for added indulgence. Mix the cheese in while the dish is hot, and enjoy the gooey, tangy Italian-inspired Ppong.
Pizza lovers can have their pie and eat it too – as starters, mains or desserts – you call the shots! What’s really unique is that the pizzas are built on baked tortilla wraps, and you’re recommended to roll the slices up to enjoy.
Case in point – the Ninae Pizza (Spinach, $18.80). Drizzled with honey, fresh baby spinach is piled onto the centre of base, and a dollop of cream cheese and cherry tomato sits atop each slice. Roll up each slice to enjoy a bit of everything in each bite; the cream cheese and honey help tie the dish together.
For something sweet, try the Ni Pizza (Sweet potato, $16.80). Roll up the sweet potato puree-filled slices and dip them in into their house-made whipped cream. Aerated using espuma techniques, which keeps it light but buttery, the whipped cream elevates the whole dessert experience. For another funky sweet pizza option, try the Coco Pizza (Coconut, $16.80), which comes with cream cheese and toasted coconut shreds.
Wash it all down with a unique Lychee Yogurt drink, or a Grapefruit ade (both $7.90 for 500ml and $12.90 for 1L). We especially liked the Lychee Yogurt for it’s fruity sweetness and creamy texture, which we think helped to quell some of the spice from the ppong!
Portions are large and prices are affordable, and with so many intriguing options on the menu, your group of friends will definitely find something to love at Nipong Naepong.
#01-16 JEM, 50 Jurong Gateway Road
Tel: 6262 4078