From traditionally authentic flavours to quirky desserts like cherry tomato bingsu, you can’t run out of textures and tastes to treat your taste buds to!
Looking to satisfy your K-food cravings? We bring you 9 new Korean restaurants and cafes that you simply can’t miss out on. From traditionally authentic flavours to quirky desserts like cherry tomato bingsu, you can’t run out of textures and tastes to treat your taste buds to!
Traditional Dining and BBQ:
Ho Rang I
When it comes to Korean traditional cuisine, Ho Rang I brings to you fare that is reminiscent of a good home-cooked meal. Even their classic but well-prepared ban chan (appetisers) had us asking for seconds. Located in Novena, the restaurant was previously known as Your Woul, but has been rebranded by the owner’s sons, and now features a fresher, modern look. Ho Rang I features a menu that consists of traditional stews such as Haemul Tang ($62), premium grills such as LA Gal Bi ($36), and light, fluffy Pa Jeon ($22 for seafood, $20 for kimchi), with the recipes being handed down from the current owners’ Korean grandparents. Their Jap Chae ($18) was a stand out dish, with the strong flavours of sesame oil, soy sauce and seasonings coming together with springy glass noodles and fresh vegetable toppings. They also ferment their own makgeoli ($40), a Korean rice wine, from a family recipe, a sweet and creamy complement to your meal.
165 Thomson Road Tel: 6251 0123
With their second outlet opening at Shaw Centre, E!ght Korean BBQ has once again impressed with their full service standards and newest offerings off their menu. Exclusive here is their Big Hog Plate ($45), a generous portion of Hungarian Mangalitsa pork belly, grilled with onions and king oyster mushrooms. It is also served with a traditional grilled mugwort rice cake with honey dip, adding that touch of sweetness to the rich main course. Their Chul Pan ($18 per portion, available in beef, pork or chicken) is only available at lunch, and is the perfect stir-fried sharing dish for a quick lunch. We really love having steamed rice tossed together with the rest of the ingredients, the best way of having their house-made sauce melding the dish together. The Bibimbap Bingsu ($28) made from milk and topped with cleverly arranged fruit is also an icy, visual treat for the eyes and the taste buds alike, perfect for finishing off a hearty meal.
#04-20/21 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road. Tel: 9018 9212
Featured in the popular Korean drama Descendants of the Sun, dal.komm coffee has laid claim to being the first to integrate music as a core theme in its lifestyle café concept. Their selection of three Arabica bean blends ($4.50-$8.50), K1 to K3, each with its own unique flavour profile, is sure to satisfy all coffee lovers. There’s also variety of drinks for non coffee lovers as well, such as the honey grapefruit ($8.90) and mojito black vitali tea ($8), black tea infused with dal.komm’s apple and lemon tea blend. Don’t miss out on their cherry tomato bingsu ($10.90 for regular, $15.90 for large) a healthy and refreshing alternative to the typical bingsu with overly sweet toppings. A touch of plum powder and sweetened milk sauce delightfully complements the fruity, tart tomatoes atop fluffy shaved ice.
#01-01/06 and #01-102/103, The Centrepoint, 176 Orchard Road.
Stews and soups:
Headed by Korean celebrity chef, Alex Kim, What’s This has taken over the location of the recently closed SuPulAe. Situated in the cozy nook off Somerset, this brightly lit restaurant is decorated with colourful animal murals and decked out in with vintage chairs. For those who love their food spicy, their Budae Jigae (army stew) for 2 ($38) is definitely a must-try. The ginger honey chicken is a certain crowd-pleaser ($15 for 4 pieces and $28 for 8 pieces) with its crispy sweet skin and juicy meat.
87 Killiney Road. Tel: 6734 3010
Specialising in Jjimdak (Korean spicy braised chicken) and army stew, Seoul Jjimdak has opened its doors at City Square Mall. Using a sauce imported from Korea, they tweak it to suit the local tastebuds for a unique taste. Their signature Seoul Jjimdak ($36.90) is a bubbling medley of braised chicken, carrots, potatoes and onions with springy glass noodles. Deliciously spicy and great for sharing. Their army stew ($36.90) is generously topped with luncheon meat, sausages, kimchi, tofu and the works, in a spicy broth that is sure to leave you wanting more.
#05-04 City Square Mall, 14 Kitchener Link. Tel: 6634 2668
For a quick meal:
A chain restaurant started by celebrity chef Paik Jung Won with various outlets outside of Korea, Paik’s Bibim is offering a modernised take on the traditional Korean mixed rice bowl, bibimbap, Paik’s Bibim serves up a small but specially curated menu. Their focus is on bringing a nutritious, healthy meal to the table, filled with the freshest ingredients. Don’t miss out on crowd favourites like the beef bulgogi bibimbap ($8.50) and warm noodles with soy sauce ($7.90). A good choice if you’re looking for a quick and healthy meal that won’t leave you in a food coma after. Paik refers to CEO founder and chef Jong Won Paik, who has 30 restaurant brands globally. At 7 locations including #02-11 Tiong Bahru Plaza, 302 Tiong Bahru Road.
Love the Oppa at Tanjong Pagar? They’ve now opened a convenient fuss-free coffee shop stall in central Ang Mo Kio, to bring Korean fried chicken to the heartlands. Their Oppa one-bowl meal features classic Korean favourites like Bibimbap, kimchi fried rice or Jjajangmyun, to local favorites like Butter Garlic Fried Rice. All meals are inclusive of a salad and signature OPPA Chicken, which you can take your pick from 6 different flavours (Honey Garlic, Yangnyum, Flaming Yangnyum, Soy Garlic, Tangy Onion, Original). Priced at a reasonably affordable $5.90 nett. #01-2823, Blk 721 Ang Mo Kio Ave 8.
For after work drinks:
From the people who brought you Kko Kko Nara at Tanjong Pagar, comes their boozy brainchild, located near Arab Street. With the main focus on their alcoholic beverages, they offer a menu that is similar to their main branch, with favourites such as the seriously crispy and addictive Korean fried chicken ($18-30) and army stew ($25). The real show stoppers are their variety of soju cocktails ($18 for small, $32 for large) that change seasonally, and also the variety of beers and SoMek (a mix of soju and beer). 48 Kandahar Street. Tel: 6391 9717
Located in the busy heart of Tanjong Pagar, Tanjong Pocha certainly does not disappoint with its rich flavours and choice of dishes. Known for their grilled meats and seafood, they also offer a variety of heart stews and soups, like Odeng (Korean fish cake) soup ($38). This is a great place for after work drinks and dinner, come on by for their watermelon soju ($30) that is served in a halved out melon. 60 Tanjong Pagar. Tel: 6221 7241
Featured image: Ho Rang I