Checked out the newly-renovated K88 Kopitiam at Blk 5 Banda Street; the HDB block which is located just right behind Chinatown Complex Market as well as the Chinatown Visitor Centre. The renovated coffeeshop now houses quite a few new stalls; this includes an outpost of Teochew Handmade Pau originally from Toa Payoh West Food Centre, as well as a Japanese ramen stall named Mr Ramen. Gao Korean Cuisine is a new concept by the same folks behind Gao Ji Foods — the group is also responsible for running brands such as Koo Kee Yong Tow Foo Mee, Gao Peng Cuisine, Dong Dong Hainanese Chicken Rice, Steamed Gourmet and niko niko don don. Focusing on serving up Korean cuisine, the menu at Gao Korean Cuisine includes various forms of rice boxes (i.e. rice dishes with choice of proteins served in mess tins), Korean Ramyun and Korean Fried Chicken Wings (named Korean Wings-holic) on the menu. Side dishes available to share around the table includes Chicken Spam Fries, Fried Fish Skin and Silky Steamed Egg — just to name a few.

Was pretty torn between having the Chicken Leg Rice Box and the Chicken Chunk Rice Box and eventually found ourselves settling for the latter; noted that they only provide plastic disposable cutlery here and thought that it would be easier to deal with something boneless as such. Patrons can opt to choose whether they would like to have their Chicken Chunk Rice Box to come with fried chicken that is drenched in either soy sauce, or a spicy sauce; we opted for the latter. On first look, the Chicken Chunk Rice Box also comes served with coleslaw and seaweed on the side — all within a mess tin. Digging into the rice box, we first went for the chicken chunks; supposedly the highlight of the entire dish — we found the chicken chunks to be fairly decent. Drenched entirely in the spicy sauce, the chicken chunks featured a lightly crispy fried exterior while the meat was pretty tender and moist; the sauce delivered on what it had promised — nothing short of being thick, sticky and fiery and tingles the tastebuds, yet carrying a hint of sweetness that is typical of Korean spicy sauce though this would probably be more suited for those who have a slightly higher tolerance of spiciness. The coleslaw was a decent addition; provides for a good crunch though we did feel it a little lacking on flavour in general. The rice was actually well-cooked; the short-grain rice was sufficiently moist and fluffy. A pretty decent offering overall.

Hadn’t been much of a follower of the concepts that Gao Ji Foods have established over the years but Koo Kee Yong Tow Foo Mee’s popularity might probably be a testament to what the group might be doing right so far. Thought Gao Korean Cuisine’s offerings based on what we have tried is fairly decent — one which would be able to satisfy cravings for Korean cuisine at quite a reasonable price; the Chicken Chunk Rice Box is listed on the menu at $6.50. Wouldn’t necessarily say that this is worth making a special trip all the way here to give it a try, but definitely a decent choice to go for if dining within the area.