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The Korean Wave

The Korean Wave

The latest craze of food in town ever since Koreans shook things up with their K culture from drama serials to K-Pop. Find out the places that does them proper here!
Xing Wei Chua
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Pork Belly Kimchi Bowl

Apart from burgers, Teepee Bar & Restaurant also serves up rice bowls for those who are looking for something substantial to fill the stomachs up with.

Coming with jiggly pieces of fatty pork belly, the pork belly slices are well-braised being savoury with a consistent flavour on top of Japanese pearl rice. The kimchi on the top gives the dish a crunch, and helps to cut the flavours of the pork belly especially with its tastefully pickled taste.

Original Combo Chicken

Not quite the best Korean Fried Chicken around but a good option if you are talking about having some in the north (there is only a few names for Korean BBQ up here, a new 4 Fingers up at Northpoint and an Auntie Kim's just around the corner beside Seoul Chicken). Run by a couple of Koreans and visited by a few groups of Koreans, you do get a bit of the actual Korean vibes on Friday evenings where people gather at restaurants simply for fried chicken, stews and drink Korean Rice Wine or Hite Beer.

While the original was decent though not exactly fantastic with a slightly thicker batter, the spicy felt pretty shy of spiciness given its rather manageable level of spiciness even though the chicken pieces were covered in a good amount of thick, sticky sauce. Of the three flavours served in this platter, the Sweet Soy takes the cake for the savoury-sweet combination that works — flavourful and the chicken was well-drenched in that sticky awesomeness. Some places might have done better, but it's still pretty satiating for there isn't many options when it comes to Korean Fried Chicken in this part of the island.

Jajangmyeon

Situated just a few doors down from the original O.bba is this new outlet named O.bba Jjajang at 77 Tanjong Pagar Road where the signatures served here includes the Jajangmyeon, a Chinese-style seafood noodle soup and a Sweet & Sour Pork Dish.

Pretty much enjoyed the Jajangmyeon here which is usually priced at $10 for lunch, but there is an opening promo where the price is at $7.70 now with three small dishes at the side. It's also pretty much one of the better Jajangmyeon I have had — it's not overly sweet but there is definitely enough Jajang to coat the chewy noodles with; one can even bite in bits of meat within the sauce and there is quite a generous amount of onions within that I absolutely love. One of the places I guess I would revisit again if the craving hits!

Yes Sir! Yes Sir!

I am not kidding about the name; it really bears that quirky name there. From Omoomodon which is newly-opened at The Star Vista, the Japanese-Korean fusion rice bowls do seem to fit the office crowds around Biopolis well given they start from $8. This comes at $12 with sirloin steak, multigrain rice, kimchi omelette and teriyaki sauce. Overall the quality is pretty decent and portion is hearty for the price; the steak wasn't of the best grade but they did managed to grill it to medium rare with a pink center which was commendable while the meat was not gamey. The kimchi omelette was interesting; omelette egg with kimchi within so you get a little cabbage to crunch on while it carries a spicy zing that was rather manageable. The multigrain rice also had bits tasting similar to black glutinous rice for a bit of sweetness. Quite a decent option if you are looking for a place within The Star Vista below $15 for a meal. (PS: They also do offer Build Your Own Bowls where you can mix and match the different components, and there is Bingsu for dessert as well!)

Sweet Onion Fried Chicken

So I saw fellow Burppler Zi Heng's post last night; thought it would be a good idea to check out this spot during my lecture breaks today. Coming in Medium and Large bowls, the Medium comes with around 10 chunks of boneless chicken chunks. The chicken chunks were surprisingly crisp and flavourful; really succulent and drenched in a rather liquid but interesting sauce. Sure, the consistency of the sauce itself wouldn't allow for that thick sauce coating on the chicken itself, but for the parts that absorbed the sauce, it brought up this interesting fusion flavour that's probably identical fusing raw onions with Thai Chili sauce less the spiciness. Considering it being just a hawker stall and serving this for $7.50, it's actually pretty worth trying with a group if you are hanging out in he area.

Cheese Sweet Soy Chicken (Boneless - Small)

Ordered this to share amongst 5; the small portion works especially if you are having the Jyajyameon to share for the Jyajyameon portion seemed a tad huge. A little similar to Chir Chir's Nest Snow in terms of the combination of ingredients — cheese, fried chicken but less the fresh cream, olives etc. with a pool of sweet soy sauce (spicy soy also available) and skinless grapes. The first taste of it gives a rather confused flavour, but it slowly grows on for most of us where the soy sauce comes with a malty sweetness, along with the savoury, stretchy cheese melted atop the fried chicken chunks that can never be disappointing in any occasion. I would probably say that it's not meant for all tastebuds, but I think it's worth trying once for the feel of it. For those who prefer their wings to come with bones, they do offer boned chicken and also comes in both small or large portions.

Jyajyameon

On the quest for a good Jyajyameon and trying this one that's pretty near school. For $13+, the portion here seemed a lot bigger than Hansang's with a lot more noodles which makes it rather filling even by itself. Taste-wise would really prefer Hansang however — a tad too sweet and felt it lacked a little savouriness somehow.

Boneless Jjimdak

Trying this new place at City Square Mall which focuses on Jjimdak; this is the individual portion Boneless Jjimdak from their set lunch specials. For $12.90, this individual portion comes with chicken, potatoes, carrots, dried chili, steamed white rice and glass noodles (which is an add-on for the actual portion that feeds 2 or 3) — a pretty heartwarming treat for the rainy day with that sweet and umami braised sauce, soft potatoes and carrots and huge chunks of chicken that we polished the entire bowl less the dried chili feeling full but thoroughly satisfied.

Injeolmi Bingsu, Tiramisoo

From a new takeaway Bingsu kiosk at White Sands Shopping Centre that has a small bar counter which seats two. Ordered the "best selling" Injeolmi Bingsu and the "specialty" Tiramisoo and found them to be of rather decent quality. The shaved ice carried a light milky flavour which carried the right amount of sweetness, though the toppings for the Injeolmi (e.g. berries and rice cakes) felt as though they were a little stiff and aired out for they were a little hard to chew. Apart from the toppings, the drizzling of condensed milk was enough to bring the Bingsu to reasonable sweetness, while admittedly they could have been a little more generous with the Kinako powder. Tiramisoo was more well-rounded, with cocoa powder, lady finger biscuits and cream cheese as toppings which replicated an actual Tiramisu well with the finely-shaved milk ice. Pretty decent for $6.90, and they do offer flexible options including a BFF where you can go for three fruit options amongst the many offered or My Bingoo with three toppings of your choice — all of which pretty rare for a Bingsu stall. Also quite like how they only sell individual portions here which makes it a pretty convenient dessert that is an alternative to ice-cream without having to share.

Jyajyameon

Decided to follow my friend's recommendations on trying a legit Korean jyajyameon at Hansang, which is also my first time having actual jyajyameon as well (my previous times at other eateries were plagued with instant noodle renditions of the dish). Must say that I pretty much like this one; the springy and slurpy noodles and that sweet black bean sauce which was so addictive I tried to slurp the remnants up. Definitely enjoyed myself with this bowl from their $11.80++ lunch promo; do let me know if anyone has any other places to recommend for good jyajyameon!

Pork Belly Bibim Guksu (S)

Chow Fun Bar & Restaurant serves their noodles in two sizes; small and regular where the small is typically served with 50/60 grams of noodles (recommended for those who are into trying all the different unique flavours of noodles here) while the regular comes with 200 grams of noodles. This is pretty Korean-inspired, with the onslaught of a sweet, spicy Gochujang sauce tossed with the spaghetti noodles which were done al-dente. The pork belly was decent, though if I were to nitpick a little it could be less dry and more savoury (but hey; this ain't a HK Roasted Delights stall right ...). Comes with a slice of a molten egg which was pretty interesting, as well as pickled vegetables for some added tanginess.

Green Tea Bingsu

This place seems to get all the right boxes for avid instagrammers; cute desserts? Check. Clean and minimalist interior? Check. The Bingsu here seems to be decent on the first few mouthfuls, carrying a light hint of matcha flavour with a subtle milkiness while coming with other goodies on the side such as Azuki red beans, Matcha KitKat wafers and matcha Pocky sticks. The "bear" seemed to be quite dense and creamy matcha custard, decorated with chocolate chip buttons. Personally though this was pretty decent if you are one who doesn't mind paying for Bingsu, though the Matcha KitKat seemed to be rather bland in contrast to the Bingsu (perhaps it's flavour just got overwhelmed) and the some parts of the Azuki Red Bean can be a little softer for a better bite.

About Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua

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An iPhone-wielding guy going around Singapore eating what whets his appetite.

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