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Archive for the ‘Korean’ Category

Korean food is not high on my list of preferred cuisine but Joo Bar is an exception only because it serves modern Korean bites, thankfully nothing too traditional, phew. Oh, and also because I really like makgeolli! Meaning ‘alcohol’ in Korean, ‘Joo’ is the first in Singapore to brew its signature makgeolli and the makgeolli sampler is the best way to taste-test this cloudy and light-bodied 6-8% ABV rice wine. Out of the five different flavours, my favourite is the tangy yuzu makgeolli, so good when it’s icy cold!

On to the food now. Creative starters such as the baby eel paper and house-made tofu chips sound tempting on paper. The former was a dangerous snack – I polished it off easily with the makgeolli in hand! The cracker-like tofu chips tasted nothing like tofu hmm, and the shrimp avocado salad was heavy on mayo and salt. Luckily that meant I had more stomach space for the delicious seafood risotto and soft tofu stew! If generous portions of carbs and soup ain’t comfort food, I don’t know what is ha. One of the recommended meat dishes is the slow roasted mangalitsa pork belly (I liken that to the meat version of otoro? LOL) but mom said it’s “ok, too fatty” so it’s a love-or-hate dish, I suppose.

Dessert is straightforward – there is bingsu but sadly unavailable so tiramisu it is! Very very moist and I love that they use makgeolli in it too!

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Makgeolli Sampler Set ($35++)
original, yuzu, lychee, strawberry, passionfruit

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Baby Eel Paper ($14++)
deep fried baby eel, chilli salt, lime zest

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Tofu Chips ($14++)
guacamole, kimchi salsa, cucumber

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Shrimp & Avocado Salad ($14++)
hass avocado, tiger shrimp, miso mayo dressing

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Slow Roasted Mangalitsa Belly ($32++)
thick cut mangalitsa pork belly, onion, garlic, dijon mustard, spring onion salad

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Seafood Gochujang Risotto ($24++)
shrimp, black mussel, clam, squid, red pepper paste cream sauce

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Seafood Soft Tofu Stew ($24++)
black mussel, clam, shrimp, squid, egg

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Joo Tiramisu ($12++)
mascarpone, shaved dark chocolate, cocoa powder, korean raspberry wine, makgeolli

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Special thanks to Cherry for arranging dinner!

Joo Bar
5 Tan Quee Lan Street
8138 1628

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Finally finally finally!

For the past 2 or 3 years, Kim’s Family Restaurant always popped up whenever conversations turn to “I want to go ___________ (fill in the blank) for a meal” or “I’ve been wanting to go to ___________ since forever” etc etc. Never had the chance to really do it (cuz Lorong Kilat is too ulu to the eastie me) until last week!

The raves online about this authentic Korean restaurant are not unfounded. 12 refillable side dishes (skip the bleah kimchi), a huge steaming pot of seafood soup ($40++), one incredibly yummy saba fish ($13++), and the piece de resistance barbecued pork belly ($23++) later, we left Kim’s happy and smelly satisfied!

Kim’s Family Restaurant
#01-06, Kilat Court
17 Lorong Kilat
6465 0535

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Though Bukang Tuna is named after tuna, we didn’t order any. Instead, we had a comforting spread of Korean style dishes, from souffle-like steamed egg and melt-in-your-mouth unagi (such a food cliché, I know, but it really was that soft!!) to a big pot of not-that-spicy spicy cod fish soup loaded with tofu, enoki mushrooms and veggies, perfect for sharing~

From top left, clockwise: steamed egg casserole ($10++); grilled unagi ($15++); complimentary crabmeat porridge; spicy cod fish soup ($20++).

Bukang Tuna
#01-06, Red Dot Traffic Building
28 Maxwell Road
6327 4123

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Bibigo

I like Bibigo.

It’s more contemporary than traditional korean food, and the main selling point is healthy well-balanced cuisine without sacrificing on taste. Tell me, how is it possible to not like such feel-good food?

Top left, clockwise: kimchi pancake ($10++), seafood pancake ($13++), hot stone tofu bibimbap ($16++), bulgogi ($22++), kimchi fried rice ($16++).

Bibigo
#B1-74, Raffles City Shopping Centre
252 North Bridge Road
6336 4745

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Doong Ji

I admit, I don’t can’t appreciate Korean food. Discounting the week spent in Korea years ago, Korean cuisine is very much a stranger to me since this is only my 2nd Korean meal. You know how we always associate the authenticity of the food with the nationality of the owners/chefs? In this case, Doong Ji is opened by Koreans so I reckon the food should be quite good, authentic or not (since I can’t differentiate anyway!).

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Side dishes are the best thing about eating Korean! Besides the obligatory kimchi, fried anchovies and soybean sprouts, the water chestnut cakes stood out from the rest. Bland without the accompanying chili paste, it had a nice jelly-like texture. If not for the waitress, I wouldn’t have known it’s made with water chestnut though.

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STARCHY is the only word I’d use to describe the tofu pancakes ($6.90++). At the end of the meal, 2 (out of 3) pieces remained untouched. Goes to show how much we I didn’t like it.

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I like eggs so it’s easy for the Korean Style Omelette ($7.80++) to win a nod of approval from me. Chock-full of carrot, spinach, onion and seaweed, it would have been even better with more moisture.

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Despite its name, the Spicy Beef Soup ($8.90++) wasn’t spicy at all. In fact, it tasted suspiciously like instant noodles soup.

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Seeing the tarnished golden pot of maggie mee Ramen ($8.90++) brought back fond memories of the time spent in New Zealand with my Korean flatmates. We used that exact same pot for cooking too!

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The broth of the Hotpot Beef ($8.90++) was nice! Savoury with a tinge of sweetness. For the price, portion was so generous that half of it had to go to waste.

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Do I foresee myself having a Korean meal again soon? Well, not in the near future, I hope. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it but I don’t particularly like it either. It’s just that I’d rather go for its Japanese counterpart for its clearer taste and delicate appearance compared to the more robust and fiery Korean food.

Doong Ji
222 East Coast Road
6345 4264

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