Love it or hate it, it’s undeniable that the K-wave is here to stay.
The world of gastronomy, too, has been swept by the K-wave. The past few years have seen a surge in Korean restaurants sprouting up around Singapore, each peddling their own renditions of fried chicken, bibimbap, barbecued meats, and hotpot meals. All of these spots even follow the tradition of serving banchan — complimentary side dishes that may range from kimchi to beansprouts and anchovies — to ensure you won’t leave hungry.
If your idea of a good time involves wolfing down copious amounts of piquant kimchi, beef bulgogi or cold noodles, here’s our pick of 6 of the best Korean restaurants in Singapore to visit. We highly recommend rounding off your meal with some soju or makgeolli (traditional rice wine), just because.
This homey, cosy restaurant along Tanjong Pagar Road serves a wide variety of hearty Korean fare such as bibimbap, grilled mackerel, spicy sea snails with noodles, army stew, and pork rib soup — meant to be a hangover remedy. The eatery’s neat selection of traditional rice wine washes down perfectly with the platter of assorted fritters.
Bigmama Korean Restaurant, located within the hip neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru, was founded by Namgung Ji Young, a former caretaker and tutor for Korean students based in Singapore. Here, besides a whole range of lovingly crafted home-styled dishes, you’ll find treats like Suyuk (loosely translated as water-boiled pork) that’s served with vegetables and other comforting classics like the Chive Pancake and Kimchi Soup.
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Masizzim, a blend of the words delicious and stew in Korean, is known for, well, you guessed it, their stews. After taking your pick from the three popular soups, namely the Beef Rib Stew, Pork Rib Stew and Spicy Chicken Stew, feast on other mouthwatering plates like the do-it-yourself mixed grain rice balls and the fluffy steamed eggs. Complete the meal with a refreshing Sikhye (sweet rice drink) Jar and you’ll be good to go.
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Cho-won Garden Korean Restaurant may be built with a ton of grills to barbeque meats on, but what many don’t know is that the casual eatery serves up a mean menu of dishes should you decide not to reek of oil in the afternoon. Take for instance the uncommonly found Ganjang Gyejang, a plate of raw crabs marinated in soy sauce that’s equal parts spicy, sweet and salty, making it the perfect addition to a steaming bowl of sticky rice.
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If there’s one stereotype about Koreans we know, it’ll be their undying love for drinks. If you’re craving for a decent spot of Makgeolli in town, head to Joo Bar. Besides a whole range of home-brewed Makgeolli flavours like Lychee, Corn and Passionfruit, you’ll find a good selection of side dishes to go with your drinks too. Peckish diners can opt for the Gochugaru Fried Chicken and the Fish Tacos, while those who are sticking to their Keto diet can opt for dishes like the Spicy Seafood Konjac Noodles in their Keto-friendly menu.