In the past, Korean cuisine wasn’t a very widespread or customary dining experience; therefore decent standards didn’t come cheap. Singaporeans seem to be more accustomed to Japanese cuisine, judging on the popularity of all the sushi chain outlets. However, since the Korean series “Jewel in the Palace” became a big hit, everything Korean was pushed up the ranks of popularity and Korean eateries started popping out. Even food courts started dishing out basic Korean fare. However, again, my prefixed mentality was that one had to pay big bucks for a meal of palatable standard.
Thus imagine my surprise at this seemingly value-for-money buffet!
The table settings consist of one pair of silver stainless steel chopsticks, and one pair of wooden chopsticks per person to separate the raw from the cooked. That was all I knew about Korean table etiquette and it was authentic enough for me!
Free-flow of orange and lime drinks which tasted artificially intense, I later learnt was to counter their piquantly seasoned meats. Tea and stale coffee were too available (bad espressos/coffees left in the open to rot ought to be banned!).
We were given menus from which you could order unlimited servings of spicy or non-spicy prawns, squid, chicken, beef, and pork. Whilst waiting for your order to arrive, there is a small spread of offerings (in metal “reheater things”) to keep you occupied. Salmon was not fresh, but I wasn’t that anal about it since it was not a Japanese restaurant.
There were also lettuce leaves to wrap your meats, and pumpkin soup which was slightly waterly, but nice and not cloyingly sweet. All the mushrooms were tasted foul, no matter which method we cooked it, but perhaps we cooked it wrong?
Not forgetting these little side dishes. I am unfamiliar with the specific names, but there was tofu, salted vegetables, not your run-of-the-mill soybean sprouts, and of course, Kimchi the fermented spicy cabbage meets radish.
Once our order arrives, the waitress places an inverted metal plate onto the fire grill, where we proceed to cook the meats and seafood.
Other than the marinate being slightly salty, it was pretty tangy and enjoyable. The spicy squid was a bit tough, but once again, this could be due to our poor culinary skills.
They also had Bibimbap, Kimchi rice, Jahbchae, pancakes, mackeral, a selection of hot soups and strews, and some others.
Jahbchae, sweet potato flour based noodles with shredded mushroom, carrots and vegetables, proved popular with the sisters and had us ordering seconds.
Bibimbap, rice topped with julienned zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, an egg and other some unidentifiable ingredients, mixed before eating, was also well-liked.
Unfortunately, not the same could be said about Pajeon, a savory seafood pancake with green onions squashed inside… except there was nothing savory about it. Mother accredited its repulsive mushiness and wetness to its overly thick sides and incorrect cooking time. But even re-cooking it on the hot plate didn’t savage it. We also agreed that the Kimchi rice was blend and flavorless.
Sadly, there were no classic Korean style desserts, just your standard fruits, and something rather out of the blue – chocolate éclairs. Éclairs originated from France, so what was it doing masquerading in a Korean buffet? Nevertheless, I popped one into my mouth nonchalantly, anticipating a bad éclair. But the shock kicks in, it was pretty tasty! I helped myself to another plateful. The chocolate on top wasn’t a thin layer of milk solids, hollow in the center, that cracked into pieces without melting; it was thick and smooth. The custard inside was generous and a fantastic sweet treat after all the heavily salted foods we had just consumed.
Overall rating: 2.9 / 5 (Value-for-money)
Staff were attentive to our water refills and changed our hot plate in the middle of the meal cause it got burnt. We did not attempt their spicy soups which is supposedly a Korean speciality. Moever, this sets the brenchmark for me in Korean fare so you’ll have to make a trip down to judge for yourself.
BBQ Buffet Dinner $19.90 ++ on Mon – Thu
$29.90 ++ on Fri-Sun, Eve/Public Holidays
Child $9.90 ++
>5 years FOC
5.30pm – 9.30pm
3 Temasek Boulevard
#03-010/012 Suntec City Mall
Directions: 3rd level. Facing away from Toys’r’us, it is on the right.