Category: Korean

Chicken Up

By , December 10, 2013

Chicken Up’s Spicy Up ($18.00 for 4 pieces, $34.00 for 8 pieces) is up and up expensive! It has regularly been known “The Best Korean Fried Chicken In Singapore” (Straits Time’s Hsueh chose it in a blind-taste).
The batter is crispy with a ccccrunch, and the cccchomp down the drumstick reveals juicy and moist meat which reminds me of the old old incarnation of KFC of my childhood days. Not spicy enough though, and I did wonder if it would legitimately be the best.

Then I had the Soya Chicken ($12 for 4 pieces), wings coated with Korean soy sauce, and I am confident enough to declare this the champion. If you are vengeful towards chicken, a fried chicken BUFFET is available for dinner at $25+.

Chicken Up
48 Tanjong Pagar Road Singapore 088469 Tel: +65 6327 1203 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Opening Hour: 5:30pm – 2:00am (Mon-Sun)

Read: 5 Best Korean Fried Chicken in Singapore – Crispy and Moist!

Kko Kko Nara’s Korean Fried Chicken

By , December 3, 2013

Unlike the previous 4 where the focus is fried chicken, Kko Kko Nara is a typical Korean restaurant with the usual Korean fare, which happens to be very known for their Korean Fried Chicken. For those who love variety, get the Combo Chicken Set ($20 during lunch, $25 during dinner) which has 9 pieces with 3 different favours – original, sweet and special garlic soy sauce chicken. (My order was lost in translation with their staff though, who looks keener to watch her Korean MTVs.) The original was good enough, sweet was sticky and like sweet and sour chicken with too much sauce, and the garlic chicken evenly marinated and tasty. Overall, the chicken meat was strangely colder than it should be. Maybe it’s the aircon.

Kko Kko Nara 꼬꼬나라
#01-0157 Tras Street Singapore 078996 Tel:+65 6224 8186
Opening Hours: 11am – 230pm, 5pm to 3am Daily

Read: 5 Best Korean Fried Chicken in Singapore – Crispy and Moist!

NeNe Chicken Singapore’s Korean Fried Chicken

By , December 2, 2013

NeNe Chicken used to be my favourite, until its quality took a dip. Sometimes I like it, sometimes it is so-so and cold. It is like taking a ne-ne gamble. My recommendation is the Swicy chicken, which comes in a set of 2 pieces ($8.90) or 9 piece whole chicken ($25.90). The chicken is surprisingly not oily, even though we are provided with plastic gloves. Just lick the sauce off your fingers if you are at home. Even though we left it the chicken out for some time, the batter remains crisp, and the meat succulent. (Read: NeNe Chicken (The Star Vista))

NeNe Chicken Singapore
1 Vista Green Exchange, Star Vista #01-24, Singapore 138617 (Buona Vista MRT), Tel: +65 6694 5489
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Daily

Read: 5 Best Korean Fried Chicken in Singapore – Crispy and Moist!

Bonchon Chicken 본촌치킨’s Korean Fried Chicken

By , November 29, 2013

Bonchon Chicken is deep fried twice – so the skin becomes crunchier and the meat less greasy when compared to the usual American fast food fried chicken. It feels kind of pricy though. A medium combo of 6 wings, 2 drumsticks with one side is $15.90, and I am only saying it because the pieces are quite small. The skin comes off in pieces, with the sauces nicely enveloping it. The meat not quite like the usual, is tasty and not too oily. Plus point, it doesn’t leave much of a stain on your fingers even if you use your hands. Despite its haphazard service, I am prepared to love this. (Read: Bonchon Chicken (Bugis+))

Bonchon Chicken 본촌치킨
201 Victoria Street, #01-11 Bugis+ (former Illuma, opposite Bugis MRT), Singapore 188067, Tel: +65 6884 4768
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 11:0pm

Read: 5 Best Korean Fried Chicken in Singapore – Crispy and Moist!

Big Mama Korean Restaurant – Not ‘Gangnam Style’, but Home Style Cooking

By , November 7, 2012

It is very seldom that a woman in apron would come to your table to teach you how you should eat your food. Well, maybe at home, but we are talking about a Korean restaurant here.

Big Mama Korean Restaurant is not exactly ‘Gangnam Style’ (I know the song is hot, and it is Korean language colloquialism that actually refers to a luxurious lifestyle), but offers comfort ‘Home Style’ cooking.

And this new restaurant is also at Tiong Bahru. (Read: 5 Best Places For Cakes At Tiong Bahru, new food places IKYU and PoTeaTo)

Former tutor and caretaker, Ji-young Nam Gung nick-named as “Big Mama” (looks like “Cooking Mama” in the Nintendo game), has set up a homely Korean eatery at Tiong Bahru after cooking for Korean students in Singapore for years. Her Korean dishes are in between authentic and creative, because half are inspired by her own mama’s recipes while others have been fine tuned to suit Singaporean taste-buds.

It was quite funny because my friends were all trying to guess who Big Mama was, then realised it was not difficult to point out. The one behind the cashier loh.

The restaurant looks quite minimal in terms of decor, but has groups of Koreans dining, an indication that this is worth your try.

There are two big pictures of the Dakgalbi (spicy grilled chicken) and Suyuk (steam pork belly) on the wall, which suggests that these are the two must-try dishes.

Big Mama or one of her staff would help you prepare the Dakgalbi ($15 per pax, min 2 pax), where marinated chicken chunks, Korean rice cake and vegetables are fried with a special homemade chilli sauce right in front of you on a grill.

Surprisingly, this is very delicious with the saucy chicken going extremely well with plain rice. Maybe it is also Big Mama is talking while preparing, which makes us feel right at home. Yes, she would tell us how to eat Korean food the right way. A tip is to NOT finish the ingredients, because Big Mama would fry it with rice (additional $3.00) if requested.

Full Post Big Mama Korean Restaurant – Not ‘Gangnam Style’, but Home Style Cooking

Big Mama Korean Restaurant
2 Kim Tian Road, Singapore 169244 (10 min walk from Tiong Bahru MRT) Tel: +65 6270 7704
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 11:0pm (closed on most Mondays)

Other Tiong Bahru Entries
5 Best Places For Cakes At Tiong Bahru
IKYU (Tiong Bahru)
PoTeaTo (Tiong Bahru)
The Orange Thimble (Tiong Bahru)
Social Haus (Tiong Bahru)

Just Acia – The Cheapest in Town

By , September 8, 2008

11 Orchard Road #B1-17 Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station Tel: 6338 8071

Question. Where can you get set meals at Orchard Road, with free flow of coffee, soft drinks and ice cream, all at an incredible price of $5.90*?

Just Acia is the place for the budget conscious, in light of escalating prices everywhere. Calling themselves the ‘Best of Asia’ may be a forthright claim, but they do serve Asian stuff from Thai Tom Yam Chicken Soup, Korean Spicy Kimchi Beancurd Udon, Herbal Chicken Soup to Chicken Teriyaki.

With side dishes ranging from Xi-An Spinach Tofu, Fukien Prawn Roll and Chawanmushi, that’s what I call ‘japalang’ (variety).

The Ambience
Of the my little survey of 5 people, 80% cannot figure out where Dhoby Xchange is, with one vaguely knowing where but not sure how to get there. Most assumed it’s the revamped buzzling food basement of Plaza Singapura. Not quite right.

But once you find out where it is located, you will be quite amazed at this little find, and on how every shop around seemed to be converted to this open concept eatery.

On an afternoon lunch, it can be relatively filled with working executives but finding a seat shouldn’t be much of a problem given its obscurity and vast space.

The Food
My course mates was only initially excited having a free flow of ice cream, but I think non low-fat low-sugar may not appeal that much to working (read: weight conscious) adults more. But they can probably fill the less discerning children up.
I would briefly describe the food here as better than a food court, but still a distance away from restaurant standards. It could be the symptom of “Jack of all trades but master of none”.

The Tori Katsu set ($5.90) had reasonably crispy chicken skin, and they even took the effort to garnish the dish for that cheap price. Kudos to that. But the rest of the meat and rice was too dry and I wished they would use fluffy short-grained rice.

As for the Just’s Steam Dumpling Set ($5.90), it tasted just (no pun intended) like manufactured dumplings – standard, plain and bland. 

You may have better luck with the noodle dishes with its affiliation with Just Noodles at Suntec City. At least the ramen were springy and soup tasty.

The Verdict
This Jack of all trades is no ‘Best in Asia’, but is certainly value for the budget conscious working in Dhoby Gaut area. 2.75*

Ya Zhou Café 亚洲茶餐厅 (Suntec)

By , July 10, 2008

3 Temasek Boulevard #B1-058A Suntec City Mall

It’s kind of strange. When you patronize an eatery called Ya Zhou (Asia) Café, you kind of expect a variety of Asian food such as tomyum, pho, curry, sushi, dan dan noodles or something like that.

The ‘Asian’ essence of this place is that Chinese people serve Korean food in a space at Suntec City previously occupied by a Hong Kong café. Talk about globalization.

The Ambience
Pity the bispectacled Chinese waitresses who have to don up in pink Korean costumes, serve food, then mop the floors with huge buckets of water. I hope they are paid well.

The cafe needs a better interior designer. Black and white checked floor, violet walls, red rose pictures (something’s really wrong?), along with stacked drinks, utensils, an old metal cupboard and mops. It’s messier than my kitchen! No space in their storeroom? I don’t wish to think how the cooking space is like.

The Food
Their promotion sets priced from $9.00 to $9.50 includes a hotplate dish/ramen/bibimbab/fried rice, a side dish and a lime juice. “不可以换! (cannot change)” was the reply I got when I wanted the ‘abalone’side dish changed to some dumplings.

Surprise, surprise, the food was better than expected, and comes in metal chopsticks. How ‘authentic’.  The Fried Chicken Chop Ra-Myeon  炸鸡扒拉面 ($6.00) had the fried chicken placed in a separate place. The meat was rather crispy and flavourful, with the noodles not overly cooked. 

My Kimchi Chicken Ra Myeon ($5.00) tasted just like those served in ABC and XYZ food courts. You can probably replicate that same taste if you get the hot and spicy Shin Bowl instant noodles from the supermarket. The consolation is, they cook their instant noodles well.

The Mandu (otherwise known as guotie/gyōza depending on which culture you look at it) was nicely deep-fried, but that’s not the pan-fried dumplings we have expected. And yes, they probably come from the pre-packed ones from NTUC. So don’t ever bring your Korean friends here.

The Verdict
Food-court food in a café? Nah. 1.75*

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