January 20, 2015
I love meats and thus this best Korean BBQ guide was born. What’s not to love about Korean BBQ? The Korean revolution is going strong in Singapore with multiple Korean joints opening in the recent years.
Particularly popular amongst youngsters these days who probably have more understanding of the intricacies of banchan, bulgogi, gogigui, galbi, etc. than myself. Mass market chains such as Seoul Garden are very much the passe now (you actually see more tour groups in them, and frankly the quality of meats is lacking), with the youngsters venturing to specialist joints for their Korean BBQ fix.
Some buffet spots are actually really affordable as well even for students! The better service and authentic Korean BBQ restaurants will have servers grilling and cutting your meat just like in Korean, while the cheaper BBQ buffet options, well, don’t expect too much for the price you pay.
Here’s my list of the places you should go for the best Korean BBQ around Singapore:
Ask any fan of Korean BBQ in Singapore their favourite joints and you are likely to hear Super Star K – well it’s definitely Seth’s favorite Korean BBQ. Super Star K reminds me of those Ajumma (ah ma) operated joints located around the alleyways in downtown Seoul especially those in Myeongdong – just eat and leave smelling of charred meat bits.
Meats here are pretty decent quality cuts (no fancy stuff though) like Grilled Beef Ribs ($29) and Pork Belly ($18) but they are reasonably priced – if you aren’t a heavy eater, Super Star K is a better alternative compared to the eat all you can buffets. Servers also help grill the meats while the individual table vents does reduce a bit of smoke from the grills.
Super Star K: 75 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088496 | Facebook
Operating Hours: 5.30pm to 2.30am (Daily)
Address 2: 45/46 Circular Road, Singapore 049400
Operating Hours: 11.30am to 3pm (Mon to Sat) 5.30pm to 12am (Sat/Sun)
Located at SOTA (School Of The Arts), this no-frills Korean BBQ joint offers really affordable buffet selection – the signature volcano chicken is a must try along with the multitude of other meats. If you are lost, just look out for the cheery caricature who resembles a Korean actor (I’m told it’s Bae Yong Joon – Thanks Google!).
Lunch prices start from $14++ for weekday and $24++ for weekends, while dinner ranges from $22++ (weekday) to $24++ (weekends). Reservations are a must as this place is hugely popular and easily accessible because of its crazy buffet prices. One of the best Korean BBQs for students.
I’m Kim Korean BBQ: 1 Zubir Said Drive, School of The Arts, #01-04, Singapore 227968 | Facebook
Operating Hours: 11.30am to 2.45pm, 5pm to 10.45pm (Mon to Fri), 11.30am to 3.45pm, 5pm to 10.45pm (Sat/Sun)
Although Nanta positions itself as an eatery delivering a modern Korean culinary experience, the traditional elements of a Korean meat BBQ still exist. Compared to other joints, there is a significantly larger number of Korean expatriate patrons here (you can trust the Koreans to scout of the authentic eateries).
A must try is the popular Cheese Deng-galbi ($50), which comes with spicy pork ribs and melted mozzerella cheese on a hot plate. It’s all the rage in Seoul, and you won’t be disappointed.
Nanta Korean BBQ: #01-175 / #01-177 Goldhill Centre, 175 Thomson Road S307624, Singapore 307624 | Facebook
Operating hours: 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm (Daily)
This is another Korean joint which offers a good value buffet at $14.90++ for lunch, $24.90++ for dinner. Opened by the same Korean owner of Nanta, K. Cook has a good open air ambience (not the usual cramped ghetto sort). If you dread the burnt stench after every BBQ session, do request to be seated outdoors. A basic selection of BBQ meats and Korean dishes, one can’t complain at that price point and orchard location.
Also it tends to be quite popular with students during the weekends and eve of public holidays, so reservations are a must.
K.Cook Korean BBQ Buffet: 181 Orchard Road, Orchard Central #07-01, Singapore 238896 | Facebook
Operating hours: 11.30am to 10pm (Daily)
Ssikkek is a meat lovers wet dream – there’s so much meat available! The buffet is extremely popular at just $22++ per adult. The Tanjong Pagar outlet tends to have long queues and reservations are recommended; else check out the Novena outlet which is also equally as hard to walk-in. Eating time is limited to 2 hours per table though when you place a booking.
Be prepared to leave smelling like someone stuffed a bbq pork belly down your shirt. Fabreeze is conveniently located by the exit too.
SSikkek: 101 Thomson Road, #B1-15, Singapore 307591 | Facebook
Operating hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5pm to 10.30pm (Mon to Fri), 11.30am to 10.30pm (Sat/Sun)
Many people confuse 2D1N Soju Bang with Ssikkek, but 2D1N Soju Bang is the sister restaurant of Ssikkek located just downstairs (Same owner). 2D1N Soju Bang however offers an ala carte Korean BBQ selection instead of the usual buffet option, along with other Korean dishes.
2D1N Soju Bang: 44-46 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088465 | Facebook
Operating hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 12am (Sun to Thu), 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 2am (Fri/Sat)
One of the more pricey Korean BBQ joints in town but with really awesome premium cuts like Wagyu Ribeye ($52) and Kurobuta Belly ($37), Chang BBQ has since relocated to Loewen road from Dempsey.
If you love good service, this is the place where the staff proactively do all the cooking for you. Moreover it’s a charcoal grill so the meats have a nice smokey taste. Bookings are a must for weekends which you can do so via their website.
Chang Korean BBQ Restaurant: 71 Loewen Road #01-01 Singapore 248847 | Website
Operating hours: 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm (Daily)
Kim’s Family Food offers a rather authentic Korean BBQ experience with its extensive menu. Although the menu selection is pretty big, they also offer BBQ sets so you don’t have to pull out your hair thinking what to order. Do order the Meat platter set ($40) which comes with beef short ribs, marinated pork collar and belly if you are going for the BBQ as it’s sufficient to feed 2 hungry adults.
Kim’s Family Food Korean Restaurant: 17 Lorong Kilat, #01-06 Kilat Court, Singapore 598139 | Facebook
Operating hours: 12pm to 3pm, 5.30pm to 10pm (Closed 1st & 3rd Mondays)
An American concept Korean BBQ, Eight Korean BBQ is famed for their 8 Colours set ($98), which features 8 different flavoured kurobuta pork bellies in flavours like curry, miso, garlic and wine. This set feeds about 4 people which also includes free banchan (appetizers). Cozy and pretty accessible at Clark Quay, Eight Korean BBQ is a more contemporary choice.
8 Eight Korean BBQ: 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, The Central, #02-79/90, Singapore 059817 | Website
Operating hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10.30pm (Mon to Fri), 11.30am to 10.30pm (Sat/Sun)
Gaia Korean Grill + Bar was founded by Chef Chun Nam Won, an acclaimed cooking teacher and an author to the book “Step by Step: Cooking Classic Korea”. She was diagnosed with cancer a few years back and realized that there wasn’t much healthy foods to dine at, which inspired her pursuit of clean, home-style Korean food at the birth of Gaia Korean Grill.
If you love marinated yet healthy meats, you should check out Gaia and try their Combination Platter ($28) of chicken, pork belly and short rib meat. The grill used is also a specially imported grill that sucks up the smoke form the meats, minimizing the charred smell on your clothes.
They used to be located at Suntec before shifting to the idling end of Holland Village. If you are planning on spending the evening at 2am:dessertbar, why not fill you empty bellies with good Korean nosh.
Gaia Korean Bar and Grill: 17E Lorong Liput, Singapore 277731 | Facebook
Operating hours: 11.30am to 2pm, 5.30pm to 12am (Mon to Fri), 11.30am to 12am (Sat/Sun)
The BBQ meat at Guiga promises to satisfy even the most begrudging customer. The waitress helps to barbque your meat to perfection which is fantastic for those lazy folks out there. I definitely recommend the Barbecued Beef ($30), Spicy Beef Soup ($15) and Kimchi Pancake ($18). Their dishes never lack in flavour and their meats are always well-seasoned.
To top things off, the restaurant’s interior is nicely decorated complete with fairy lights, making it real inviting and it has a very Korean feel to it, I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s from the fact that the boss himself is Korean and speaks English with a Korean accent. The ventilation is not the best, do expect to leave smelling smoky but the staff there is extremely helpful and warm.
Guiga Korean BBQ Restaurant: 134 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088538 | Tel: +65 6221 3001 | Website
While Miss Korea remains a rather obscure BBQ restaurant to most Singaporeans, this Korean eatery at Killiney should definitely not be given a miss! Apart from their all you can eat buffet deals that go for $22.90++ weekdays/ $24.90++weekends, the staff there is incredibly warm and their dishes are very scrumptious. Dining at Miss Korea is indubitably excellent value for money and as an added bonus, it is away from the bustle of other more popular all-you-can-eat joints!
To top things off, there’s even a Hite beer promotion going on, at 2 beers for $7++ which is some insane pricing for Singapore’s standards. You can barely even find places that sell one bottle of beer at $7!
Miss Korea: 87 Killiney Road Singapore 239533
Hansik is an immensely popular restaurant at Heartland Mall and it serves both BBQ and dishes on a family style menu. If you do choose to patronize this restaurant, be wary that there will be throngs of people queuing outside so it might be better if you make a reservation of sorts. The must-tries at this restaurant include the Boneless Beef Rib ($38/100g), Green Tea Pork Belly ($23/200g) and Ginseng chicken Soup ($23).
The Ginseng Chicken Soup is packed to the brim with flavours and with its herbs and spice-infused broth, the tender pieces of chicken that simmer in it have a lovely fragrance to it. The broth also comes with glutinous rice which is a bonus, of course. This Korean restaurant really does meet the standards of authentic Korean food, really.
Hansik Korean Family Restaurant: #02-00, Heartland Mall-kovan, 205 Hougang Street 21, Singapore 530205
Situated a stone’s throw away from Tanjong Pagar’s “Korean Town”, Chowon Garden offers its customers a more tranquil setting for them to enjoy their BBQ meats and sojus. This BBQ restaurant is especially known for its pig intestines but apart from their brilliant BBQ meats, this Korean eatery also offers several Korean favourites like Kimchi Fried Rice ($13) which comes with a nice display of a sunny-side up peppered with sesame seeds.
ChoWon Garden: 2 Peck Seah St, Singapore 079305 | Monday to Saturday 1130 – 1430, 1730 – 2200, Closed on Sundays | Tel: 6225 1317
Dinnertime is prime time at Wang Dae Bak Korean BBQ (Amoy St outlet) so it would be good to make a reservation before you head over! Apart from the cozy interior, helpful staff and such, the barbecued meats at Wang Dae Bak are really tasty. The Marinated Pork Shoulder Loin ($18) and Marinated Prime Rib ($28) alike were chewy and very juicy. The barbecued meats owed much of its flavour to the burning charcoal which was able to whip up a degree of doneness of the meat, making it both fragrant and delicious at the same time. I’d say it is one of the best Korean BBQs I’ve tried so far in Singapore.
Wang Dae Bak Korean BBQ: 98 Amoy St, Singapore 069918
Related Guide: Ultimate Best Korean Restaurants in Singapore
Editor’s end notes
Personally I’m not a fan of Kim Chi so if your favourite place only serves up Kim Chi marinated meats, I probably didn’t try it (Sorry!). There are lots of Korean joints in Singapore but I haven’t found many which are equal to those in Sydney (Madang/Haemil) and Melbourne (Hwaro/Wooga).
Let me know if I have missed out any great Korean BBQ restaurants (p.s Bornga did not meet my standards) and please do share any additional recommendations to improve this best Korean BBQ list.