February 25, 2016
Ann yeong 안녕! Together as a team at SETHLUI.com, we’ve scoured around Singapore to compile this ultimate guide to Korean restaurants and cafes in Singapore that you will absolutely adore.
Seriously, we’ve tried something like 50 korean restaurants and cafes in Singapore and are quite repulsed by the sight of kimchi already.
With the uprising of Korean culture in Singapore, it is no wonder that Korean restaurants and cafes are sprouting everywhere. Who has the best kimchi, bbq, fried chicken and bingsus? Find out here.
Now feast on and thank us later while we try to work off the calories.
I’ve been to Guiga a few times and each time I leave a happy customer, complete with a tummy so filled with a food baby. Their barbecued ribs are tasty and you could opt for the server to help you out with barbecueing it. Do remember to let her know to what degree of doneness do you prefer, if not, it might be too well done.
Barbecued Beef ($30). Having the waitress help us barbecue it to perfection was just about the best thing for me considering how lazy I am. Well seasoned and rich in flavour, I’d definitely recommend getting this.
The spicy beef soup ($15) contains a myriad of ingredients, complete with vegetables and sweet potato vermicelli. It makes for an appetising and hearty broth. I love the kimchi pancake ($18) here, it’s crisp at the ends and when dipped in the accompanying sauce, it becomes tangy while remaining slightly spicy.
The ban chan (side dishes) are delectable, the ambience is great, the interior is nicely decorated complete with fairy lights, making it real inviting and it had 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
Yet another unassuming Korean Barbecue restaurant littered along Telok Ayer Street, Oh Neul Han Jeom’s interior is cosy and inviting with warm hues. It has a partitioned area for when you’re looking to have a more private gathering. Managed by Koreans, it made my dining partner and I felt that bit much more immersed in the whole authentic Korean experience.
We had rice wine ($22), barbecued beef brisket and ginseng chicken soup. While I was deliberating with my partner on which poison to have, the rice wine or soju, the waitress kindly advised on which would suit our palate better and made the whole decision period faster and easier.
The barbecued beef brisket ($25) is fragrant and umami, pairing well with the sauteed onions and sauces. The slight seared flavour lingers for a while.
The ginseng chicken soup ($22) is thoroughly comforting and light, with occasional sweet hints from the addition of dates. The salt and chicken complements and makes for a nutritious and satisfying meal. Definitely value for money, head down to Oh Neul Han Jeom for their lunch specials for an authentic Korean experience.
Also…….. there’s no GST charges, the price that you see on the menu is what you’re gonna get, WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). No nasty price jack surprises here, yay.
Oh Neul Han Jeom Korean BBQ Restaurant: 177 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068625 | Tel: +65 6221 0401 | Website
Another Korean joint along Telok Ayer Street, Singkoba boasts of a rather industrial like interior, complete with ventilators that looked almost like an alien arm, which I really liked because I’m weird like that. They have a variety of staff that speaks different languages – Korean, English and Chinese, to facilitate the ordering process.
What really surprised me pleasantly is how fast the food is served, the waiting time is negligible and both my friend and I literally stared at each other in disbelief for a good 10 seconds. The rice wine was served in a kettle and that was super adorable, it isn’t too sweet and has a slight fizz.
Seafood Pancake ($14), Pork Belly ($18), Kimchi Stew ($13), Korean Rice Wine ($20).
The ban chan, especially the kang kong, was delicious, I think we asked for a refill of it three times over. The kimchi stew so spicy and comforting, warming up our souls immediately and the rice cakes are on point.
If you ordered less than two barbecue meats, it will be done in the kitchen, sparing you from the smokiness and hassle. The barbecued pork belly is juicy and savoury while the seafood pancake is packed with a generous amount of ingredients. Also, Singkoba is one of the cheapest Korean BBQ restaurant joint I’ve been to, so extra brownie points.
Singkoba Korean Charcoal Barbecue Restaurant: 155 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068611 | Tel: +65 6221 2639 | Website
All you can eat buffet for $22.90++ weekdays /$24.90++ weekends , Miss Korea is an small unassuming joint at Killiney road is a dark horse undiscovered by most people in Singapore.
There’s not much tables or even staff for that matter, but the one staff that was present had great awareness and service, serving and cutting up out meats, and recommending us a good spread.
Excellent value for money and away from the student crowds at other all-you-can-eat joints.
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
Walking into 8 Korean BBQ transports you out of Clark quay immediately into some dank alleyway.
The menu here really needs more description especially for the BBQ pork belly orders which actually has a more substantial portion than it looked on the menu.
Must tries here are the 8 Color Pork Belly if you have a group of 3-4, or try the 4 Color Pork Belly which is great for 2. The set also comes with one stew of your choice.
Surprisingly good food, quality of pork belly is great. I’d recommending trying the heavier flavours like Garlic or Honey and Ginger. Value is pretty decent for its quality and location.
8 Korean BBQ: 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, The central,#02-79/90, Singapore 059817
Situated within the five-star Regent Hotel is Seoul Restaurant and we naturally had high expectations of the place. It started off well, with the staff greeting us warmly.
The layout and furniture were all very new and clean, matching up to the top-quality layout and amenities of the entire Regent Hotel.
The menu was rather comprehensive and when I say that, I’m meaning that they practically offered everything belonging to the Korean cuisine, ranging from charcoal barbecue, semi-course menu, rice and noodle dishes to appetising a la carte dishes.
We had a rice dish — Yukhoe-bibimbap, as well as two a la carte dishes — Kimchi-jjigae and Chapssal-hobakjeon.
Made up of fresh carrots, cucumbers, seaweed and wild mushrooms, I am very satisfied with its flavours. There is a good blend of tastes and definitely a healthier choice. I highly recommend this Yukhoe-bibimbap ($21.90) as a must-try dish at Seoul Restaurant.
The Kimchi-jjigae ($15.90) here is rich in flavour with generous servings of tofu and glass noodles. Though not the most amazing out of the lot, I’d still have a go at it whenever I crave for something comforting and hearty.
Thin in texture, the Chapssal-hobakjeon ($14.90) a.k.a. Korean pancake is made with julienned zucchini and has a pleasant salty taste to it. It is fried to a golden brown and definitely savourt.
A Korean restaurant that offers a splendid variety of food, very much value for the price paid.
Seoul Restaurant: The Regent Hotel, No. 1 Cuscaden Rd, #03-02, Singapore 249715
When I first entered the industrial-looking restaurant, I caught whiffs of a funky beef smell but quickly became desensitized to it. Super Star K was rather snug with its relatively small, metallic tables and there was sufficient space for everyone to sit comfortably and for all the dishes to settle down nicely onto the table.
The food served at Super Star K appealed to all my senses and left me wholly satisfied. The Kimchi Jjigae ($11.80) came piping hot, spicy and well-substantiated with glass noodles, toufu and soft kimchi. The stew had a slightly bitter after-taste which is not something I fully appreciated but I loved the dish anyhow.
The Bulgogi ($11.80) was beautifully done with the sweet sauce paired with the tender meat. And lastly, the Kimchi Pancake ($20) had a crunchy exterior and lovely doughy inside. Considering the decent prices and the exceptional flavours of the dishes served, I was very pleased with my entire dining experience at Super Star K.
From a popular, established chain of barbecue restaurants in Korea, Bornha by Celebrity Chef Jeong Won PAIK opened the Singapore’s very first outlet at The Star Vista. At Bornga, you can find quality meat marinated in Chef Jeong Won’s specially seasoned sauces that sets their barbecued meat apart from the usual.
You can choose to cook the meat yourselves or ask the staff for help. What impressed be was their myriad of side dishes that accompanied the BBQ meats. They are also extremely generous with their vegetables, which is very important since you’ll be devouring so much meat, fiber is necessary to stimulate that bowel movement.
For Star Vista’s outlet, the outdoor seating is very spacious and relaxing, comfortable for big groups plus, the bbq odour doesn’t get trapped in your garments or hair if you dine outdoors. Service is excellent as well, with attentive and patient floor staff especially this particular manager who diligently bbq the meat for us and recommended delicious meats. Bornga also serves other traditional korean dishes like Tofu egg jjigae.
The only issues I have with Bornga are the ventilation for their indoor seatings and the pricing certain dishes. $45 for 2 pieces of beef ribs is too pricey for my liking. But if you don’t mind paying a tad more for quality barbecue, Bornga is a good place to be.
Bornga 본가: The Star Vista, 1 Vista Exchange Green, #02-24, Singapore 138617 | Tel: 66944696 |
Hansik is an extremely popular restaurant in Heartland Mall, serving both BBQ and a family style menu. You’ll see throngs of heartlanders queuing over the weekends for dinner, so do take note if you are intending to dine here.
Must tries include Boneless Beef Rib ($38/100g), Green Tea Pork Belly ($23/200g) and Ginseng chicken Soup ($23).
The Ginseng Chicken Soup or Sam Gae Tang is especially flavourful with its hearty broth immersed in herbs and spices. The chicken falls apart from hours of cooking and comes with glutinous rice.
Prices might be a bit high for some of the dishes, but taste is very authentically Korean; almost exactly like the ones I’ve tried in Seoul.
Hansik Korean Family Restaurant: #02-00, Heartland Mall-kovan, 205 Hougang Street 21, Singapore 530205
A casual spot at Serangoon Gardens, Hanwoori is great for friends to hangout for a taste of Korean homecooking. Nothing too flashy, just simple bright interiors with chairs from Ikea. The Korean owner is quite a character, with her loud confident, excited recommendations to add to the authentic vibe.
Haemul Tang ($17) or spicy seafood soup is the recommended dish here. Menu is nothing too outstanding and what you would find in any other Korean restaurant in Singapore, but price is reasonable given the quality. The gyelan-jjim (steamed egg) is also another dish I enjoyed.
Hanwoori: 76 Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555972
A nondescript and slight ulu restaurant at Bukit Timah Plaza, MyungGa is easy to miss but once you’re here, you probably won’t forget it again. MyungGa is a simple homely korean restaurant that serves easy home-cooked Korean dishes like Kimbap, Jjajeonmyeon, Bibimbap, Kimchi Fried Rice etc, and aren’t of the fancy kind.
But it’s simplicity and warmth is what makes MyungGa great. Though the sign states ‘Korean BBQ’ it appears that people visit Myung Ga for their non-BBQ dishes more.
MyungGa serves a small variety of favourites but in really generous portions. The staff there are warm, patient and able to recommend you dishes according to your personal preference. So they’re not the kind to impose their preferences on you yknow.
Seafood Pancake ($18)
Their Seafood Pancake is one of their specialties which I can vouch is totally worth the specialty title. The serving is pretty big, with a generous load of fresh sotong and prawns with a fragrant crisp base that crunches with each bite. The pancake itself was more than tasty enough without the dipping sauce.
Another dish I tried was Soybean Paste soup with Beef Brisket. It was an immensely enjoyable bubbling pot of soybean paste goodness with sweet flavours from onions, spring onions and whatever other stock they’re using. Other than beef brisket, the soup had enoki mushrooms and tofu.
A thing to note about MyungGa is that their lunch and dinner menu are pretty different. So your favourite korean food might not be available at the time you’d prefer to dine there. I wanted to have Kimbap and jjajangmyeon but they are only sold during lunch hours.
Myung Ga: 1 Jalan Anak Bukit, #B1-55, Bukit Timah Plaza, Singapore 588996| Tel: 64695123 |
Walking into the restaurant, it is heartening to see Koreans themselves choosing to dine here, living up to their native tastebuds.
We had the Kimchi Jeongol ($50) a.k.a. kimchi hotpot and the seafood pancake. The Kimchi Jeongol was fragant and spicy, and I love the thinly-sliced pieces of rice cake it contained, complete with glass noodles that were good in absorbing the soup base of the jeongol. On top of that, the chicken cooked together in the hotpot was tender.
The seafood pancake ($20) was an added savoury treat to our meal. The portion was huge, and definitely value for money. Can’t believe that we were paying twenty bucks for a luscious seafood pancake that is one-and-a-half times the size of my face.
The pancake had a pleasant garlic flavour that went well with the fresh crab meat hidden between its layers. The chilli sauce added a slight spicy taste that paired well.
Ranging from casserole hotpot to different flavours of pancake and different conjuring of noodles, I’ll definitely bring a friend back here to try out their other dishes.
Dal In Korean Restaurant: 17 Boon Tat St, Singapore 069618
While Your Woul is relatively small, there is still an adequate number of seats for friends and colleagues to gather over a meal. There are a few private rooms so holding a small business meeting at this restaurant is completely feasible too. Admittedly, the furnishing and decor of Your Woul is not the most impressive but its modest set-up is nicely balanced out with the amicable waiters and the impressive quality of food they serve.
Apart from the scrumptious main courses that we had, we ordered a large portion of Korean Fried Chicken ($22). This was the most expensive dish we indulged in but we did so with no remorse. The chicken drumlets and wings had perfectly crunchy skins and the meat buried under was so beautifully tender and juicy.
If one were to visit Your Woul, besides helping yourself to their highly affordable dishes (and offered set meals), do give the Korean Fried Chicken a try!
Your Woul Korean Restaurant: 165 Thomson Rd, Singapore 307618 | Monday to Sunday 1030–1430, 1730–2230 | Tel: 6251 0123
Situated a stone’s throw away from the Korean-ized heart of Tanjong Pagar, Chowon Garden sits along a quieter street and houses a lovely setting of heavy wooden furniture complete with metallic, overhanging fume pipes over each glossed table. The restaurant also boasts several exclusive rooms for businessmen or families to dine in for private events.
The dishes at Chowon Garden were assembled with fresh and very flavourful ingredients. One of the mains we ordered was recommended by the lady serving us – Kimchi Fried Rice ($13) and it came with a beautiful display of a sunny-side up peppered with sesame seeds.
While the Kimchi fried rice was a little milder, spice level-wise, than most of the ones I’ve had before, it was still piquant and savoury when accompanied with the crisp Kimchi side dish.
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). We reached at 7.15pm and were placed on an hour-long wait on the waiting list, so I’d suggest beating the crowd at it by reaching earlier.
The interior was cosy, clean and neat for a barbecue restaurant. The staff were very friendly and polite in attending to our requests, and took much initiative in helping us in managing the equipment for barbecuing.
I must mention that I am really thankful for the staff who proactively came up to cut off the fire for me when I carelessly overcooked a piece of prime rib.
Cooked using charcoal barbecue, the barbecued meat at Wang Dae Bak do seem more fragrant in terms of their taste. The Marinated Pork Shoulder Loin ($18) was very chewy upon bite.
The pork loin was a good combination of flab and meat that was exudes bounciness between chews of it.
Similarly, the Marinated Prime Rib ($28) was juicy and chewy. Thanks to the charcoal barbecue that was able to whip up a well-done degree of cook that is fragrant at the same time, in terms of taste. One of the best Korean BBQ I’ve tried so far, in Singapore.
Wang Dae Bak Korean BBQ: 98 Amoy St, Singapore 069918
Read more in-depth on our Best Korean BBQs in Singapore.
Black Sesame Pat Bing Su ($15.90).
The selection at Nunsaram is rather comprehensive, probably one of the few serving black sesame patbingsu. The shaved ice is soft and smooth in texture, not too sweet and very generous with their toppings.
One thing worth mentioning is also how it doesn’t melt that easily, which allowed me to slowly savour the icy goodness and not having to worry about not finishing it in time.
Nunsaram Korean Dessert Cafe: 181 Orchard Road #05-51/52 Orchard Central Singapore 238896 | Website
Chocolate Banana Bing Su ($13.90).
I never understood how does one finish a bing su by him or herself, so I guess it was really refreshing for Oma Spoon to serve petit bing su. They also offer a mega serving of bing su called OMG Bing Su, good for a pax of 4 – 6 to share.
Chocolate always goes well with banana, so this bingsu was pretty lovable to me. It’s almost like a banana split save for the extra large serving of shaved ice, which I welcome with open arms. Though it is cheaper than Ice Lab, it is still considered expensive.
But, here’s a shout out to their dedication, for adding another layer of chocolate bits in the depths of the bingsu. The usual bingsus can get rather milky and boring midway since it is literally a mountain of shaved ice, Oma Spoon understood that pain and made sure we didn’t have to go through it. So plus points for that. The shaved ice is really smooth as well and not overly sweet too.
O’Ma Spoon: 313 @ Somerset 313 Orchard Road #04-20/32 Singapore 238895 | Website
This new kid on the block is certainly winning at its interior decor. Think white walls and definitely laboratory-like, their servers are donned in lab coats and this makes me feel like I’m in a really white washed poke centre, I don’t know why. Right in the middle of the cafe, it’s ‘snowing’ with shaved ice. Really fancy, maybe that’s also why their bingsus are more expensive.
I had the Matcha Bingsu ($17.20), which was fully adorned with pumpkin seeds and other nuts, which gives an interesting texture and makes me feel a tad bit healthier than I should while having a dessert. Compared to Oma Spoon, the shaved ice is definitely much smoother but it also melts faster. I could barely taste the matcha, the condensed milk sweetness kinda overpowered everything, but I’d cut them some slack considering how they’re really new.
Ice Lab: Orchard Shopping Centre, 321 Orchard Road #01-01/02, Singapore 238866 (Somerset MRT) | Tel: +65 8123 0056 | Website
Spicy Chicken Rice ($9.80).
Since I’ve been having far too many bingsus, I decided to try out the injeolmi toast and spicy chicken rice. While the spicy chicken rice is not too bad, I realised the injeolmi toast is really not my kind of thing. I thought the rice mochi spread to be too starchy and bland, which I know is how it should be but I’m not a big fan of something like that. The bread is toasted really well though.
Nutella Injeolmi Toast with Salted Caramel Ice Cream ($8.80 for toast, $1 for change of ice cream flavour).
The salted caramel ice cream wasn’t what I was expecting, it was much sweeter and milkier, with the addition of nuts. I did not taste any saltiness in it but I still enjoyed the ice cream and I would order it again.
I just wanna state it really clear that I do not like injeolmi toasts at all because I’m not really a huge fan of sticky and albeit tasteless rice paste but other than that, the toasted bread and nutella is super on point. Forgive me injeolmi toasts lovers.
Cafe Insadong: 279 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058828 | Tel: 8533 2003
Ah, another new kid on the block. Caffe Bene has a wider selection of desserts as compared to all the other Korean dessert cafes on this list, it offers not only injeolmi toasts, honey toasts and bingsus, but also waffles and wraps and soba salad. Top it off with a variety of lattes like the sweet potato latte.
I had the BBQ Chicken Wrap ($9.90), which is nice and also the Gelato Waffle ($9.90). I really liked how the waffle didn’t get soggy even with the gelato on top and it remains crisp. It isn’t too sweet like the usual belgian waffle and that makes is a good accompaniment to the coffee gelato that I chose. I like Caffe Bene because of its variety and its ambience, will definitely come back again.
You can read our full review on Caffe Bene here.
Caffe Bene: 1 Harbourfront Walk, Singapore 098585 | Tel: 6377 6870 | Website
Bibim Bingsu ($17.90).
Super cute and super photogenic, it is a fruity patbingsu in the disguise of a bibimbap. Plus points for being fancy but it can get a little bit on the sweeter side. All the different flavours, like the fruits, yoghurt, red bean and shaved ice tastes good as a stand alone but I’m not too sure if the flavours complement each other. I felt that there was too much going on.
In addition, the syrup added gave it an artificial sweetness that proved to be too overpowering. However, the salted caramel ice cream was really delicious and it is the same as the one at Insadong Cafe, complete with the addition of macademia nuts.
Bibing: 50 Smith Street, Singapore 058958 | Website
Yoghurt Cheesecake bingsu ($12.90)
I remember camping at Tom N Toms, doing my revisions and that was many moons ago, sadly. I really liked their matcha latte and how it is situated at ICON, a relatively quieter area, which makes for a good alternative choice to study at if you’re so done with Starbucks.
Tom N Toms Coffee: 12 Gopeng Street, Icon Village, Singapore 078877 | Tel: 6225 6313 | Website
Read more in-depth on our Best Korean Bingsu In Singapore here.
Mmhm Churros ($3 – $6 per stick). Who can ever reject churros? It’s deep fried heaven with cinnamon sugar. These churros are basted with glorious amount of cinnamon sugar and filled with a specific cream of your choice, I’m speaking about chocolate, cream cheese or milk custard.
If these doesn’t excite you, there’s the chocolate covered ones with a choice of strawberry sprinkles or coconut shavings or chopped nuts. Heaven is right here.
You can read our full review on Churro101 here.
Churro 101: Bugis Plus, 201 Victoria Street, #04-01, Singapore 188067 | Facebook