GAHE Traditional Korean Cuisine: Popular gem with quality affordable Korean faves like jjajangmyeon & army stew

If you asked me the age-old question, “What’s your favourite cuisine?”, I’d have one straight answer for you and it’s Korean. However, I’ve become a bit of a ‘snob’ where the cuisine is concerned.

Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be more grateful for the sheer number of Korean eateries and stalls that fuel my penchant. But you see, it’s one thing to serve the cuisine and another to do it well. So, when I caught wind of GAHE Traditional Korean Cuisine and its promises of the latter, I was already halfway out the door and on my way to Sengkang.

Gahe Traditional Korean Cuisine - Stallfront

I’m not quite sure if I can call this stall a hidden gem. On one hand, it’s nestled in an unassuming kopitiam under a HDB block in the ulu, almost-pin drop quiet neighbourhood of Fernvale.

On the other hand, it has steadily gained recognition since it opened in Feb 2024. I’m talking about how hordes of people have flocked there and how the food sells out in less than an hour after opening.

As an unfortunately regular victim of Murphy’s law, I couldn’t help but worry about the crowd situation and how I might end up not securing what I set out to try. Thankfully, these worries were unfounded as the queue had only just begun to form when I arrived.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the waves of patrons remained rather small and sporadic during my visit on a Friday evening.

What I tried at GAHE Traditional Korean Cuisine

GAHE has a pretty well-rounded menu with wallet-friendly price tags. You’ll find the usual suspects — hotplate meat sets like Beef Bulgogi (S$8.90), soothing stew sets like Kimchi Soup (S$6.90) and Tofu Soup (S$6.90), and light bites like Tteokbokki (S$6.90).

That aside, there are a handful of Korean staples you don’t usually find in coffeeshop settings — Naengmyeon (S$6.90) and Samgyetang (S$9.90/S$15.90), for instance.

GAHE Traditional Korean Cuisine - Jjajangmyeon

First things first, I gunned for none other than my favourite Korean dish of all time: Jjajangmyeon (S$7.90). Although this delicious dish of black bean noodles is a dime a dozen in Korea, it stands among the coffeeshop rarities I was just talking about. Of course, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to see it right there.

Part of me just loves delighting in the little things, like the sleek steel bowl the dish was served in — instant plus points for presentation, if you ask me. At its base lay a bed of thick wheat noodles topped with a generous portion of rich black bean sauce and julienned cucumber strips. Crowning it was a perfectly cooked sunny-side-up egg and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

GAHE Traditional Korean Cuisine - Jjajangmyeon

Giving the noodles a good mix took quite a fair bit of effort; the sauce was just so thick! After that vigorous arm workout, I was rewarded with the sight of each strand slathered generously in that silky sauce and sporting an enticing glossy sheen.

As a huge sucker for great mouthfeel and all things chewy, I had my expectations set pretty high. Sadly, the noodles missed the mark by a smidge as they weren’t as chewy or as springy as I’d have liked. Nonetheless, I’d say that they did possess a sufficient bite that paired well with the thick, hearty sauce.

Gahe Traditional Korean Cuisine - Jjajangmyeon sauce

On the flip side, the luscious black bean sauce was hands down the star of the show. It was thick and clumpy in the most indulgent way, studded with soft black beans and tender chunks of meat that rendered depth to each mouthful. Its flavour profile was complex and deeply umami, with a prominent shallot-y undertone that enhanced its richness.

Not to worry if you’re not huge on strong flavours; the fresh cucumber slivers on the side effectively cut through the heaviness of the sauce with a refreshing crunch.

Utterly addictive and packed with flavour, the sauce more than made up for the shortcomings of the noodles. And honestly, it could very well go head to head with those that I’ve tried from the motherland.

We tried Singapore’s worst-rated Korean food stall

GAHE Traditional Korean Cuisine - Hot Bibimbap

Enter my next conquest, the reliable Hot Bibimbap with Chicken (S$7.90). Yes, *hot* bibimbap. I was rather amused by the need for ‘clarification’ — there’s a Warm Bibimbap option priced at a dollar less, except it’s served in a regular bowl instead of a sizzlin’ stone pot.

This visually striking dish featured a plethora of fresh ingredients arranged meticulously atop the bed of white rice. One of the things I adore most about bibimbap has got to be its colours, and GAHE definitely delivered in that arena.

GAHE Traditional Korean Cuisine - Hot Bibimbap Gochujang

Accompanying the bibimbap was a little heart-shaped dish filled with vibrant red gochujang. As an avid lover of spice and that ‘magical’ sweet-spicy condiment, I was sure to leave no drop untouched. Or you could say I poured my heart out (ha ha).

GAHE Traditional Korean Cuisine - Hot Bibimbap mixed

I gave the bowl a good toss, ensuring that the ingredients melded together so I’d get hefty spoonfuls of everything. Despite my efforts, there was barely enough gochujang to go around. I couldn’t help but gripe about the portions of rice that were left bare.

The standout aspect of this dish was its array of textures. The fluffy short-grained rice nicely contrasted and was complemented by the crunchy carrots, cucumbers and beansprouts, along with the chewy, earthy shiitake mushrooms.

On top of that, I noticed that each spoonful was perfumed with a distinct smokiness. Who would’ve thought there’d be wok hei in Korean cooking?

However, novel as the smokiness was, it eventually became rather overwhelming and one-dimensional. This was compounded by the glaring lack of gochujang and other seasonings that would’ve lent the dish a much-needed spicy, savoury-sweet nuance.

GAHE Traditional Korean Cuisine - Army Soup

My trip to GAHE wouldn’t have been complete without sampling a ‘must-try’ from their menu. Among the options, I was most enthused by the Army Soup Set (S$7.90), as the idea of enjoying this typically shared dish solo was rather intriguing. Besides, the chilly weather that day called for a belly-warming soup.

To be honest, I did a double take when I received the steaming hot pot of soup; it barely resembled my impression of army stew. Instead, the red-orange broth looked uncannily similar to other classic Korean stews like kimchi jjigae and soondubu jjigae. I had to remind myself to trust in its taste.

GAHE Traditional Korean Cuisine - Army Soup

GAHE’s take on the dish had a runnier and soupier consistency compared to most others. Ahh, so that explains why the dish was named ‘army soup’ instead of ‘army stew’. Reading comprehension is important, my friends.

The tangy umami of the gochujang base was pronounced, making the broth savoury and satisfying. There was also a subtle smoky undertone that added depth and complexity to the dish. It could definitely have done with more spice, though. That aside, this soup was wholly comforting and tasty.

GAHE Traditional Korean Cuisine - Army Soup

Submerged in the soup was a medley of ingredients that offered a delightful mix of textures and flavours. I enjoyed how the soft and tender tofu absorbed the flavours of the broth, creating a light and pleasant contrast. The smoky meatiness of the sausage slices and perfectly cubed luncheon meat also added depth, complemented by the vegetal freshness of the zucchini slices.

Overall, the Army Soup was an enjoyable dish that I savoured every spoonful of. While I certainly enjoyed how well it paired with rice, I believe it would reach even greater heights if served with instant noodles and am looking forward to the day that combination is available!

Final Thoughts

GAHE Traditional Korean Cuisine - Overview

Although there were several elements of my meal that fell short, I enjoyed my experience at GAHE Traditional Korean Cuisine. The sheer variety of dishes they have on offer and the wallet-friendly prices are a huge draw. Let’s be real: stumbling upon a Korean coffeeshop stall with these merits isn’t an everyday occurrence.

While its location in the depths of Sengkang is relatively obscure and inaccessible for me, I’m undoubtedly tempted to return and give the other must-try dishes a go (I’m eyeing the Samgyetang). Oh, I’ll have another bowl of that addictive jjajangmyeon, too.

Expected damage: S$6.90 – S$15.90 per pax

15 authentic Korean restaurants in Singapore run by Koreans

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Gahe Traditional Korean Cuisine

473 Fernvale St, Fernvale Rivergrove, #01-05, Singapore 790473

Price
Our Rating 4/5

Gahe Traditional Korean Cuisine

473 Fernvale St, Fernvale Rivergrove, #01-05, Singapore 790473

Telephone: +65 8157 3327
Operating Hours: 11am - 2.30pm & 5.30pm - 8.30pm (Thu to Tue), Closed on Wed
Telephone: +65 8157 3327

Operating Hours: 11am - 2.30pm & 5.30pm - 8.30pm (Thu to Tue), Closed on Wed

Newest