Hansul Korean Restaurant is Haden Hee’s third restaurant in Singapore, after Kimchi Korean Restaurant and Guksu Restaurant. Unlike the other two restaurants, Hansul leans more towards being a bar serving Korean food and alcohol. Most ingredients (and alcohol) are meticulously selected and imported from Korea to maintain a standard of freshness and quality.
The interior is not only chic but combines the essence of a bar and a Korean restaurant. The wooden chairs and table add a rustic yet elegant feel to the place that creates a relaxing and ‘chill’ atmosphere. One thing that we liked was that jazz renditions of popular songs were played instead of typical Korean-Pop songs, allowing people to converse over food and drink.
The restaurant cum bar also has mini charcoal grills (as well as a strong ventilation system) at every table along the sides of the restaurant for their skewers, which we felt was an interesting concept.
Each table is provided with a complimentary hotpot soup of the day as well as banchan, or side dishes. We were served seaweed and beef soup, kimchi, seaweed and sweet anchovies. The soup had good seasoning and was easy on the palate while the side dishes were a harmony of flavours, whetting our appetite.
The Hansul Croquette ($8) came in a trio, sitting atop a creamy sauce. The exterior of the croquettes were light and crispy, while the filling was chock full of crab meat. The textural contrast that arose worked perfectly, with each bite consisting of the panko breading and the rich interior.
The sauce that it was served with reminded us of thousand island sauce which had a good tang. The sauce cut through the richness of the croquettes and allowed it to be perfectly balanced. We enjoyed this dish thoroughly and were able to finish it with ease.
We were recommended the R4 ($10), which is a cross between sake and beer, as a drink paring. The R4 was not only light but had a slight malty taste, complementing the fried food well.
The Octopus Tempura ($9) was perfectly tender, with a crispy batter to match. The octopus used was blanched before being chopped up and deep fried. Alone, the octopus had a nice mouthfeel to it, however, we felt that it was a little bland.
The condiments provided, salt and a mixture of soy sauce and wasabi made up for the lack of seasoning the octopus. The salt had sesame seeds mixed into it which gave the octopus an earthy flavour. On the other hand, the soy sauce and wasabi provided a slight kick which made it more palatable. Definitely one of our favourites!
We were salivating when the Basak Gamja Cheese Jeon ($9.90) arrived. The crispy potato pancake with egg and parmesan cheese was reminiscent of a Swiss rosti, which is served on a hotplate to keep it crispy and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
The dish was tasty with hotplate crisping up the thinly shredded potatoes and the umami from the parmesan cheese. However, we thought that the egg provided a texture that was not necessary in the dish and felt that the dish could do without it.
The dish was paired with the Peach Makgeoili ($19) which is a peach flavoured sparkling rice wine. The wine was sweet with a low alcohol content. Together with the salty and crispy potato pancake, we enjoyed the drink a lot.
A step above the regular honey butter chicken is the Honey Butter Chicken Bumbuk ($24). Hansul’s rendition of the popular dish was served with gooey mozzarella cheese. Together with the chicken, potato wedges were also added to the dish. This provided different textures with was rather interesting.
The chicken tasted savoury with hints of sweetness at the same time, however the honey butter flavour was overpowered by the cheese. Unlike the previous few dishes, we felt that the dish was a little too rich for our liking, and filled us up after a couple of mouthfuls.
Lastly, we ordered some items to try out the mini grill. Each came in a pair of skewers; a minimum of five skewers have to be ordered. We got the Beef Intestine Skewers ($5), which were a mixture of beef innards on a stick. The innards were fatty and the taste reminded us of bacon.
On the other hand, the beef on the Beef Shortrib Boneless Wrapped With Chive Skewers ($6) tasted fresh. We were a little disappointed with the lack of seasoning, and thought that it could do with more marinade as the chives overwhelmed the beef.
The Long Legged Octopus Skewers ($8) were spicy and sweet which was a nice surprise. Such an item is rather rare on menus locally so do pop by to try it!
Dining at Hansul was rather satisfying with the fresh and quality ingredients served. The mini grill was an interesting concept and the air ventilation units are pretty good, so don’t worry about your clothes smelling smoky! Most of the food was light and easy on the stomach, which made it perfect for a night of mingling with friends over alcohol.
The restaurant opens until 6am (alcohol is served until 4am), perfect for supper or midnight catchups.
Pssst, starting from 16th February, Hansul will be offering a 1 for 1 promotion for ALL their alcoholic beverages from 5pm to 7pm, daily so do check them out!
Expected Damage: $20 – $50/pax