Last Updated: August 21, 2017
Many Korean restaurants in Singapore are relatively expensive, but we found a place that serves authentic yet affordable Korean cuisine.
Hantol Korean Restaurant is located in the heart of CBD, on the first floor of GSH Plaza.
All the staff in the restaurant seem to be Koreans, and it really sets the mood when you hear them speaking their native language. Be sure to reach early to beat the 12pm lunch crowd, as the place is relatively small and cosy!
The menu at Hantol Korean Restaurant does not include the mainstream food items like Army Stews, or Korean Fried Chicken. Instead, it serves authentic, home-cooked Korean food that comes with a reasonable price tag.
If you’ve been to Korea, I’m sure this street toast needs no introduction. The Egg & Ham & Cheese Sandwich ($4) we ordered came piping hot and smelling amazing.
The omelette included had shredded vegetables in it, adding to the flavour and texture. The ham was nothing extraordinary, but the melty, stringy cheese was a plus point.
There was also a thin layer of sweet jam spread on the slices of toasts, creating a sweet-savoury combination.
We started our meal proper with the Ham Kimbap ($11). I loved how unlike other places, this restaurant even gives you the ends of the Kimbap. (Which is also the best part because it has the most ingredients!)
The Ham Kimbap was very fragrant with a coating of sesame oil. There was ham, egg, carrots, pickled radish, cucumber and burdock root.
I liked how they used brown rice because it gave the dish extra texture, but unfortunately, the Ham Kimbap was towards the bland side. It would have tasted better with more seasoning, or a special homemade dipping sauce.
Next up, my favourite Korean dish of all time, the Jajangmyeon Pork ($12.90). This main came with ban chan consisting of kimchi, spicy tofu, pickled odeng (fishcake) and fried egg pieces.
My favourite part is always the mixing, as that gets me one step closer to eating!
The noodles were perfectly springy and the sauce was bursting with umami flavour. The onions made the dish extra aromatic and the pork cubes were quite tender.
Although Jajangmyeon usually comes with pork belly, this dish came with small cubes of lean pork, which I prefer because the lean meat keeps you from feeling jelak. However, I did wish there were more cubes of pork.
We also tried a rice dish, the Spicy Pork Dosirak ($12.90). For the price, you get carbs, one meat, soup, and five ban chan. Pretty affordable I would say.
The pork had the perfect ratio of lean to fatty meat and complemented the spicy gochujang sauce very well. It was a tad too spicy for me, but I am not good with spicy food so if you’re someone who likes lots of heat, you’ll love this!
The meat was a little salty on its own, but perfect when paired with a mouthful of brown rice. Again, brown rice is used here and the added texture gave this dish a plus point.
You can choose from a variety of meats for the dosirak, including Chicken, Beef, Pork. You can also have a mix of two types of meat for only $18.90.
Last but not least, we tried a Korean classic, the Mandu ($8). It comes in a bowl of seven, along with a side of soy sauce.
The mandus were very well-fried and not greasy at all, with a crispy skin encasing rice noodles, pork and chives.
Although the exterior was very impressive, the interior did not do as well. The filling was towards the bland side, and dipping them into the soy sauce was a must.
There was also no pork visible and we mainly tasted the rice noodles – not the best mandu I have had.
Although there were dishes that were leaning towards the bland side, Hantol Korean Restaurant does serve homely comfort food that would take any Korean expats in Singapore back home.
The dishes are also priced very reasonably, and it’s definitely a place that I will return to again, especially for the Jajangmyeon.
Expected damage: $4 – $20 per pax