It’s no lie that Korean-Chinese restaurants have become more popular in Singapore, with all the new additions to the Singapore food scene. Hong Jjajang at Tanjong Pagar is no exception.
You’ll have no problems spotting Hong Jjajang when you’re walking along the stretch of Korean restaurants at Tanjong Pagar. It’s bright red exterior makes it stand out from the rest.
At first, the restaurant didn’t look very spacious, but we were led to the second floor which had a lot more leg room.
The menu is pretty extensive, ranging from classics such as Jajangmyeon to more indulgent dishes, such as Abalone with Pine Mushrooms ($65). If you’re in dilemma and are unsure of what to get, they also have set meals assembled for you.
We got Set A ($42) which came with a small Tangsuyuk, Jajangmyeon, and Jjampong. I liked that the sweet and sour sauce of the Tangsuyuk came separately from the fried pork itself so you can choose between dipping and pouring your sauce onto the pork.
If you’re someone who likes that crunch when you bite into your pork, I suggest dipping. We actually tried both methods, and found that the dipped pork pieces were indeed crunchier, but slightly blander than the ones blanketed in the sauce.
The thin batter on the pork pieces absorbed the thick sauce pretty quickly, which left it delightfully chewy. I liked it better when the sauce was poured over, as you’ll get to eat the fried meat with the cocktail fruit mix in the sauce with a lot more ease.
I’ll admit, I had my doubts about the Jajangmyun ($12) initially, but I was pleasantly surprised. The sauce wasn’t too thick and had a fair amount sweet onions.
It also balanced sweet and savoury well, making it a really addictive noodle dish.
One thing to note though, this Jajangmyun was more on the sweet side and was lacking when it came to the flavour of black beans. If you’re not particular about that though, you’ll definitely love this.
This one portion may not be enough to fill your tummy especially if you’re a big eater. However, don’t let that stop you from ordering. Top up $3 to get the upsized version which will definitely be enough to satiate your hunger.
The Jjampong ($14) that came with the set is great for seafood lovers. Squid, shrimps, and even crabs were piled on top of the chewy noodles.
The portion of noodles felt more substantial than the Jajangmyun, but if you’re feeling hungrier than usual, you can also upsize this one.
The soup was thin and a little bland, which I was a little sad about. However, the seafood pieces were all pretty fresh and the noodles were smooth without being mushy.
For the price paid, I’d say we get quite a bit of value if you consider the amount of seafood given.
You can’t dine at a restaurant named Hong Jjajang without trying their Hong Jajang right? Instead of noodles, we got the Hong Jajang Bap ($18) which was the thick red Hong Jajang sauce poured over a bed of steamed rice.
This rendition of the black bean sauce was even spicier than the Jjampong broth. It was just as sweet as the regular black bean sauce, but packed quite a bit of heat. What baffled me was that there was almost none of the black bean flavour expected from a Jajang.
This dish came with a mix of seafood similar to that of the Jjampong, sans the crab. It’s neither the most impressive dish nor the most value for money, but if you want to have a taste of something different, do give this a try.
Army Stews are something that most of us are familiar with because they’re just so common. I felt slightly disappointed with Hong Jjajang’s Army Stew (Small:$25, Large: $38), as it wasn’t anything special.
Perhaps, at this price point, I was expecting premium ingredients.
However, I did like the broth used for the stew. It’s pretty mild in the spice department and wasn’t watered down.
I felt like the food at Hong Jjajang was pretty average, there were some tasty dishes but some of them just didn’t meet the mark for me. Out of all the items, the Tangsuyuk was probably my favourite.
There are definitely better places in Singapore to get my Jajangmyun fix. However, if I was in the area and was in the mood for Korean-Chinese food, I’d definitely head to Hong Jjajang.
Expected Damage: $20 – $35 per pax