Kko Chi Bar: Watch As Your BBQ Meats Cook Themselves At This Korean Restaurant In Tanjong Pagar

It is not every day that you get to see food cook itself. So, of course, I jumped at the chance to do so when I heard about Kko Chi Bar.

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Located along Craig Road in Tanjong Pagar, this small Korean restaurant has auto-rotating machines that allow skewers of meat to, in a way, grill themselves.

What happens is you place the skewers in the grooves along the machine, and watch as the mechanism rotates the skewers to get an even cook on the meat.

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Kko Chi Bar offers a bunch of different meats and seafood to put on the grill, as well as some classic Korean dishes that are cooked in the kitchen.

I started off with a selection of meats and vegetables under the Skewer Special Set A ($45 for 2 pax). This comprises a wide variety of skewers, ranging from Lamb Skewers (2 pieces), to Pork Belly with Enoki Mushrooms (2 pieces), to Shishamo Skewers (2 pieces). It is also served with a generous serving of bancham (traditional Korean side dishes).

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The quality of kimchi served is always a good indicator of a Korean restaurant’s standard. Here at Kko Chi Bar, I wasn’t disappointed at all — the kimchi was fresh, spicy enough and had the perfect balance between sweet and sour.

Besides the kimchi, I also loved the cold pasta salad. The pasta was cooked al dente, while the creamy salad sauce was superbly appetising.

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The delicious bancham did a great job of whetting my appetite, and I was soon ready for some juicy grilled meats. Of course, it came with a wait, but one that was worth it. Watching the skewers rotate on their own was quite the interesting sight, so no complaints there.

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The first skewer I tried was the Beef Marbled Skewer. As the beef was high in fat content, this skewer had a melt-in-your-mouth quality, which is always welcome when it comes to grilled meat. Taste-wise, it was a burst of umami in my mouth, with a smoky finish that further enhanced the beefy flavour.

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Honestly, look at that and tell me if you can resist these mouth-watering Lamb Skewers. These were absolutely delectable, with a great char encasing the juicy, succulent meat.

I did find these slightly gamey, as lamb tends to be, but that won’t present a problem to most meat lovers.

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If you’d like to negate the gaminess, however, perhaps dip the lamb skewer in this special blend of 10 different seasonings. A combination of smoky, salty and peppery, this tasted unique and complemented the grilled meat very well.

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I always believe that a BBQ is never complete without some grilled Taiwan sausages. I mean, these were big, fat and juicy explosions of flavour. Each bite came with a snap of the skin, before a taste of the sweet and tender meat.

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I know the idea of eating a pregnant fish might not sound very appetising to some, but trust me, these Shishamo Skewers (2 pieces) were surprisingly delicious. I didn’t think I would like the taste or texture of a bazillion fish eggs in my mouth, but as it turns out, I did.

The savoury roe was firm to the bite, with a hint of smokiness accompanying each bite. I’d recommend you try this just for the experience!

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The grilled meats were great, but my dinner truly hit its zenith when the seafood came. I ordered the Seafood Set ($32), which comprises Mussels (3 pieces), Bamboo Clams (2 pieces), Prawns (2 pieces) and Scallops (2 pieces). 

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The scallop came with a dollop of garlic butter, as well as a drizzle of Kko Chi Bar’s homemade “special” sauce. Though the wait for this to cook wasn’t particularly long, it sure was excruciating. The moment I saw the juices oozing out and starting to bubble, I was all ready to devour the beautiful, beautiful scallop.

Bursting with juice and incredibly fresh, the scallop tasted as amazing as it had looked. With the garlic butter providing a wonderful fragrance and the sauce adding a kick of spice, each scallop was a bite of pure, divine flavour.

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Equally delicious were the bamboo clams and prawns. Both incredibly fresh, I was absolutely in seafood heaven! And there’s just something about the special sauce that enhances every bit of that seafood goodness – it was unbelievably satisfying.

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With my appetite for grilled food satiated, it was time for some Korean staples. Pictured above is the Kimchi Fried Rice ($10). Forget about every other kimchi fried rice you’ve had in Singapore, because this trumps all.

Each grain of the fluffy rice was coated with kimchi flavour and delivered quite a bit of heat with each bite. With green and red chillis mixed, there was an extra tang that made the rice all the more fragrant. Dear mountain of wonderful fried rice,  I will never forget you.

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Oh, and what’s a meal at a Korean restaurant without some Korean pancakes? These Korean Pancakes ($18) are a little different from what you usually expect. Made with potatoes, these had a starchy, chewy texture that was accompanied by a gentle, slightly savoury flavour.

The pancakes by itself were a little bland, thus the shoyu-based dipping sauce certainly gave it a welcome flavour boost. Salty and a little spicy, the sauce was the perfect complement to the more mellow flavour of the pancakes!

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If you’re tired of all your usual KBBQ haunts, Kko Chi Bar is the place to be. Prices are reasonable, the food is, arguably, better than what you usually get, and you literally get to watch your food cook itself.

I mean, how awesome is that? There’s no doubt I’ll be coming back for a second visit!

Expected damage: $20 – $30 per pax

Chope restaurant reservation

Kko Chi Bar: 10 Craig Road, Singapore 089670 | Opening Hours: 6pm – 3am (Daily) | Tel: +65 9730 4433 | Website | Facebook

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