Myung Ga III Korean BBQ, Beauty World Centre: “The Bulgogi Pajeon boldly walked in without a dipping sauce”

When there are three Korean options within 20 footsteps of each other on the rooftop of Beauty World Centre, you start to wonder what makes one worthier of a review than the rest. The truth is, I’ve tried and liked them all. Perhaps it’s because I’ve dined at all three with the same person, which goes to show that our love for food is heavily informed by the experiences we attach to them, or maybe they just each deserve their own feature in turn. Alas, I have to pick one, and one Myung Ga III Korean BBQ it will be.

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Myung Ga III Korean BBQ is immediately visible as you ascend the escalator (or elevator, since the escalator’s been very temperamental lately) to the fourth floor of Beauty World Centre. It’s a very comfortable dining space here, but I fussily recommend that you choose a place with wooden chairs instead of woven chairs. Allow me to fixate on the minor for a moment—the woven chairs slope down slightly, so your body feels folded when you sit. Doesn’t feel like the most conducive of positions to scarf down a kimchi stew.

That said, a place at Myung Ga is a place at Myung Ga, and I’m not about to turn it away—indigestion or not.

What I tried

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No matter how often I dine at Korean restaurants, I’m always pleasantly surprised when the banchan (side dishes) arrive to stave off my hunger. 

Since I’ve been obsessed with WeRateDogs on Twitter lately, I’m hosting my own game show in that spirit here. Welcome to WeRateBanchan, a certified professional and impartial banchan rating show. Here we go, clockwise:

  • Kelp: Delightfully crunchy and slippery. 13/10, will slurp again.
  • Kimchi: Classic and absolutely indispensable. 20/10, will require this side dish to perk things up on the palate. 
  • Fish cake: Savoury, but falls a bit flat on me. 6/10, will move on. 
  • Fresh lettuce: Initially sounds unnecessary but becomes an important spice extinguisher. 11/10, will not undervalue again. 
  • Fried egg: Mild and benign. 18/10, will monopolise if dining companions don’t move fast.
  • Potatoes: Fragrant and comforting, but they get 8/10, because I refused to be conned into filling up with carbs before the mains arrive.

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We have come to the end of today’s WeRateBanchan episode. This series probably won’t be renewed by my editors, but I’m ready to get serious again.

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Myung Ga III Korean BBQ’s strategy is one of subtly addictive classics, which lures you back for more. In my case, it was the Bulgogi Pajeon (S$25). This side turned out more expensive than either of the mains, but we pay for good quality and quantity here.

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This beef and green onion pancake hits all the spots with a burnt crispy edge surrounding a juicy beef-studded chewy pancake. There’s really no other way to describe it other than to call it loudly moreish. The green onions provide all the fresh contrast you need, proving that a dish can create cohesive cacophony with just two main ingredients.

In fact, this pancake boldly walked in without a dipping sauce.

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Amidst the savoury crunch, the Kimchi Bokkeumbap (S$15) provides welcome acidic relief. The acerbically spicy and sour mixture of kimchi fried rice is one of the best gastronomical representations of my grouchy moods, and this one is no different. I might not have been in a bad mood that day, but I know this Kimchi Bokkeumbap will be a dish for sore feelings when such a day eventually arrives.

Some might find it a little overpriced for the lack of meat, especially when equally flavourful renditions with meat can be found at a third of that price in a food court. I won’t grudge that opinion, and if S$15 feels too steep for a meatless kimchi fried rice, I’ll wholeheartedly recommend you skip it and try something else at Myung Ga Korean BBQ.

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In a surprising break from expectations, the Kong Jajangmyeon (S$11) would be a worthy contender in the jjajangmyeon showdown. Sufficiently mixable even after sitting out for a while, this was nothing like the dry block of noodles and solidified black bean sauce that I feared.

The sauce contains enough liquid when it is served, so it’s still flowy enough to distribute throughout the yellow noodles. The fact that it also manages to retain heat well doesn’t hurt.

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Forgive the rather unfair comparison to a fast-food chain, but the jjajangmyeon experience that has scarred me is Jinjja Chicken’s coagulated black bean sauce after it’s sat for too long. Since then, jjajangmyeon has pressured me into an anxious race against time to enjoy its deep flavourful goodness.

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At Myung Ga III Korean BBQ, though, the black bean sauce wets and embraces every strand of noodle when it’s stirred. The noodles are chewy, and that softness is tempered by the pieces of pork that demand a little bite. In fact, I could’ve used a little extra work for my pleasure here with more pork in the mix.

Final thoughts

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Most places are best enjoyed on an empty stomach, but at Myung Ga III Korean BBQ, this rings particularly true. While you’re there, the addictive quality of their food already begins to seep through as you fill up. 

For me, Myung Ga III Korean BBQ is a place for indulgence within comfort zones. For all the noise about trying new things, sometimes, familiarity is all we’re looking for. Perhaps Myung Ga III Korean BBQ will be your next regular stop. After all, it only takes one visit to call it home.

Expected damage: S$9 – S$25 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 5 / 5

Myung Ga Korean BBQ

144 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Beauty World Centre, #04-04, Singapore 588177

Our Rating 5/5

Myung Ga Korean BBQ

144 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Beauty World Centre, #04-04, Singapore 588177

Telephone: +65 6835 0877 (Call); +65 8302 1029 (WhatsApp)
Operating Hours: 11.30am - 3.30pm & 5.30pm - 10pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue
Telephone: +65 6835 0877 (Call); +65 8302 1029 (WhatsApp)

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 3.30pm & 5.30pm - 10pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue