Masizzim: Heart Warming Korean stews in the heart of town

I may not be the most up to date when it comes to imported Korean establishments nor am I the most enthusiastic. But when something as good as Masizzim washes ashore and you get the privilege to try it for the first time, during which the dining experience brings on a rhapsody and chimera of narratives; you share it.

And not just in terms of words or preachings, but very soon I was back at the joint, with boyfriend in tow. And boy did we enjoy the food, apart from the mishap that occurred when we realized that we got charged for rice balls that never quite made it to the table. *hic*... rookie mistake... too much cocktails before got us all muddled up. Looking past that, you can't quite fault the food, especially with a menu as tight and well focused as the one at Masizzim.

Must tries are the Rice Balls ($8) - available in both Anchovies and Spicy Tuna versions. It's hard not to over do it on the rounding process, especially when presented with plastic gloves and a gooey mixture that easily clumps together; play-dough references come to mind, except that you don't get smacked when you attempt to put that mound into your mouth. And trust me, these get the same nod of approval around the room; the former, a drier version pickled with crunchy anchovy, seaweed flakes and longevity rice whilst the latter is slightly tackier with tuna flakes, mayonnaise and kimchi coming together three mixed grains, white rice, Korean black rice and barley for a simple amalgamation of flavors with a slight kick from the chili padi. Both are good and make perfect sense as compact lunch bowls. So if you're feeling lazy, scrap the rolling process and just dig in.

I can never deny cheese, hence my eyes light up instantly when the Spicy Cheese Fried Rice ($9) was brought to the table. This, my friends, is the bee knees. Mixed Grain rice and kimchi is fried with rich rib stew sauce and then topped with melted mozzarella cheese - it's like that time when you would generously ladle braised sauce over your rice and give it a good stir, except that now, someone has done all the dirty work for you (hooray!) - even going the extra mile of extracting beef rib stew sauce from the vat and enhancing it with kimchi.. let's not forget the mozzarella cheese that melts till nearly the point of splitting whereby more butter perforates the savoury mess. At this juncture, it dawns upon you that you've eaten way too much rice for your good; but we only live once, fret not, you can account for that in the gym the next morning.

Moving on to the star attraction, the stews at Masizzim is what you're really here for. And they prove to be utterly persuasive in most forms; my favourite of the lot would have to be the Australian Beef Ribs stew ($18/$32) - marinated overnight and then pressure cooked for 40 minutes followed by slow cooked for another 6 hours. The result is almost magical - the meat falling off the bone with ease and the stew chock full of intense flavor. Available in individual portions of 250g of meat or double; Just one of these pots would suit a party of 2 just fine, if you've got a rice dish and a Korean pancake in the works.

The Spicy Chicken Stew ($16/$29) and Australian Pork Stew in Soy ($16/$29) pales in comparison to the beef rendition mostly because of the protein that doesn't reap as much reward from the arduous cooking process. The pork stew retaining a slightly sweet flavor, reminiscent of a Peranakan babi pongteh; not quite something you'll expect from a Korean dish.

Last but not least, a trip to Masizzim is incomplete without the Squid and Leek pancake ($14), fried to a perfect crisp with the slight aromatic moistness of the leeks to hold it together, this final offering seals the deal for me and I'm officially a Masizzim advocate. Nibble your way around the edges (to the amusement or annoyance of your table mates) for optimal enjoyment. Otherwise, a trip to the center would guarantee a good amount of tender squid in the batter to enhance the experience.

Masizzim offers a quick option for Korean food in the bustling shopping capital of 313@Somerset, coupled with a tight menu and a fastidious approach to preparing heart warming stews; we're certain that this might prove to be a game changer to the queue dynamics in the Basement 3 level.

313 Orchard Road
t: 6509 5808

Operating Hours:
Sun - Thurs: 11am - 10pm
Fri - Sat: 11am -11pm

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