8 Korean BBQ: The Underdog of Korean BBQ

In a land festered by Korean trends; I've every reason to believe that Korean BBQ may just become a mainstay in our local foodscape - especially since the topic of Descendants of The Sun (DOTS) seem to sneak up upon every table conversation I've participated in for the past month. First K-dramas, then K-pop, then came the Korean cuisine affliction; Korean barbecue, bibimbap, all things kimchi and then patbingsu joints sprouting all round the island. 

There's no escaping its cult-like influence. Like they said, if you can't beat them, join them.

8 Korean BBQ specializes in samgyeopsal (marinated pork belly) grilled at the table. However, the details in the fabric are such that they only use mangalitsa - the hairy pig that's the kobe beef of pork. Beef lovers, fret not as there is USDA prime and Kagoshima wagyu available as well. 

Wander thru the industrial chic settings of 8 Korean BBQ and you'll be pleased to discover that the grilled meats aroma is effectively suppressed with suction devices and large fans spanning the grounds. Compared to my very claustrophobic and sweltering experience at Wang Dae Bak, this was a luxurious palace.

Get a round of Yucha Makgeolli ($35) to rev up the palate. The organic house brew makegeolli spiked with korean citron is deceptively refreshing with its sweet disposition yet cunning alcoholic notions. Perfect as a conversation fire-starter. 

Perusing of the menu is a thoroughly simple affair which doesn't involve much tossing up. My strong recommendation is for the 8 Colors Set ($98) - perfect for a party of 3 to 4 guests. Mix and match between 8 different marinaded mangalitsa pork; wine, original, ginseng, garlic, herb, curry, miso paste and gochujang or just simply go the mile and get the entire flight! My preferences lie with the gochujang, miso paste and original flavors seeing that these are in perfect accompaniment to the plumpness of the protein. And to further boost the holistic qualities of the set; it comes with a mini army stew chock full of ham, spam, baked beans, pork belly, noodles and kimchi. Nosh built for rainy days or to celebrate the end of a daunting week of work.

Perhaps the best part of dining in at 8 korean BBQ is its award-winning service; after locking in your orders, sit back and enjoy having your meats cooked to perfection by the staff on duty; instead of having to fuss over time management and feeding the mouths at the table. Here, you'll be spoilt by your very own chef!

A relatively new addition to the menu, the Big Hog Plate ($45) proves to be a tad intimating to most diners. A glorious slab of mangalitsa pork belly akin to a ton of bricks or 2 hours on the stair-master; is lightly seasoned with salt and pepper to enhance its intrinsic flavors. When cooked, the exterior garners a crisp crust with deviously succulent innards, spilling forth ridiculously hot spurts on lard in its wake. These are a tad strong in pork flavor and only recommended if you're bacon obsessed. If you're looking to fill up on a healthier option, the Wild Mushroom Set ($18) is a lovely addition to the BBQ experience, assorted mushrooms loaded on homemade garlic butter, there's pretty much nothing more simple and tasty than that combination.

After the deed is done, make sure to finish off with the Never too Mat-cha Bingsu - powder like milk shaved ice sprinkled with quality matcha powder, banana slices and heaps of adzuki red bean, top and bottom. Followed by a scoop of rich green tea ice cream. One spoon later and you will be convinced that this is the underdog of all bingsu competitors. 

The Bibimbap bingsu puts an end to the night's salacious extremely lardaceous pork-filled affair. Shaved ice topped with strategically color coded ingredients such as grapes, brownies, cookie crumb, mango and granola for that "Oooohh, Aaahh" theatrical effect when it hits the table.

For all it's worth, 8 Korean BBQ provides pork lovers a temple for adoration of the indisputably quality protein that is mangalitsa pork. Prices lean towards the steep side, but boosted with better ventilation and superb service; there's nothing to complain about. Definitely strongly recommended for those yearning for a Korean BBQ experience with friends.

The Central
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
t: +65 8692 1188

Operating Hours:
Daily: 11 30 - 2 30pm; 5 30pm - 10 30pm

No comments: