SBCD Korean Tofu House: Tofu to lust after

All it took was the word 'uplifting' on the press release to reel me in; that accompanied by depressing 3 days worth of non-stop showers. I was sold on the concept that anything hot and steamy could eventually work as a therapy. And it did.

SBCD Korean Tofu House is the latest addition to the CBD dining, stowed away in the basement of the new Tanjong Pagar Centre (a bright establishment and latest extension of the Tanjong Pagar MRT station). Here you'll find a full fledged menu of Korean comfort food

But by far, the shining beacon of light is placed on the humble tofu. Chefs work tedious hours from dawn to churn out soft and silken tofu from their kitchens. From there, it is translated to soontofu soup, tofu steeped in broth prepared in 4 different levels of spiciness - mild, medium, spicy and crazy hot. Each soontofu is served with an egg which cooks at the bottom of the claypot almost akin to the consistency of a plaster egg, this is usually cooked with a variety of meats such as beef, pork, clam, squid, abalone, intestines and the ubiquitous ham and cheese which apparently acquires a rather creamy texture thanks to the cheese.

To be perfectly honest, a quick glance at the menu may be a bit intimidating with soontofu ala-carte options starting at $17.90 and stretching till $29.90. But be warned, portions are largely crushing and they would suffice to feed a party of two especially if you're making a move on another appetiser or main. Another selling point, the unlimited flow of banchan which includes a whole fried croacker fish prepared to tender perfection and umami-laden spicy squid strips which enhances the quality of the stone bowl cooked rice.

Another unique practice in SBCD Korean Tofu House has got to be the hot stone bowl used to cook rice. A blessed trip into their kitchen uncovering an astounding amount of gas burners (almost akin to those old school claypot rice stores) used to cook the soft rice with precision. Servers may not tell you this secret as they deliver the delicacies to your table; BUT, do make sure to reserve a good 15% of your rice in the stone pot, that includes the thick crust of scorched rice that has gathered at the bottom called nurangji. From there, pour corn tea (available at the table) in the mixture and cover to retain the heat. After the meal, you can enjoy your nurangji bap that is not only nutritious but also aids with digestion.

Verdict wise, my Beef Original in medium broth ($18.90) came across a bit overbearing towards the middle of the meal, the ample amount of tofu leading up to certain mundanities. My advice would be to share this with someone and get the recommended Jab Chae ($19.90). Sweet potato noodles finds perfect balance and consistency here, matched with beef, egg and mixed vegetables for a wholesome meal.

You'll be comforted to know that SBCD Korean Tofu House isn't only strictly about the sundubu. For those of you craving for a serving of some of the favourite Korean meat dishes, you can order it as a main dish or even as a side dish in your combo meal. We gave the L.A. Galbi ($35.90) a spin -  don't be ashamed to get in there with your hands as we can assure you that the ordeal gets a whole lot of pleasurable with the tug of strong finger tips. The Spicy Grilled Chicken ($25.90) meandered a little too much on the sweet side of things; please pay no attention to the word spicy used as well. Falling in the same category of things is the Spicy Baby Octopus ($29.90) which impressed at first glance with its massive hunks of baby octopus still retaining a nice chew. However, a hit of spice was much needed to bring definition to the blunt contours of the sweet octopus mix.

Those who, like me, enjoy a rare piping hot soup dish once in awhile, will want to give SBCD Korean Tofu House a try. A solid attempt at serving hearty and savoury meals that enrich the heart and soul. One can also take comfort in the fact that the stall is opened 365 days a year from 11 30am to 10pm.

SBCD Korean Tofu House
7 Wallich Street
Tanjong Pagar Centre
t: 6386 6441

Operating Hours:
Monday - Sun: 11 30am - 10pm

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