When the Korean drama "Jewel in the Palace" was aired in 2005, it erupted a volcano of locals' interests in Korean food and culture. It was reported that there were over 200 Korean restaurants, cafes, and other eateries in 2006. This excluded hawker stalls and food court stalls.
Personally, I have a soft spot for Korean BBQ. The Korean dramas always pique my craving for BBQ. In most Korean dramas, there are always scenes when the characters have Korean BBQ with drinks.
Seorae Korean Charcoal BBQ is one of jewels I found this year. Established in 2007, Seorae Galmaegi became the leading brand for "skirt meat" in South Korea. Seorae Galmaegi presents the original taste of Korean BBQ and traditional Korean food for everyone. They opened its first Singapore's BBQ outlet at Plaza Singapura in 2015 and this year, it opened its fourth outlet at NEX Serangoon.
So, what's good so far?
My all-time favourite is the Garlic Galmaegisal ($22.90). Galmaegisal is also called the "skirt meat". Each fully-grown pig only produces 250g of this sirloin-extension. This rare part was reserved strictly for Korean royalties in olden days. This "skirt meat" has the perfect combination of tenderness and juiciness, yet contains minimal amount of fat. The garlic marinade was perfect and I enjoyed this immensely. (Food rating: 5/5)
I had my favourite food delivered numerous times via the food delivery apps. Once, I was too excited to order my favourite meat that I unconsciously selected under 'Chilled Meat". It arrived with a box of chilled meat and ice. I was shocked! I realised that I've selected "Garlic Galmaegisal Chilled Meat" ($25.90). The first thing that came to mind is Odette - unleashing my inner chef.
(left) Woosamgyeob Chilled Meat; (top) Garlic Galmaegisal; (bottom) Gwangyang Bulgogi Chilled Meat
The lettuce, side dishes (bean sprouts, kimchi, marinated radish cubes and garden salad) and meat dipping sauces (Gochujang, Ssamjang, and Cho Ganjang) provided. Gochujang or red chilli paste is a savoury, sweet, and spicy fermented condiment. Ssamjang is a thick, spicy paste used with food wrapped in a leaf in Korean cuisine. Cho Ganjang is an essential dipping sauce in Korean cuisine, made of vinegar.
Oven-grilled Garlic Galmaegisal - I shoved the meat into the oven, set it to "Grill" with a temperature of 200 degree Celsius. The Galmaegisal was still tender and juicy with the delicious garlic marinade. Though I could have drained the meat juice, the thought of cleaning after that stopped me. :P The taste was the same as the one I've ordered from the restaurant, but it lacked the charcoal grilled aroma. (Food rating: 4.5/5)
Gwangyang Bulgogi Chilled Meat ($28.90) features Prime Beef Oyster blade, grilled in Seorae's special Bulgogi sauce with mushrooms. Again, this meat dish came chilled so I had to oven-grilled myself. The meat was tender and juicy. Thinly sliced, you can just wrapped it up with the romaine lettuce leaves very easily. I like to eat it on its own so that I could taste the juicy meat with delicious Bulgogi sauce. I think I did a pretty good job. Tender, yet juicy, what more I can ask for. (Food rating: 4/5)
Woosamgyeob Chilled Meat ($25.9) is US beef shortplate thinly sliced and marinated with Seorae's specially juicy sauce then grilled to perfection. Woosamgyeob is thinly sliced beef belly, It is the forequarter cut from the belly of the cow, just below the rib, typically a fatty meat. As what the name tells us, the chilled meat was once again shoved into the oven and grilled at the temperature of 250 degree Celsius. The marinade was a tasted like Gochojang, but I might be wrong. The meat was tender and juicy too. I was proud of my culinary skills. (Food rating: 4/5)
Black Pork Samgyeobsal ($21.9) is the one and only original Pork belly, the perfect meat and fat combination. Samgyeobsal is pork belly, striations of lean meat and fat in the pork belly as three layers when cut.
Wooseol ($21.9), is thinly sliced Ox Tongue, marinated in Seorae's special Hangari sauce. At first, I was hesitant to order ox tongue. It sounds very exquisite to my liking. When grilled, the tongue turned out to have a tender texture that melted in the mouth. It was an good experience.
Sundubu is one of my favourite Korean dishes. It is wholesome and warms the cockles of my heart. Sundubu Jjigae ($14.90), is a type of Korean spicy soft tofu stew with minced pork, clams, fresh vegetables and egg, and comes with a bowl of rice. This is one of the best ones I have ever eaten so far. The spiciness was pleasant and did not lead to stomach pain or discomfort. (Food rating: 4.5/5)
Address: 68 Orchard Rd, #02-01, Plaza, Singapore 238839
Food rating: 4/5 ★★★★
Recommended dishes: Sundubu Jjigae, Garlic Galmaegsial, Tteokbi