Guksu Restaurant – Heavenly Jeongol & Superb Korean Fried Chicken
Opened in November 2014, Guksu Restaurant is a neoteric Korean restaurant that specializes in Jeongol – a hearty Korean stew. This classic and elaborate stew dates back to ancient times where it was served to the upper class and at the royal court. It was also rumoured that wartime soldiers used to combine whatever rations they have in their iron helmets for cooking, hence the term, “jeongol”.
Guksu Restaurant has just rolled out a new lunch menu where you can choose between 4 different personal jeongol to pair with your choice of steamed rice, instant noodle or glass noodle.
We had the personal Budae Jjigae ($11.90) which is a Korean traditional stew boasting luncheon meat, pork ham, chicken sausages, kimchi, bean curd, instant noodle, rice cake and vegetables soaked in a delicious beef broth with a blend of Korean chilli paste.
Usually, adding a tablespoon of chilli paste is sufficient but if you’re the daredevil who’s looking for a good kick from the spice, feel free to add more. They are very generous with the ingredients and the beef broth was so comforting that we couldn’t resist slurping up the last drop.
If you’re coming with a group of 2 to 4 friends, we recommend sharing the Hankook-style Bulgogi Jeongol ($49.90) consisting of sliced wagyu beef, vegetables and mushrooms that you get to BBQ personally on their hotplate. Following the footsteps of Thai Mookata, Guksu Restaurant’s hotplate is also surrounded by vegetable broth where you can cook your glass noodles. This set is served with 2 bowls of rice and a Korean sweet soy sauce that enhanced the tastiness of the wagyu beef. We really enjoyed the succulent beef and found it very well-marinated.
Korean Fried Chicken is the latest trend nowadays. We like our fried chicken with meat that’s tender inside, yet retaining its crispness of the skin outside and wow! Guksu Restaurant has managed to perfect their fried chicken. A platter of chicken wings costs $29.90. The good news is that you’re able to mix and match the three flavours – classic, soy and spicy – at the same price too!
The mustard dipping sauce that accompanied the classic chicken wings is our favourite. As for the wings, their soy chicken wings were lip-smacking good! These platters come with mashed potato and fruit pickles. While the latter wasn’t to our liking, we found the mashed potatoes one of the best we’ve tried as it has a creamy texture and a balanced buttery flavour.
There’s a saying – “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” – so when dining in a Korean restaurant, have your meal like local Koreans which means, lots and lots of soju. Guksu Restaurant has watermelon soju ($38) which we felt was decent but no “wow” factor. They do offer bottled Korean soju as well and we found the peach flavour the best.
Chefs at Guksu Restaurant are all Korean and the menu is curated by them, so their food is as close as you can get to authentic Korean delicacies. Here’s a tip – be there early to avoid the queue. We’ll certainly return for their Korean fried chicken.
Note: This is an invited tasting.