Kkongdon Korean BBQ Comes to Singapore
Korean barbecue restaurants are getting more popular in Singapore, with more Korean barbecue chains launching here. JP Pepperdine, which owns local steakhouse Jack’s Place, has also jumped on this barbecue trend, adding Kkongdon BBQ from Korea this August.
‘Kkongdon’ basically means ‘Best Priced Value’ in Korean language, stating that food is ensured to be high quality yet at a reasonable value to fulfil customer’s satisfaction. First opened in Sinchon, Seoul at January 2005, it was maintained as one of the few popular BBQ restaurants and that’s why it has now 67 outlets already in Korea. When I was in Korea, I even passed by one of its outlets in Myeongdong!
Different from regular buffet concepts is its free flow of kimchi salad bar. you can enjoy the kimchi that is freshly produced in-house, with order of any main course at no extra charge.
Besides the original red kimchi, which is the most popular version, there are other types of kimchi such as white kimchi, cucumber kimchi, white radish kimchi etc. Three types of kimchi will be prepared on a daily basis.
As with all franchise, all the recipes and sauces in Kkonghdon are brought in from Korea to ensure that it tastes the same. I had the Beef Skirt ($16) and Beef Fingers ($16) BBQ meat which are the two most popular beef dish in the menu.
Because JP Pepperdine does Jack’s Place steakhouse and is an expert in beef, they used chilled, prime steer cuts and natural-fed beef that is directly shipped from N.Z. Silver Fern Farms. This beef is from the very batch imported and served at all Jack’s Place restaurants. Meaning to say, they serve better beef!
The main theme conceptualized by this brand is “fun” – being able to roast meat right at the table by oneself can become a lot of fun! You can decide how cooked your want your meat to be. Our Beef Fingers and Beef Skirt are medium done and are very chewy and juicy.
To have a healthier meal, wrap up your BBQ meat the Bulgogi way, that is to wrap the meat with the leafy green vegetables with different sauces such as gochujang (korean chilli paste), sesame oil, onion sauce etc.
What makes BBQ meat tasty? It is the marination, of course!
Behind the taste of Kkonghdon Korean BBQ meat is a fermented marinade sauce made of medicinal herbs that are mentioned in a medical book. This sauce, known to be a part of royal cuisine, removes unpleasant food odors and makes the texture of the meat more tender and chewy.
Restaurant Manager, Aaron, was telling us that locals prefer pork more than beef. And their most popular meat are Sweet Marinated Pork Belly ($18) and Spicy Pork belly ($18).
Indeed, I would also recommend pork belly. Just grill it and nothing can go wrong! We like it a little burnt, it is more fragrant and yet very tender.
Other traditional items on the menus include Kimchi Pancake ($10.80) and Seafood Pancake ($12).
There’s nothing like sipping a bowl of hearty Pork Kimchi Stew ($7) to keep ourselves warm on a rainy day. I like the stew very much because it is very thick and rich with generous portions of pork slices, kimchi and tofu.
Ginseng Chicken ($18) is a feast in the palate. The soup is very delightful not mentioning that it is widely recognised as an energy-boosting meal during the summer.. It consists of a whole young chicken stuffed with ginseng, sticky rice, jujubes (korean dates) and garlic.
We had a bad encounter with Buckwheat Noodles when we went Korea last year. So when this bowl of Cold Noodles in Iced Broth ($9.50) was served, we were so afraid that we wouldn’t like the taste. But we love it very much! The long and thin buckwheat noodles were served in in a tangy iced broth, making it very refreshing!
When ordering Group Set Lunch ($12 per pax, minimum 2 pax), you get a small bowl of bibimbap (picture above) and a optional side dish (Kimchi Pancake OR Kimchi & Tofu Soup). If you prefer a biogger version, you can opt for Hot Stone Bibimbap ($12).
Of course, you can also order Individual Set Lunch at $12.
There is also Group Set Dinner at $19.80 per pax (minimum 2 pax). Dinner per set includes sharing portion of chadol, steamed egg, kimchi pancake and steamed rice each.
Here’s a shot with Chef Emily and Restaurant Manager Aaron. Chef Emily came from Korea 3 months ago and is incharge of cooking all the korean dishes. Thank you for hosting us!
Besides the individual retractable exhaust pipes that are installed at each dining table, the restaurant also has a clean air purifier placed in a corner in its belief that guests should not smell like the food after dining.
Kkongdon Korean BBQ
Address: 6 Raffles Boulevard #B1-01/02 Marina Square (Marina Link)
Opening Hours: Mon to Sun, from 11:00am to 10:30pm
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