A Serendipitous Find
Today Raevian and I go to our new favourite Korean BBQ joint: 8 Korean BBQ at Central shopping centre in Clark Quay.
Also read: 11 Best Korean BBQ Joints in Singapore!
We take a few photos of the restaurant’s exterior, tell the friendly Korean-looking guy standing outside that we want a table for two, and get ushered to a table in the middle of the restaurant. The moment we enter, we are surrounded by television screens playing K-Pop MTVs all around us. And I do mean ALL around us. There are probably seven or eight screens in the restaurant, all playing K-pop music videos. We are served by Korean staff, and Korean cutlery is laid out in front of us. The owner has definitely put in effort to make our dining experience pretty “Korean”. I also like the old-school fans and the incandescent light bulbs in the restaurant. Overall, the restaurant has a modern fusion design. Also, ventilation is decent so the place doesn’t reek of BBQ smell. Good ambience, checked.
The same friendly Korean-looking guy asks me for our orders (here I find out he is really Korean) and I am about to tell him when I am abruptly interrupted by Raevian, “Hey we haven’t even discussed together yet!” “Oh ya oops,” I mutter. I am left feeling sheepish as the Korean guy giggles and walks away. We decide to order the 4 Colors Set ($58). Basically, for this set, you get to choose four flavours of BBQ Pork from a total of eight flavours. The eight flavours are ranked on a scale from “lightest flavour” to “heaviest flavour” (see menu above). We decide to order the “Wine”, “Garlic”, “Smoked”, and “Curry” flavours. This set serves two to three people. The 8 Colors Set ($98) serves four to five people, and you get to choose eight flavours. All the sets come with complimentary Korean side dishes (Kimchi, Bean Sprouts, Vegetables) and a tantalizing Korean Stew (4 choices: Beef Brisket Kimchi Stew, Beef Brisket Bean Paste Stew, Seafood Bean Paste Stew, Pork Belly Kimchi Stew). We choose the Pork Belly Kimchi Stew (super nice).
I look through the menu and see that the pork meat is actually from the “Mangalitza Hog”, which is a “rare pig of Hungarian origin”. I read on and find out that it is known as the “Kobe Beef” of pigs. No wonder it’s so delicious. It then goes on to state eight facts about Mangalitza Hog, and one fact mentions that this type of pork meat is quite healthy due to its high levels of zinc, copper, iron and oleic acid. I love that. It makes me feel less guilty about the fact that I am about to indulge in a sinful Korean BBQ feast.
I am all ready for my 8 Korean BBQ feast. I am being inundated with K-Pop music and music videos, I have been served by Korean staff, and I have Korean cutlery laid out in front of me. There is nothing in my mind now but Korean BBQ. The side dishes arrive fast. The kimchi and bean sprouts are placed on the grill, while the four other plates of vegetables are placed on the table. The side dishes are nice and make for good appetizers. I especially like the chewy bean sprouts.
Pork Belly Kimchi Stew (complimentary with set meals, $18 ala carte)
Then, served in a round metal stewpot, comes the tantalizing Pork Belly Kimchi Stew. The kimchi stew is filled with lots of vegetables and many pieces of succulent pork belly meat. It starts to boil shortly after being placed on the gas burner and I immediately take a sip with my spoon. It tastes savoury and rich, has a smooth texture, and is not too thick. In fact, it’s one of the BEST Korean stews I’ve ever tasted. I try a few pieces of the pork meat in the sizzling stew and they are delicious, too.
4 Colors Set ($58)
Finally, the highlight of the evening arrives. Four pieces of 8 Korean BBQ pork meat served on a rectangular wooden plate. The 4 Colors Set is complete and it forms a beautiful sight: four large pieces of sizzling juicy meat on the grill, a variety of Korean side dishes, and a stewpot of boiling Korean pork belly kimchi stew. The staff helps us to cook the meat on the grill, which is tilted at an angle so that the oil can drain downwards into a hole. Innovation, I like it.
The four flavours we choose (“Wine”, “Garlic”, “Smoked”, and “Curry”) all taste good. The wine flavour tastes relatively light which is not surprising as it is on the “lightest” end of the flavour scale. Raevian and I both like the curry flavour the best. Garlic tastes good too. Smoked has a slightly dry texture but it still tastes delicious.
This is turning out to be a wonderful meal. 8 Korean BBQ meat simply tastes heavenly. It is juicy, savoury, succulent, and tastes perfect no matter how you eat it: I wrap it with kimchi in cabbage, eat it with the multi-grain rice, and dip it in sesame oil. No matter which method I try, the meat still tastes wonderful.
Hite Beer ($8)
I drink a bottle of Korean Hite Beer while indulging in the 8 Korean BBQ feast. The beer is light and refreshing with a smooth texture, and has a nice bittersweet aftertaste.
Life is good.
Conclusion: Heavenly Korean BBQ
After finishing the meal, I am now in a post-8-Korean-BBQ-stupor. We certainly do not regret coming here for dinner. The meat tastes heavenly, the stew is delicious, and we enjoyed good service throughout. It was surreal. Raevian and I are both completely satisfied. We will definitely be coming back for more 8 Korean BBQ.
8 Korean BBQ
6 Eu Tong Sen Street, The Central, #02-79/90, Singapore 059817
Tel: +65 8692 1188
Daily: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Utensils are conveniently stored in a drawer beneath the table
Multigrain rice ($2)