One recent restaurant to join the Singapore Korean BBQ scene is I’m KIM Korean BBQ, a no-frills Korean BBQ joint located at School Of The Arts (SOTA). It is a short five minutes walk from Dhoby Ghaut MRT. See this map.
Raevian and I are feeling excited as we make our way to this new joint. The local Korean BBQ scene has been coming up with new dining options every other day and we are looking forward to see how I’m KIM Korean BBQ fares.
Also read: 11 Best Korean BBQ Joints in Singapore!
The restaurant mascot looks like Korean actor Bae Yong Joon decked out in chef attire.
After walking about ten minutes from Dhoby Gaut MRT, we reach SOTA and spot the glittering light bulb signage of I’m KIM Korean BBQ from afar. I quicken my pace because I can’t wait to begin my feast. The restaurant mascot, a Korean Chef wielding a cleaver and giving a cordial smile, is imprinted on the side of the restaurant. Incidentally, he looks like Bae Yong Joon from the Korean drama “Winter Sonata” decked out in chef attire.
The casual atmosphere of I’m KIM Korean BBQ sets diners at ease.
Upon entering, we are escorted by the friendly restaurant staff to our table. I’m KIM Korean BBQ has a minimalistic industrial-themed design, with rows of neatly lined dark-brown tables and comfy black-leather chairs. You get the feeling that I’m KIM Korean BBQ has decided to focus its energy on providing delicious Korean BBQ food, rather than spending on fancy interior design. Which is fine by me because I find that the modest decoration creates a casual atmosphere that sets diners at ease. The walls are painted a clean white colour, with nothing lining them except for many television screens playing a myriad of Korean music videos. In fact, there is a television screen no matter which direction I turn. I am dazed by the countless Korean pop stars prancing around to catchy Korean tunes.
Plenty of ventilators on the ceiling to keep the air fresh
I’m KIM Korean BBQ has lots of giant ventilators on the ceilings so you do not have to worry about smelling like Korean BBQ after your meal. I am able to breath fresh air most of the time, except for perhaps an occasional whiff of BBQ smoke.
Wide Variety of Food
Meat bonanza! There are so many meats to choose from!! Pork Collar, Spicy Pork Collar, Bacon, Pork Belly, Signature Volcano Chicken, Garlic Chicken, Chuck Tender Beef, Beef Roll, Marinated Ribeye, Beef Short Rib
There’s shrimps too!
I approach the buffet section with anticipation. I am impressed by the awesome bonanza of food available. From beef rolls to garlic chicken to pork belly to bacon to cocktail sausage to even shrimps, there are so many choices that I am at a loss for where to start. And this is just for the raw food section.
From left: Spring Rolls, Stir Fried Fish, Japchae Glass Noodles, Rice Cake Deokbokgee
The cooked food dishes are lined up in a tantalizing row just beside. There are glass noodles, sweet potatoes, fried chicken wings, spring rolls, four stoves of soups, wedges, rice rolls… I’m getting a headache just deciding what to eat.
Healthy salad corner!
I also like the fact that there is a salad corner with healthy greens, fruits, soy beans, and all the good stuff.
My eyes light up when I see two big bottles of sesame oil and salt at a corner. These are the two essential condiments for Korean BBQ and I love it that they are free-flow at I’m KIM Korean BBQ.
Friendly staff helped us take this photo. Enjoy great service at I’m KIM Korean BBQ!
I grab a plate, stack it up with juicy pieces of meat, manage a bowl of soup in my other hand, and gingerly walk back to the table. As I lay down the food on the table, perhaps I am feeling too excited about the impending feast and I drop a chopstick on the floor. Feeling rather sheepish, I pick it up hastily.
To my pleasant surprise, one of the restaurant staff comes by shortly to hand me a new pair of chopsticks. I am impressed by how observant he was and also by how he went beyond his duty to provide exemplary service. There was no obligation for him to bring me a new pair at all, yet he did so and in the process made me feel like a valued customer.
Can’t wait to start!!
The rest of the staffs at I’m KIM Korean BBQ are friendly and helpful too. I have no problems getting their attention for service and they always approach us with a smile. I love good service and I’m in a great mood as I start laying out the pieces of meat on the grill pan.
Easy-To-Use Grill Pan (but be careful of steel border!)
The grill pans at I’m KIM Korean BBQ are easy to use but be aware of the super hot steel border!
I realize that the grill pan has a digital control at the side that allows me to control the heat easily. It’s really intuitive and easy to use, as compared to some other Korean BBQ restaurants that use awkward gas canisters to heat the pans. As I’m happily cooking the meat, I feel an intense burning sensation on the underside of my hand. I pull my hand away in pain and realize that the inconspicuous steel border around the grill pan gets REALLY hot when the pan heats up. There is a small sticker to warn users but it’s a little discreet and should perhaps be more striking.
Soup bonanza! From left: Samgaetang, Seaweed soup, Kimchi Soup, Watercress Soup
While waiting for the meat to cook, I start on the soups first.
I love drinking soups. Therefore I was ecstatic earlier on to find that I’m KIM Korean BBQ offers four big tantalizing stoves of steaming soup! I swear I could hear the broths calling for me from inside to scoop them up.
And I happily obliged.
So I’m at the table now with three bowls of soup: Samgaetang, Kimchi Soup, and Seaweed Soup. I did not take the Watercress Soup because it sounds too healthy to go along with a sinful Korean BBQ feast.
The Kimchi soup is savoury and spicy. It’s our favourite soup at I’m KIM Korean BBQ!
I take a sip of the Kimchi Soup and I am pleasantly surprised by how good it tastes. This feisty bowl of soup is savoury and quite spicy – which is exactly why I like it because I am a typical Singaporean who loves spicy food! The generous portions of Kimchi compliment the soup nicely, and I have to stop myself from finishing the whole bowl without sharing any with Raevian.
Next, I try the Seaweed Soup. The seaweed provides a nice fragrant undertone to the soup base, creating a light and refreshing broth that is perfect for warming up my stomach for the impending BBQ feast.
Samgaetang – traditional Korean soup prepared with chicken and ginseng
I end my soup feast with the Samgaetang, a traditional Korean soup prepared with chicken and ginseng. It tastes decent and I enjoy the generous portions of chewy chicken cubes in the broth. What a great start. I’m glad I was greedy enough to take three bowls of soup!
Caramelized Sweet Potatoes
I have also taken two plates worth of cooked food. The caramelized slices of Sweet Potatoes look the most tantalizing and I start on them first. Apparently, this is a popular snack in Korea and on the first bite I can immediately see why! The potato slices are crispy and fresh, and combined with the caramel sweetness, make for a wonderful side dish. I finish several slices in a hurry.
Clockwise from top left: Spring Roll, Fried Chicken Wing, Kimchi and other Veggies
Next, I try the Spring Roll, the Fried Chicken Wing, and the Kimchi. They all taste decent and I have to remind myself that I am here for Korean BBQ and not Korean side dishes.
Beef Roll & Chuck Tender Beef
The Chuck Tender Beef (top left) and Beef Rolls (bottom left) are savoury but not overwhelming.
After a short while, the meat is cooked! I start with the beef first. The Beef Rolls cook fast and I cut them up into even pieces. These fine slices of beef are delectable and easy to eat. They are savoury but not overwhelming, and make for the perfect start to my Korean BBQ feast. Next, I go for the juicy slices of Chuck Tender Beef. These succulent slices of beef are slightly thicker than the Beef Rolls and have a fragrant aftertaste that lingers for a short while in your mouth.
Juicy Pork Belly – On my first bite, I can almost hear the delicious juices seeping out from the meat onto my tongue.
Next, I proceed on to the standard meat that I must try at all Korean BBQ joints: Pork Belly! If a restaurant fails to deliver on this most basic meat, it would probably not be worth visiting. I cut up the pork belly and pop a piece into my mouth. It does not disappoint. On my first bite, I can almost hear the delicious juices seeping out from the meat onto my tongue. The meat is juicy and savoury, with just the right amount of tenderness. I highly recommend this meat for anyone who visits I’m Kim Korean BBQ!
After trying the standard Korean meats, it’s time to venture into the exciting unknown.
Spicy Pork Collar
Fiesty ‘Spicy Pork Collar’ (bottom left) is a must-try spicy meat for Singaporeans!
First, I go for the Spicy Pork Collar. The meat is tender and succulent, but what really endears me to it is its spiciness. It’s not overly spicy but still fiery enough to appeal to me. I’m KIM Korean BBQ probably understands that Singaporeans love spicy food.
Signature Volcano Chicken
Cooking the ‘Signature Volcano Chicken’ with other meats. The spiciness provides a nice touch, making the chicken even more delectable!
I prepare myself for the next challenge: the Signature Volcano Chicken. Oh boy, just the name itself is enough to give me a spicy tingling sensation on the back of my neck. I pick up a piece, put it in my mouth gingerly, and hope for the best. After the first few bites, I find that it’s indeed feisty, but not devastatingly spicy. In fact, the spiciness provides a nice touch to the taste of the chicken, making it even more delectable. Ok I’ve passed my verdict – the Signature Volcano Chicken is my favourite meat at I’m KIM Korean BBQ!
I eat a few slices of bacon as well. It tastes like..bacon. But bacon lovers will probably love the unlimited amounts of bacon available here.
Free-Flow Drinks to Go Along
Free flow of drinks: (from left) Sikhye Rice Punch, Korean Barley Tea, Mango Juice, Lime Juice, Ice Water
There is free flow of Ice Water, Lime Juice, Mango Juice, Rice Punch, and Korean Barley Tea! Alcoholic beverages and canned drinks are not included in the buffet price, but my favourite Korean Beer, Hite Beer, goes for just $5 per bottle. Wow.
All good things must come to an end. After almost two hours of eating, it is time to leave I’m KIM Korean BBQ. My craving for Korean BBQ has been well and truly satisfied and I am a happy man, albeit a completely stuffed one.
Conclusion: Meat Bonanza, Affordable Price, Great Ventilation, Wonderful Service, Awesome Korean BBQ Restaurant!
With its wide variety of food, wonderful service, great ventilation and affordable price, I’m KIM Korean BBQ is a serious contender in the exciting Korean BBQ scene in Singapore. With prices starting from just $14++, it’s no wonder that I’m KIM Korean BBQ is fast becoming a popular Korean BBQ joint in Singapore. This is truly an affordable and sumptuous buffet that all Korean BBQ lovers must try!
Remember to make reservations at +65 6238 7218 before you go!
I’m KIM Korean BBQ
Address: 1 Zubir Said Drive, School of The Arts (SOTA) #01-04/05/06/07, Singapore 227968
Opening Hours: | Mon to Fri: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5pm to 10.30pm | Weekends & PH: 11.30am to 3.30pm, 5pm to 10.30pm |
Telephone Number: +65 6238 7218
Website (redirects to Facebook page): http://www.imkim.sg/
Video of the Delicious Food at I’m Kim!
Check out this video to find out why we love eating at I’m KIM Korean BBQ! *Best watched in HD!*