Best Korean restaurants in Singapore: Guksu, Bonchon, Bornga and more
It took us long enough but we now know the Korean wave, isn't merely just a wave. It's heavily embedded in our conversations, the garments that we don on and even the food that we eat. It's hard to resist the punchy flavours hailing from South Korea and the sheer variety of foods that have inhibited on our shores. We shortlist these picks that serve up close-to authentic Korean cuisine in Singapore with the likes of barbecue, fried chicken and piping hot stews.
The brainchild of celebrity Korean chef Baek Jong-won, Bornga is known for its patented specialty — woo samgyup. Essentially pork belly that is cooked shortly after being doused in a one-of-a-kind Bornga dressing, the meat is to be dipped into and eaten with their homemade sauce. Aside from their BBQ meats, their stews deserve some attention and love — especially the chadol duenjang jigae (soybean paste based with sliced beef, vegetables and beancurd) and kimchi jigae (kimchi, beancurd and meaty pork rib).
3 Temasek Blvd, Tel: 6836 3291
Opening hours: (Mon-Sun) 11.30am-10pm
No prizes here for guessing what Guksu specialises in — translated to mean noodles in English, the restaurant makes them daily in the restaurant. Choose between so meon (thinnest), jung meon (in between) and kal guksu (flat and wide noodles) and a choice of broth from either anchovy, prawn, clam or beef. We say go for the doenjang beef guksu that features a cloudy and flavourful broth made thanks to the addition of bean paste. Find thinly sliced beef, vegetables and a hard-boiled egg.
3 Temasek Blvd, Tel: 6334 7950
Opening hours: (Mon-Fri) 11am-3pm, 5pm-10.30pm, (Sat-Sun) 11am-10.30pm
Another grilled meat restaurant that is named after its eight different selections of marinated Mangalitsa pork, the rolled-up bellies are served in a visually pleasing platter that has been labeled with the flavours. From traditional Korean flavours such as red pepper and miso paste to the more unconventional ones like wine and ginseng, you can be sure that it will be a meal of tantalising flavours.
6 Eu Tong Sen St, Tel: 8692 1188
Opening hours: (Mon-Fri) 11.30am-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm, (Sat-Sun) 11.30am-10.30pm
Is it really Korean cuisine without some fried chicken and beer? You can't talk about the finger-lickin' goodness without bringing up Bonchon. Having gained international recognition with its worldwide franchises, their secret lies in having their chicken deep fried twice to achieve a crunchier-than-usual skin and less greasy meat. Apparently, less is more at Bonchon as you pick from only three sauces: spicy, half and half and soy garlic.
201 Victoria St, Tel: 6884 4768
Opening hours: (Mon-Thur) 11.30am-9.30pm, (Fri) 11.30am-10pm (Sat) 11am-10pm, (Sun) 11am-9.30pm
Unpretentious and homely are just some words that you will find regular patrons describing Big Mama. The advice for first-timers to the restaurant is to reserve seats beforehand as the place gets crowded quickly once it hits dinnertime. Gather your trusty squad as the restaurant offers large sharing dishes such as their signature dakgalbi (spicy stir-fried chicken) and gamjatang (pork bone stew). Alternatively, if you're a solo diner, order the single portion mandoo ramyun (ramen with meat dumplings) which stars the plump and marinated meat packages.
2 Kim Tian Road, Tel: 6270 7704
Opening hours: (Mon-Sun) 11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-11pm