I am no Korean food veteran, but in the recent months, I have conformed to the social norms and trends, of being all crazed about Korean, well, things. I’m proud to say though, that I haven’t been entirely sucked in. Save for Korean food, I remain clueless to their music, TV or basically any other things. Having only been an amateur, I have found love to Korean food, particularly their BBQ items.
Located in the newly developed (food-wise) precinct, Tiong Bahru, it was a chore trying to get seats around the popular restaurants down the stretch, without a reservation, and BigMama Korean Restaurant was one of them. You ought to know that if you walk in, they will not be able to commit an exact time f0r when the table will be ready.
Appetizers :: Complimentary, as in almost all other Korean Restaurants. Their kimchi is particularly satisfying, what with it being slightly more spicy, and not soggy at all. The rest were forgettable. The appetizers are unlimitedly refillable.
Dakgalbi ($15+) :: This pan-fried chicken is one of their signature items. Stated price is for 1 person, and a minimum order for 2 persons is needed. The waitperson would bring out a stove at your table to cook it there and then. Pros and cons. While it’s entertaining to watch the cooking done, the smoke and smell that gets to you might stink your clothes up, though that’s pretty much to-be-expected whilst at a Korean Restaurant with BBQ items. So there, in your face, they would pan-fry the chicken with vegetables, rice cakes, sweet potato, and spicy sauce. I’ve learned that Korean chili are not all that spicy more often than not. And it is true for this dish, in case you are pondering back and forth in fear of spiciness. I would strongly recommend adding Fried Rice ($3+) to the chicken. This is how it works. They would cook the chicken. You eat slightly more than half of them up. They would again, come in to fry the rice with the remaining portion. Seaweeds and seasonings are added in the process. Poof! Comes a better presented and better tasting creation. The seaweed was the most memorable and fragrant. Worth the $3. Otherwise, the Dakgalbi itself did not quite live up to the name of signature dish.
Dwaeji Moksal Yangnyum Gui ($18+) :: Grilled, pork collar slices, with Gal-bi seasoning. I held high expectations for this, mainly because I love pork collar, and more so with it grilled. But the meat turned out tougher than assumed, even dry, I’d say. The seasoning was mildly sweet and did not help with the poor quality of meat. Major disappointment.
Haemul Buchu Jeon ($15+) :: For a pancake accompanied with chives and seafood to be $15, I thought it too expensive and had better be of top class quality. Unfortunately, it failed to water down the disappointment. The seafood was insufficient and was not distinct at all. We agreed that it was slightly too floury as well.
I have no idea what the hype is about. I had one of their signature dishes, and some other regular items, it couldn’t have been that I had the wrong items. Nevertheless, there is still chance for redemption, if I were to be asked along for a second shot. I would then give them the benefit of the doubt and try other items on the menu. Despite running on full house, service was not compromised. That is at least, commendable.
Address: 2 Kim Tian Road
Telephone: 6270 7704
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm, 5.30pm – 11pm (Last order an hour before stated time) (Tues – Sun); Closed on Mondays.