Chadol duenjang jigae from Korean restaurant Bornga at the Star Vista Mall. Photo: Bornga
Well-known South Korean chain Bornga, which was started by Jong Won Paik, a celebrity chef from Seoul, now has three outlets in Singapore.
The ribs here are good and the marinade very tasty, but the dish to order is the restaurant’s speciality, woo samgyup ($22).
The streaks of fat are what make this so delicious. They shrivel up on the sizzling barbecue grill, releasing the oils to flavour the meat. You can eat the cooked meat as it is or roll it up with some thin strips of leek and dip it in an accompanying thick, spicy sauce.
Another meat to order for the grill is the ggot sal ($38), a thicker cut of unmarinated beef. This is evenly marbled and goes well with a dip of sesame oil flavoured with salt and pepper.
The chadol duenjang jigae ($16) is a good filler, too. The stew of sliced beef, vegetables and beancurd flavoured with soybean paste, is very satisfying. You spoon it over an accompanying bowl of rice and greens and mix everything up to create a sort of bibimbap. For some spice, add a dash of red pepper paste as well.
Woo samgyup, thinly sliced beef brisket, from Korean restaurant Bornga at the Star Vista Mall. Photo: Bornga
Another satisfying dish is kimchi jigae ($15), a stew made with the popular Korean preserved cabbage, beancurd and a piece of meaty pork rib. It is spicy, sour and salty and perfect for rainy weather.
On a hot day, however, order the bom-ga naeng mun ($15). The buckwheat noodles are served in an icy broth with shredded vegetables and pear, as well as a hard-boiled egg.
It may sound strange but tastes refreshingly good once you wrap your mind around the idea of cold noodles.
You might want to skip the jap chae ($23), a stir-fried dish of pork and glass noodles, which lacks the aroma of sesame oil, and the haemul pajeon ($22), a pancake made with scallions and seafood, which is disappointingly bland other than the seafood bits.
Expect to spend about $30 a person.
WHERE: Bornga – three outlets: The Star Vista, 1 Vista Exchange Green, 02-24, tel: 6694-4696; VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk, 02-123/124,tel: 6376-8268; Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Boulevard, 01-641/642, tel: 6836 3291
MRT: Buona Vista, HarbourFront and Esplanade
OPEN: 11.30am to 10pm, daily. The restaurants close for a break between 4 and 5pm.