Nipong Naepong – 1st Korean Jjamppong Specialty Restaurant Opens At JEM
This is the first Jjamppong specialty restaurant in Singapore.
Jjamppong 짬뽕? It is a Korean-Chinese noodle dish in spicy seafood or pork broth usually flavoured with gochutgaru chilli powder.
Typically I would see it being served in a Korean-Chinese restaurant alongside Jajangmyeon and Tangsuyuk, but Nipong Naepong has made the “Ppong” a star on its own.
Nipong Naepong which loosely translates to “your ppong, my ppong”, is Singapore’s first “ppong” specialty restaurant.
It is located at JEM, at the Robinsons side, next to Kogane Yama.
Classic Jjamppong, Vongole Jjamppong, Alfredo-Jjamppong, Thai Jjamppong, Tomato Jjamppong, and even Salad Jjamppong… you get this dish transformed in 9 different renditions inspired by flavours from around the world.
The Jjolmyeon (wheat noodles) used are made in Korea exclusively for the brand, relatively thin and long, with chewy and tender bite. These are some of the recommended Jjamppong at Nipong Naepong:
Cha Ppong ($15.80)
This is the Classic Jjamppong noodles, a bowl which came loaded with fried cabbage, mussels, squid, prawn, and quail eggs.
There are two levels of spiciness you can choose from. I went for the Level 1, and liked that there was already this fiery kick in the piping hot broth, yet not over.
The soup was actually quite addictive, of richly flavoured seafood broth, balanced with the sweetness of the broth.
Cooked in high heat, it imparted some wok-hei and drinking the deep-spicy soup could result in some tissue-worth of head sweat. Quite shiok, I must say. Easily my favourite “Ppong” of the lot.
Vongole Ppong ($16.80)
An Italian Vongole Spaghetti inspired dish, this is an East-meets-West rendition suitable for those who prefer soupy stuff. (Not as heavy as some of the other Ppong.)
The jjolmyeon (wheat noodles) was cooked with plump, briny clams, further spiked with white wine.
The base ‘soup’ was flavourful with clam juice – tasting almost like consommé; and I particularly enjoyed the fried garlic which added that distinct fragrance.
Compared to spaghetti which typically has a more al dente bite, the jjolmyeon tasted chewier and softer. The noodles also seemed to have sat in the base for a longer period, and so absorbed some of it for improved flavours.
Keu Ppong-Cream ($17.80)
This cream sauced Jjamppong may remind some of Carbonara, but perhaps closer to Alfredo as the base is more milky than eggy.
Cooked with assorted seafood and topped with tobiko and toasted tortilla shards, this is for those who need a fuller, creamier meal.
All sauces and soup stocks used are shipped in from Seoul to ensure consistent quality of taste.
This is available in either spicy or non-spicy versions.
Ro Ppong-Roje ($17.80)
Another cream sauced Jjamppong, though I would prefer this due to the addition of tomato puree which included some sweet-tanginess into the mix.
This Jjamppong can be particularly cheesy, as it is further topped with shredded mozzarella which would melt into the warm noodles.
I would recommend having this straight after serving, because the mix could get clumpy when turned slightly colder.
Tae Ppong ($15.80)
My second favourite Jjamppong, which is said to be reminiscent of Pad Thai (though I didn’t really feel the same way.)
It had its own character, like a cross between Chow Mien (Asian fried noodles) with Japchae (the saucy part) and Jjamppong.
Partly sweet, mildly spicy, quite saucy. I like my fried noodles slightly wet. You?
Also on the menu are sweet and savoury pizzas. If you are used to Italian style of pizzas, then you may not get this at all.
I was initially torn between having the pizzas as a starter or dessert. In retrospect, I would have preferred to start off the meal with this, partly also because the noodles were filling.
Here’s how Nipong Naepong pizzas work: You are supposed to take a slice with your hands, roll it up (gloves will be provided), then dip into the fluffy whipped cream.
The base is a baked tortilla wrap – thin, crispy and essentially tasted healthier.
The recommended include the Ninae Pizza-Spinach ($18.80) which is piled with fresh baby spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes, dollops of cream cheese and… drizzled over with honey.
I preferred the Coco Pizza-Coconut ($16.80) slathered in cream cheese, with a spread of lightly-toasted desiccated coconut.
Though I also heard that the most popular was the Ni Pizza-Sweet Potato ($16.80) with velvety sweet potato puree, but I have no more stomach space for one more.
If you come in a group, get the set ($50.80 or $54.80 depending on the size of the drink) which includes any two Ppong, a pizza and a jug of Ade in flavours such as Lychee Yogurt and Grapefruit.
Certainly more value for its money.
JEM #01-16, 50 Jurong Gateway Road, Singapore 608549 (Jurong East MRT)
Tel: +65 6262 4078
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Last order 9.30pm (Mon – Fri); 11am – 11pm, Last order 10.30pm (Sat – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Nipong Naepong
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