Many love Korean BBQ but the one thing we hate – smelling exactly like Korean BBQ the moment we walk out.

The guys do not seem to mind as much, but I know ladies to do not want to get their hair and precious (insert brand) handbags with a grilled pork aroma after a lunch session.

That was my main issue with Bornga at The Star Vista that it was very smoky, especially when it is packed during the evening hours.

On this visit to Bornga’s new outlet at Vivocity, I noticed black exhaust tubs hanging around the ceiling, and they are actually quite classy modern looking.

They can be retracted up and down till they are about an inch above the grill, not the big fat greyish type we see at some older Korean BBQ restaurants. The ceiling is taller, the area seems more spacious, and yes, no more ‘aroma’-filled Bornga.

Most customers would order Borgna’s signature meat, the Woo Samgyup ($28 for 200g) which is a patented recipe from Korean celebrity chef Paik Jong Won.

The thinly sliced meats would arrive all pinkish and bright, and you would have thought it has not been marinated before.

Most marinated bulgogi meats would have appeared covered in a dark-coloured sauce, while this unique Bornga dressing retains the meat’s natural colours.

Exciting. There are three new pork dishes.

The dish that deserves special mention is the Dwaeji Gohchujang BBQ ($36), which comprises of sweet-spicy pork slices first grilled, stir-fried with onions and served on a sizzling hot plate.

This seasoning reminds me exactly of the Korean Dduk Bok Gi sans the rice cake, and I swept the sauce and onions clean with rice. Oh, it is slightly pricey, but at least this portion is good for sharing between four pax.

I did notice a change in Bornga, that there are more (clearly) marinated meat offerings, and perhaps because customers prefer more flavourful sauce-covered meats.

We all went for the Yangnyum Dwaeji Galbi ($33 for 250g) which consists of thicker slabs of pork ribs marinated with a dark brown special house sauce. This was yummy. While the Mansinjang Samgyupsal ($24 for 200g) tenderized but plainer looking pork belly somehow appeared to be less popular.

Service was super pleasant surprisingly. There was a service staff (thank you Ken) who helped us lazy customers grill and cut the meats, and the grill plates are frequently changed after each round of barbecuing. He is local, but speaks some Korean. I was impressed. Kamsahamnida!

1 Harbourfront Walk, VivoCity #02-123/124, Singapore 098585
Tel: +65 6376 8268
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)

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  1. The kimchi stew is terrible. Not hot and the beancurb is tasteless. Only a few slice of garlic is served, how can korean bbq dont go with garlic.

    The price paid is totally over price for the food and service provided. Those small korean operate is so much better than here.

  2. The branches of Bornga here have to improve on their hygiene standard. In 2014, I found, not just once but on several occasions, the bowls which one can find in the little ‘ window ‘ at the side of the table, which we customers can help ourselves to, specked with red marks which are probably from the soups like Kim Chi Ji Gae, Soon doo by Ji Gae or from some other food…thus, the restaurant hasn’t done a thorough job with the washing.

    Today, I went there again after a long long while, and I ordered a soup dish and needed to transfer the soup from the clay pots to cool down my soup a little. I reached to the side of the table and found to my horror today, a dead baby cockroach inside!!! I called the staff and showed the bowl with the roach inside and the staff apologized and said, they have pest control people coming in and ‘ medicine ‘ is put in the store to kill the cockroaches. That was the only thing done about the matter.

    So, please think twice going to this restaurant chain although the food is yummy. If you really do have to go there, please wipe down all the cutlery as well as bowls before you use them.


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