There are four factors I go for when looking for Korean BBQ – the texture and freshness of the meats, the price, the ambience and the smell (or more correctly, lack of smell). New Korean BBQ restaurant E!ght at Clarke Quay Central seems to tick all the right boxes.
Good first impression when walking into the restaurant with brick walls and a raw industrial design – spacious and no thick smoke and smell of Korean BBQ. Hair and clothes won’t be greasy after lunch. Pass. There is even an outer seating area overlooking the Singapore River if the cool evening weather permits.
E!ght Korean BBQ’s concept is borrowed from America Los Angeles, which is after all very big on Korean-fusion restaurants. This Korean restaurant is conceptualized by Jamie and Kristin Lim, who also happens to own Sticky downstairs, but it is a Korean chef who helms the kitchen. Clarke Quay Central is their ‘lucky’ mall.
Their signature 8 Colours Set ($98) is a steal because it features thick long Berkshire pork belly in 8 flavours – original, wine, ginseng, garlic, herb, curry, miso, and red pepper paste. You can request for smoked pork belly or additional portion at $12 extra.
This can feed about 4 persons comfortably, and you can get to try a flavour of everything without filling too full. The ladies at the table preferred those with a little touch, like the ginseng and wine. I much preferred those with a heavier full-flavoured taste, like red pepper paste and curry. At least there is something for everyone.
Sometimes when I go to Korean BBQ restaurants, I get slabs of meat that are frozen and tough. Sure, you may feel you get your money’s worth because of the volume you are eating, but I much prefer sitting down comfortably and trying out a variety of tender slices.
The $98 set also comes with banchan and a relatively huge pot of Seafood Bean Paste Stew. That is value-for-money.
If you are there noon time, go for the Chul Pan specialty hot grill of beef brisket ($17 for one pax, minimum 2 pax to order) which is only available during lunch. The beautiful stacked up thinly sliced meats like a tower is an ‘art piece’ that would really make you salivate.
Wait till you smell the aroma of it being fried on the grill with Korean red pepper paste and assorted vegetables. Add in a portion of rice ($8) to be fried after you are done.
Perhaps the only downside is that the menu can be more extensive, but I am sure that would happen when E!ght gets a hang out things.
If you prefers a more cozy environment, some Korean MTV playing in the background, with a variety of quality meats, E!ght Korean BBQ can be your choice to hang out with friends. Daebak!
E!ght Korean BBQ
6 Eu Tong Sen Street #02-79/90 The Central Singapore 059817 (Clarke Quay MRT)
Tel:+65 8692 1188
Opening Hours: Lunch: 11.30am – 2.30pm (Last order 2pm), Dinner: 5.30pm – 11pm (Last order 10pm)