Korean Chinese cuisine 중화요리 or “Junghwa Yori” 中華料理 seems to be getting traction in Singapore.
After Nipong Naepong specialising in Jjamppong has opened in JEM to some fanfare, Hong Jjajang 홍짜장 which signature dishes include Jajangmyeon has arrived at 93 Tanjong Pagar (next to Hokkaido Izakaya).
This is considered a hybrid cuisine developed by ethnic Koreans in South Korea, influenced by Chinese dishes from Beijing and Shandong.
The 3 dishes that characterises these Korean-Chinese restaurants include Jajangmyeon 자장면 – noodle dish topped with thick black bean sauce; Jjamppong 짬뽕 which is a spicy noodle soup flavored with vegetables, meat or seafood; and Tangsuyuk 탕수육 – a Korean version of the sweet and sour meat dish.
To make things easier, I ordered a Jajangmyun, Jjamppong and Tangsuyuk set ($42) at Hong Jjajang. Considering the portion, this is considered value for its money (Plus there was free steamed egg during opening specials.)
Surprisingly, I enjoyed all 3 dishes, though of varying degrees. I haven’t eaten enough of these in Korea itself to vouch for its authenticity, but reviews among Korean friends have been generally positive.
The Jjamppong was my favourite, because the soup base was fiery hot and addictive, brimming with flavours of seafood.
On a scale on 1 to 10, I would say it was around 6-7 in terms of spiciness. Not enough for you to break out in big sweat, but sufficient for you to feel the kick and reach for more water.
As for the Jajangmyun, this tasted most different from others I had tried before. The thick, gooey sauce had sweeter notes within, without the strong fermented bean character.
It felt more modern overall, and still very flavourful. (However, it does get boring after eating this for a while, and an accompanying dish would most definitely helped.)
Do not compare the Tangsuyuk with a typical sweet and sour pork dish.
Hong Jjajang’s version was lightly battered, and the strips of meat still soft and tender. Perhaps they were not as crisp as I would have liked.
There are varied ways of having them – plain on their own, dipped with the sweet tangy sauce, or pour the sauce over.
I would suggest dipping so that it doesn’t get overwhelmed by the strong-sweet sauce.
There are multiple variations of the Jajang noodles, from Jaengban Jajang ($28) – noodles in black bean sauce; Hong Jajang ($12) – spicy sauced noodles; Samseon Jjang ($14) – Seafood and noodles in black bean sauce; Gochu Jjampong ($16); Udong ($14) to Ulmyun ($14).
Korean noodle lovers can have a party here.
Hong Jjajang 홍짜장
Tel: +65 6909 5171
93 Tanjong Pagar Road Singapore 088514
Opening Hours: 12pm – 11pm