Korean-Chinese cuisine is a hybrid cuisine developed by the ethnic Koreans and Chinese in South Korea.
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.
Jajangmyeon 자장면 is a delicious noodle dish topped with a thick sauce made of chunjang (the black fermented sauce or black bean paste), diced pork, and vegetables, with origins from the Chinese’s Zha Jiang Mian.
Do you know that April 14th is called “Black Day” in Korea, mostly observed by singles?
That is because Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14 (when women buy men gifts); while White Day is celebrated on March 14 (the men will reciprocate).
And for singles who did not get any presents or love those two days, they will ‘celebrate’ by wearing black and eating black Jajangmyeon to drown their sorrows.
Don’t be sad, okay? Here are some Korean restaurants in Singapore which serve up black Jajangmyeon:
77 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088484
+65 65886 96979
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)
O.BBa Jjajang’s menu is somewhat similar to Chinese restaurants, with sides dishes such as chicken and pork served with a bowl of staple food (rice/noodles).
Their signature dish is the Jajangmyeon served with fermented black soybean paste in homemade noodles, diced pork, onions and shredded cucumber.
While most of the JjajangMyeon in Singapore had a strong black bean taste with a grainy texture, the version here had a slight sweetness in the black bean sauce (“zhup”).
Different from the salty Chinese-styled Zha Jiang Mia, the sauce was somehow both appetising and addictive.
Generously coated with the black bean gravy after tossing, the addition of fatty pork for the extra chewiness was an ingenious idea. Simple, fuss-free and comforting. O.BBa Jjajang (Tanjong Pagar Road)
Hwang Sil Korean-Chinese Restaurant
38 Maxwell Road, Singapore 069116
Tel: +65 6224 4371
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 11pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Hwang Sil is considered one of the few authentic Korean-Chinese restaurant in Singapore.
It serves up Jja Jjang Myeong in two sizes, priced at $12 and $15; a Gan Jjajang ($18) in which the sauce is served separately from the noodles; and Jaengban Jajang ($25) cooked with seafood and good for 2 pax.
Worthy to note that the noodles are handmade with a deliciously soft and chewy texture, and portions are huge (a big guy like me had trouble finishing) and you can throw your diet plans off the window.
The bowl was top-scoring for me, came piping hot and packed with robust flavours. It was savoury, rich, without that cloying jelak.
Dong Fang Hong Restaurant
92 Telok Ayer Street #01-01, Far East Square, Singapore 048472
Tel: +65 6327 9036
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 10pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Dong Fang Hong is quite a well-known Korean-Chinese restaurant in Singapore located at Far East Square, and has been around for more than 15 years.
Its Jjajangmyun is the top-selling dish here, and for a good reason.
There are two styles here – the Dong Fang Hong Jajang ($12) is the more basic bowl, and Bai Nian Jajang ($15) which literally means “hundred years” and said to contain a traditional and authentic taste.
The Jjajangmyeon is indeed one of the best version I had in Singapore, drenched over in a rich and earthy-tasting thick sauce. If only the sauce could be warmer.
But all in a hearty portion.
Mukjja Korean Chinese Restaurant
275 Thomson Road, #01-07, Singapore 307645
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 4:30pm – 9:30pm (Mon, Wed – Sun), Closed Tues
When it comes to authentic Jajangmyeon in Singapore, there is one particular OG store that deserves a mention which is Tae Woo Restaurant. It used to be located in a corner of Clarke Quay Central Level 3.
Good news is, the original owners are back in action and have set up Mukjja Korean Chinese Restaurant at Novena Regency.
What makes their Jajangmyeon memorable is their black bean paste as well as with occasional bits of shredded meat mixed in.
The paste is probably cooked in fried shallot oil to derive a distinctive aromatic fragrance.
Taste as legit as what I have had before in Seoul. MukJja (Novena)
Hong Jjajang 홍짜장
93 Tanjong Pagar Road Singapore 088514
Tel: +65 6909 5171
Opening Hours: 12pm – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
There are multiple variations of the Jajang noodles available here, from Jaengban Jajang – noodles in black bean sauce; Hong Jajang– spicy sauced noodles; Samseon Jjang – Seafood and noodles in black bean sauce; Gochu Jjampong; Udong; to Ulmyun.
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. Hong Jjajang 홍짜장 (Tanjong Pagar)
Joo Mak Korean Restaurant
Beauty World Centre #04-01, 144 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 588177
Tel: +65 6466 7871
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Popular Korean restaurant Joomak located at Beauty World is a Korean BBQ specialty restaurant, but serves up a normal sized Black Bean Sauce Noodles ($12) and a Big Plate ($25) version.
The Big Plate has a lot more ingredients such as prawns, squid, and onions. But to satisfy cravings or if you are alone (again), then the usual portion will do.
The wheat noodles were light and slippery, not too heavy to finish; while there was a distinct sweetness and earthiness to the black sauce with deep flavours.
I enjoyed that there was a good proportion of chopped onions, so that it didn’t taste that ‘boring’ finishing up the whole bowl.
Noodle Star K
58 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088479
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3:30pm, 5:30pm – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Super Star K has opened their first Korean noodle-specialty restaurant called Noodle Star K.
I was keen to try out their version of Jjajangmyeon ($10.80), which is a Korean-styled Chinese dish.
Served in a huge, matte, stainless-steel golden bowl which are really gorgeous, their noodles look different from the ones I usually had.
Instead of being thick and round, the noodles used in the Jjajjngmyeon here were flat like mee-pok.
The taste was balanced with savouriness from the black bean paste and slight sweet notes from the sliced onions.
Unlike most Jjajangmyeon, no shallots were used which also explained the lack of fragrance but I was pleasantly surprised to see potatoes cubes in it for the extra textures. Noodle Star K (Tanjong Pagar)
Huluruk Myeon House
Velocity @ Novena Square, 238 Thomson Road #01-84/85 Singapore 307683
Tel: +65 8488 9606
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Huluruk is a Korean noodle specialty house at Velocity, and the recipe is said to be pass down from an old Korean lady “Halmuni” (which means grandmother in Korean) Song.
Her Myeon Soup business started out in 1945, as the noodle courses and side dishes were her late husband’s favourites.
The thick black sauce of the Jjajang Myeon ($10.80) was quite ‘legit’, also included with pieces of pork cubes.
The noodles were cooked till too soft and wet for my liking though, otherwise would have been a better mix.
Nipong Naepong – 313@somerset
313@somerset #B3-03, 313 Orchard Road Singapore 238895 (Somerset MRT)
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 10pm (Sat – Sun)
Nipong Naepong – JEM
JEM #01-16, 50 Jurong Gateway Road, Singapore 608549 (Jurong East MRT)
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 10pm (Sat – Sun)
While Nipong Naepong is the first Jjamppong specialty restaurant in Singapore, their Jjajangmyeon ($13.90) is a noodle dish for those who want something basic yet classic, this Korean-Chinese staple is prepared by combining noodles with a black bean sauce.
This Jjajangmyeon uses jjolmyeon noodles topped with minced pork, boiled quail eggs, fresh cucumber strips, a sprinkling of sesame seeds, and the key ingredient black bean sauce.
Give it a good toss, and you would love the earthy aroma and slightly salty thick sauce. Nipong Naepong (JEM)
The Cathay B1, 2 Handy Road Singapore 229233
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Other outlet at Funan: 107 North Bridge Rd, #B1-31 Funan Mall, Singapore 179105
Ajumma’s Jjajangmyeon ($11.90) contains a bowl of springy noodles accompanied with special Jjajang sauce, a combination of tender pork collar, black bean paste, vegetables, all fried into an aromatic paste.
If you order delivery, the Jjajangmyeon Dosirak ($15.90) comes with crispy pork and chives mandus and 2 banchan (side dishes).
249 Victoria Street (Bugis Village), Singapore 188032 (Bugis MRT)
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Sun – Thu), 11am – 10pm (Fri – Sat)
Other outlets at Northpoint City, Jewel Changi Airport, Clementi Mall, Changi Airport T2
Something different here from the usual Korean fried chicken shops is the Jjajangmyeon and Seafood Jjamppong that are usually only available in Chinese-Korean restaurants.
Jinjja’s Jjajangmyeon contain savoury black bean sauce in a mixture of minced meat, cucumber and fresh noodles.
All their outlets are halal certified.
Delivery available via https://jinjja-chicken.oddle.me/en_SG (Delivery charges depend on area.)
Bugis+, 201 Victoria St, #01-11, Singapore 188067
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9:30pm (Sun – Thurs), 11:30am – 10pm (Fri) 11am – 10pm (Sat)
Bonchon Chicken is known for its Korean Fried Chicken, but do you know it serves up Jjajangmyeon ($10.90) as well?
Their version comes with imported Korean dry noodles tossed with housemade black bean sauce, topped with sliced cucumber and grill boneless chicken.
It was acceptable, just that perhaps the lack of smaller meat pieces and a saucier base could make you feel something doesn’t feel complete.
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Nipong Naepong (313@somerset)