Jajangmyeon 자장면 is a popular Chinese-style Korean noodle dish topped with thick black fermented sauce, diced pork, and vegetables.
There are also the more established Korean-Chinese speciality stores like Dong Fang Hong, Hwang Sil and Joo Mak Korean Restaurant, all have been around for years and quietly serving up authentic food to the community.
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.
When they shut down in early 2019, my friends and I were close to devastated as we swear by the authentic flavours of their noodles.
I could still vividly remember how their Jajangmyeon is supposed to taste like till present.
Good news is, the original owners are back in action and have set up Mukjja Korean Chinese Restaurant at Novena. *Dance with joy*
From their noodles menu, some of the familiar items including Jajangmyeon ($11), Jjamppong ($14), Seafood Udon Soup ($18) and Spicy Oyster Noodle Soup ($20) make a return.
I remembered every time opting for their Jjamjameyon ($19), which comes with half black bean paste noodles and half spicy seafood noodle soup.
The perfect choice for fickle-minded diners like me who wants the best of both (noodle) world.
Took my first mouthful and like hitting the jackpot, this is THE flavour.
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.
Their Jjamppong while not as memorable, was still generally decent. Though I felt that the spicy seafood soup could use a little more depth in flavour.
From the sharing dish menu, there are items such as Tangsuyuk ($24), Kkanpunggi – Fried Chicken in Garlic Sauce ($32), and Kansosaewoo aka Fried Shrimp in Chilli Sauce ($35).
If you watch a lot of Korean variety shows, the number one dish to have along with Jajangmyeon no doubt goes to Tangsuyuk which is Korean version of sweet and sour pork.
Generously coated with sweet and sour sauce, they use lean pork strips which the meat texture could be slightly tough for some.
While some other places separate the sauce with deep fried pork when being served, over here the sauce is already mixed in when served.
Hence, it is advised to eat while still hot before the pork strips turn too soggy.
Decided to order another sharing dish to try, Yoolingi ($35) and was pleasantly surprised.
I was served with a large slab of deep-fried boneless chicken sitting in a puddle of soy sauce dressing, topped with chopped onion, red and green chilies.
A robust combination of spiciness, sourish and savoury, which the crispy tender chicken would soak up all the flavours. An extremely appetizing dish to go along with any mains and is my type of food.
Other sharing sides such as Fried or Boiled Dumplings ($10), Japchae ($17) and Ginseng Chicken Soup ($26) are also available.
Lesson learnt – maybe I need to patronize them more often to prevent losing them again.
MukJja is located at Novena Regency, the row of shophouses diagonally opposite Novena Square.
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
* Written by Lewis Tan @juicyfingers, a self-proclaimed coffee addict. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.