Tteokbokki 떡볶이 must be one of Korea’s most popular street food, and you see it featured so often in K-dramas that makes you crave for it all the more.
However, you may not find these Korean rice cakes not that readily available in Singapore Korean restaurants, especially portions more suitable for individuals and smaller groups.
Jjamppong specialty restaurant Nipong Naepong known for its unique fusion renditions of the Korean-Chinese seafood noodles soup dish, has introduced a new Tteokbokki range with four exciting flavours.
Hailing from South Korea, Nipong Naepong which is literally translated as ‘your ppong, my ppong’ serves up a vibrant menu of fusion Jjamppong (from soupy, creamy to dry), Iron-Plate Rice, Korean-style Risotto, thin tortilla Pizzas, and drinks.
There are currently two outlets – at 313@somerset and Jem.
The exterior of the restaurant features a white-tiled wall splashed with the word ‘PONG’ in royal blue; with mix of cement, brick, accentuated by a neon lightbulb wall fixture on the inside.
Check out the new Tteokbokki dishes in four different flavours which includes Tteobokki (original), Rose Tteokbokki, Creamy Tteokbokki and Buldak Tteokbokki:
In Korean cuisine, Tteokbokki is ranked in the top 5 most spicy dishes, and this version (out of the 4 new ones) will probably taste closest to the classic. However, I think this would be considered mildly-spicy to Korean food lovers.
The Tteokbokki comes with Korean rice cakes smothered in high-heat with Korean fish cakes, quail eggs and spicy tteokbokki sauce.
You can eat this on its own, or pour that molten gooey mozzarella cheese over which elevates the Tteokbokki to another level.
Savour the chewiness of the cakes, the rich taste of the cheese, along with the sweet-spiciness of the sauce all blossoming in your mouth.
The cheese also helps to cut some of that spiciness, and create something addictively-flavourful and comforting together.
Buldak Tteokbokki ($18.90)
This version of the Tteokbokki is cooked in buldak sauce and served with cocktail chicken sausages, sweet marinated bulgogi beef, and topped with mozzarella cheese.
“Bul” means “fire” and “dak” translates to “chicken”, and this dish comes with 2 levels of spiciness.
This was not as spicy as I imagined; if you are up to the challenge, order the Level 2.
Creamy Tteokbokki ($18.90)
This tasted somewhat like Carbonara-style Tteokbokki which would be suitable for non-spice lovers and children.
This creamy version of the Tteokbokki is served with cocktail chicken sausages, bulgogi beef and topped with mozzarella cheese.
Rose Tteokbokki ($19.90)
Rose in this case refers to the “pink” sauce, in which you can get the best of both worlds which marries the richness of cream sauce and the refreshing tanginess of tomato puree in one plate.
Also served with cocktail chicken sausages, bulgogi beef and topped with mozzarella cheese, the tomato cream sauce is slightly spicy and can remind some of Italian pasta.
Beef Cha Ppong ($16.90)
There are two versions of Cha Ppong served here, the more classic seafood and bulgogi beef.
The Seafood Jjamppong noodles would be served loaded with fried cabbage, mussels, squid, prawn, and quail eggs; while the Beef Cha Ppong is for the meat-lovers (also for those don’t take shellfish) topped with a hearty portion of bulgogi-style beef.
There are two levels of spiciness you can choose from. I went for the Level 1, and liked that there was already this fiery kick in the piping hot broth, yet not over.
The soup was actually quite addictive, of richly flavoured seafood broth, balanced with the sweetness of the broth.
Cooked in high heat, it imparted some wok-hei and drinking the deep-spicy soup could result in some tissue-worth of head sweat.
This Korean-Chinese staple is prepared by combining noodles with a black bean sauce.
This jjajangmyeon is topped with minced pork, boiled quail eggs, fresh cucumber strips, a sprinkling of sesame seeds, and the key ingredient black bean sauce.
The difference is Nipong Naepong uses jjolmyeon noodles which are chewy wheat noodles.
Give it a good toss, and you would love the earthy aroma and slightly salty thick sauce.
Jeju Spicy Pork Iron-Plate Rice ($15.90)
Created exclusively for Nipong Naepong Singapore, the Iron-Plate Rice series is inspired by ‘hansang’ (한상), a Korean term that means ‘a table with a full meal’.
Each set is served on a customised wooden platter with a hotplate accompanied by condiments and side dishes.
The name of each dish in this series references a region or landmark in South Korea, with choices of of Hallasan Volcano ($15.90), Chuncheon Dakgalbi ($15.90), Seoul Bulgogi ($15.90), and Jeju Spicy Pork Iron-Plate Rice ($15.90).
I enjoyed the Jeju Spicy Pork Iron-Plate Rice which comprised of spicy, stir-fried pork belly slices, leeks, crushed seaweed and rice with furikake (a dry Japanese seaweed-based seasoning).
Mix them all up on the hot plate then wrap in a fresh lettuce leaf. Don’t forget to add some ssamjang, pickled radish, and of course, kimchi.
Spicy Keu Seafood Risotto ($17.90)
Other than noodles, there are also Risotto dishes of Spicy Keu Seafood Risotto ($17.90), Spicy Keu Beef Risotto ($19.90), and Soi Chicken Risotto ($13.90).
The Spicy Keu Seafood ($17.90) is possibly my favourite Risotto, cooked with a mix of Nipong Naepong’s Keu cream sauce and chilli oil, with smokiness that comes from the addition of wok-fried seafood.
Saucy due to the milk and cream added, with a alluring level of spiciness.
Ni Pizza – Sweet Potato ($18.90)
Nipong Naepong also serves up four different types of pizzas – Ninae Pizza-Spinach, Ni Pizza-Sweet Potato, Nae Pizza-Garlic and Coco Pizza-Coconut; all made fresh and served from the oven.
These are not quite your Italian pizzas, but can be best described as sweet and savoury pizzas on baked tortilla wraps.
The Ni Pizza – Sweet Potato can be eaten almost like a dessert, topped with velvety sweet potato puree.
Don’t just gobble it up. You are supposed to take a slice with your hands, roll it up, dip into the fluffy whipped cream, and enjoy.
Melon Yogurt ($14.50 for 1 litre)
Good for sharing between two to three people, this is a refreshing blend of yoghurt, honeydew and ice – especially ideal as a foil against hot soups and spicy food.
The jug is topped off with a honeydew popsicle that enriches the flavour of the icy beverage as it melts.
Get an entire jug for every order of this fruity concoction, enough for 2-3 people.
Combined with the sweet honeydew melon is a deliciously tart yogurt, making this icy beverage a balance of flavours. To complete the setup, the 1-liter jug is served topped with a honeydew-flavoured popsicle.
Once it melts, your drink will be much richer.
Nipong Naepong – 313@somerset
313@somerset #B3-03, 313 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238895
Tel: +65 6509 8364
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm Last order 9pm (Sun – Thurs), 11am – 10pm Last order 9:30pm (Fri – Sat)
Nipong Naepong – Jem
Jem #01-16, 50 Jurong Gateway Road, Singapore 608549
Tel: +65 6816 8061
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm Last order 9pm, 11am – 10pm Last order 9:30pm (Fri – Sat)
Islandwide Delivery: https://kfood.oddle.me
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Nipong Naepong.