Ah, the power of TikTok.
Charim Korean BBQ opened in the middle of the pandemic yet turned into a success thanks to a TikTok video gone viral.
Ryu, a Korean living in Singapore, left her job at Apple to open her mum’s lifetime dream restaurant.
For years her mum worked as a chef at a Korean restaurant, and now she is running her own kitchen while Ryu manages the front-of-the-house and admin tasks.
The Korean BBQ restaurant is named after charim, which means “the table is set” and represents its beautiful food presentation.
Even the ban chan (side dishes) and condiments were thoughtfully created to complement that taste of BBQ meats.
Note that as they do not accept reservations, so you can drop by for walk-ins.
It is recommended to go slightly off-peak hours; if not write your name outside on the clipboard, and wait for your turn.
They have BBQ Sets (Good for 2 pax) which to make choosing easier:
Set A ($65) Pork Belly, Salted Pork Neck, Sliced Pork Belly
Set B ($65) Pork Belly, Seasoned Pork Neck, Soy Chicken
Set C ($80) Prime Beef, Pork Belly, Soy Chicken
Set D ($98) Seasoned King Beef Rib, Beek Brisket, Prime Beef
All set menu includes 1 soup (choice of kimchi, soybean, sundubu) & steamed egg, which is a good bonus to have.
However, you can also go a la carte where meats range from $24 to $54.
For fans of pork, choose from 180g-servings of Pork Belly ($24), Salted Pork Neck ($24), Pork Jowl ($24), Black Pork Belly ($28), Sliced Pork Belly ($24), Spicy Pork Belly ($25), Iberico Pork ($28), and Seasoned Pork Neck ($24).
If you like beef, they offer the premium Wagyu Beef Loin ($54, 180g). Enjoy grilling marinated beef with Marinated Beef Rib ($45.80, 230g) and Marinated Beef ($35, 200g).
Don’t miss their Specialty Charim Chicken ($38) available as sweet or spicy. The Spicy Chicken ($23, 230g) and Soy Chicken ($23, 230g) are both chef-recommended items.
I had the Set B ($65) which included Pork Belly, Salted Pork Neck, and Sliced Pork Belly, and the meats were fresh, of good quality, and well-marinated.
Here’s what I like about this BBQ restaurant: large pieces of kimchi and beansprouts are laid down on the side of the cast iron pan, so that you can pick them up to go with your meats and vegetables to add some textures, spice and tanginess.
This stretch along Tanjong Pagar can be quite competitive for Korean restaurants, with many having similar offerings and price-points.
To me, their winning edge would be the service as they were welcoming (they look like they are entirely family-owned) and would help you with the BBQing. I don’t mind doing it myself, but would prefer to leave the cutting and serving to the experts.
They can be considered quite quick and efficient as well.
If there is a personal wishlist, I would hope for some free-flow Korean barley or corn tea.
Also try their DIY Sushi Rice ($5, 8 pieces) which comes with sushi rice, wasabi, and Korean wild leeks with house specialty sauce. Meat not included.
You can catch their Lunch Special Andong Jjimdak ($42) or the Lunch Special Set (Available Mon-Fri only). Get the Soy Chicken Set ($19.90) or Pork Neck Set ($19.90) which pairs the meat with cold noodle (spicy or non-spicy).
Charim Korean BBQ
65 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088486
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 11pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
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