Even though there are many new and popular Korean drama shows on Netflix, Reply 1988 starring Lee Hye-ri, Ryu Jun-yeol, Go Kyung-pyo, and Park Bo-gum about five friends and their families still hold a special place in my heart.
It is for this reason that I made a visit to this Korean BBQ restaurant, just to see what it is all about.
Inspired by the popular K-drama Reply 1988, this authentic Korean charcoal BBQ restaurant 응팔식당 at Jalan Besar stands out in a sea of dim sum shops.
It also has a 5-star Google rating as of now (which means almost everyone gave it full 5 stars). Plus point, unlike many other popular Korean BBQ restaurants at Tanjong Pagar, this shop accept reservations.
This 40-seater neon sign-adorned restaurant has a striking green and white exterior.
Some traces of this drama such as print-outs of iconic scenes, though I wished there were more decorations such as posters or props like an old telephone. Won’t have minded if they play more OSTs from that era.
They have BBQ Sets for 2 or 4. complete with side dishes, lettuce and Soybean Paste soup or spicy Kimchi Pork Soup.
Choose between the Black Pork Set at $54 for 2 px (pork belly, pork neck, pork jowl) and the Black Pork + Beef Set at $64 for 2 pax (Duroc pork belly, Prime ribeye steak, marinated LA beef).
For pure beef lovers, the Beef Set at $84 for 2 pax comes with Prime Beef Short Ribs, Marinated Beef, and Marinated LA Beef Rib. A 3-4 pax set is priced at $129.
One thing that would leave an impression is the thickness of the cuts – the pork belly was of a substantial size.
An ajumma came to help out with the grilling and cutting, and she was really friendly and skilled, tried to strike up a conversation even though English is not her language.
She mentioned that the banchan and soup bases are made in-house, and has a homely and kampong-style taste – perhaps a reflection of the show.
I am not sure if many Korean restaurants in Singapore do this, but they actually change the grill depending on the type of meats selected. For example, the Marinated LA Beef Rib was grilled on a wire mesh.
Other than K BBQ, the restaurant also serves a selection of K Chicken and street food. The a la carte menu offers an extensive selection of Korean fare, from the japchae to kimchi pancakes and everything in between.
These include Korean-style Fried Chicken with Bone, Boneless Yangyum Chicken (available sweet or spicy), Kukmul Tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes with fish cake), Charcoal BBQ Chicken (boneless chicken with veggies and rice cakes), Goon Man Du (Korean Pork Dumpling), Fried Mozzarella Cheese Balls, and many more.
Feeling a little bit chilly?
They have comforting Jeongol (hot pot) good for 2-3 pax like Budae Jeongol aka Army Stew ($37), Kimchi Pork Bulgogi Jeongol ($34), to even Seafood Cheese Tteokbokki ($39).
Would save some space for the ala carte dishes for next time. In the meantime, I loved the authenticity of the food and family-like warmth from the servers. Just like Reply 1988!
200 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208886
Tel No.: +65 9385 5477
Opening Hours: 5pm – 11pm (Mon); 12:30pm – 11pm (Tue – Sat); 12:30pm – 10pm (Sun)
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