New to Bukit Merah Central hidden in a non-descript kopitiam is Jeong’s Jjajang 중화반점, a Korean-owned stall serving authentic Korean food at an economical price.
Perhaps not where you would expect serving Korean-Chinese food the likes of Jjajangmyeon, Jjampong, and Tangsuyuk.
Talking about Bukit Merah, this older estate near Redhill is enjoying quite a flux of new ‘happening’ stalls such as No. 25 Minced Meat Noodle (within the same coffeeshop), Yakiniku Warrior 165 Pork Rib Prawn Noodles, and Ah Keat Chicken Rice.
Jeong’s Jjajang started by renting a cloud kitchen space at Tampines North, and found a physical space here. The Korean chef used to head Hongjjajang (now closed) at Tanjong Pagar, and has more than 20 years of experience working in Korean restaurants.
With its location in a kopitiam, you can get addictive bowls of noodles at half the price you will usually find.
What else should you get other than the headlined Jjajangmyeon with generous portions at ($8)?
Other items include Kimchi Fried Rice ($9), Kimchi Soup ($9), Soondubu Soup ($9), Doenjang Soup ($9), Fried Dumpling ($5 for 6 pcs), Kimchi Pancake ($10) and Seafood Pancake ($10).
My Jjajangmyeon was a good one – earthy-tasting, hot piping sauce, and had decent sized chunks of pork throughout.
Mix the bowl well to get the noodles coated with the sauce and white sesame. It came with a small dish of kimchi and pickled radish too.
However, some may feel that the sauce is thinner and not as flavour-packed as some offered by the famous JJM restaurants.
The noodles, poached but retaining its springiness, is topped with generous scoops of the black bean sauce. Worthy to mention is that the noodles are made in store fresh daily, and thus retains a tasty chewy bite.
If you bring a friend with you, you can share the Jaengbanjjajang ($20), which are stir-fried noodles. It has an extra layer of smokiness that you may like better than the traditional jjajangmyeon.
The Jjamppong ($10) was one of my favourites, because the soup base was fiery hot and addictive, brimming with flavours of seafood.
Another signature of the stall is the Tangsuyuk ($12) – a deep-fried pork dish with sweet and sour sauce. You can choose to dip the pieces to the sauce, or pour it all over.
The chunks of pork were fried to crispiness and tossed in a sweet and sour sauce, which goes well with rice ($1) or your noodles.
Have a bowl of soup too, with your pick of Kimchi Soup ($9), Soondubu Soup ($9) and Doenjang Soup ($9).
They definitely do not shy away from taking the sourness up a notch, which is perfect if you prefer your soups less spicy but more tangy.
To compare, I thought that the Korean-Chinese dishes such as the Jjamppong fared stronger (than say the Soonbudu) here though.
I really must say that the value-for-money here is unbeatable, with noodle orders being authentic and handmade by the Korean chef himself.
Blk 161 Bukit Merah Central, #01-3749, Singapore 150161
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
* Written by Daniel Ang @DanielFoodDiary and Dean Ang. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.