Korean BBQ and dining with a touch of 80s retro?
88 Seoul BBQ newly opened in the heart of Serangoon Garden, takes you on a journey back to the streets of 1980s Seoul.
1988 is special to Koreans because it marked the year Seoul hosted the Summer Olympics, symbolising South Korea’s emergence on the global stage.
There is another reason.
The 1980s was a transformative one for Korean dining. Historically, beef took centre-stage on Korean tables, but that period saw the emergence of pork as a delicious, yet economical alternative.
That culinary evolution forms the ethos of 88 Seoul BBQ, which champions pork – reminiscent of Seoul’s bustling street barbeque joints of that era.
A prime highlight of the 85-seater 88 Seoul BBQ is their dry-aged Duroc pork.
This isn’t just your regular pork. The Duroc breed, known for its marbling, promises meat that is tender, juicy, and rich in flavour.
88 Seoul BBQ elevates this already prime meat by subjecting it to a meticulous 3-week dry-aging process.
The result? Pork that’s tender to the touch, enriched in flavour, with every bite oozing a deep, meaty essence.
With unique cuts such as Pork Rib Fingers, LA Galbi and A5 Wagyu Cubes, check out the following 88 Seoul BBQ recommendations:
88 Pork Sets
For those who want to sample a bit of everything, 88 Seoul BBQ offers meat sets. The 88 Pork Set A ($99.88), offers an array of choices from Dry-Aged Pork Belly, Dry-Aged Pork Collar, Marinated Pork Collar, Pork Rib Finger to the delightful Pork Jowl.
For something a tad lighter on the pocket but still heavy on flavour, there are the 88 Pork Set B ($68.88) and 88 Pork Set C ($65.88).
Each set is accompanied by a steaming pot of Steamed Egg and a choice of either heartwarming Kimchi or Soy Bean Stew.
The highlights are the 21-Day Dry-Aged Duroc Pork Belly and Pork Collar. You can get one of the friendly servers to help barbecue as well.
As I took my first bite, the pork belly was tender, with a slightly nutty taste, punctuated by a smoky finish.
To me, I preferred the Marinated Pork Collar. The marinade, subtly sweet and savoury, complemented the natural flavours of the pork well.
88 Beef Sets
If pork isn’t your meat of choice, don’t fret. 88 Seoul BBQ ensures that beef lovers are not left out.
They offer a range of prime beef options such as 88 Beef Set A ($138.88) with Wagyu Beef Ribeye, Beef Rib Finger, Marinated LA Galbi, Beef Brisket.
There is also the 88 Beef Set B ($88.88) included with Beef Short Rib, Marinated LA Galbi, and Beef Brisket
The Wagyu Beef Ribeye would suit those who prefer a blend of buttery richness and deep beefy notes.
In contrast, the Beef Brisket was sliced till thin, with slightly charred exterior giving way to layers of juicy and flavour-packed meat.
Then, there was the Marinated LA Galbi – my favourite.
Thinly sliced across the bone, it allowed for absorption of the sweet-savoury marinade.
As for the Premium Beef Short Ribs, the meat was tender to the core, with its juices sealed within.
88 Seoul BBQ also offers an array of other Korean dishes, stews and soups.
Some of the highlights include Spicy Stir-Fried Pork ($16.88), Kimchi Stew ($13.88), Spicy Soft Tofu Stew ($13.88), Army Stew ($35.88), and Spicy Seafood Oden Soup ($35.88).
Spicy Stir-Fried Baby Octopus ($38.88)
Tender morsels of baby octopus, cooked with a fiery yet balanced sauce with subtle sweetness.
There is an Octopus version to this dish.
Cheese Dakgalbi with Tuna Rice Ball ($29.88)
The Dakgalbi is a popular Korean dish featuring chicken stir-fried with a variety of vegetables and a spicy gochujang-based sauce.
Imagine tender chicken pieces, crunchy veggies, and the gooey cheese pulling it all together. Warning: very additive. I found myself finishing the entire plate (even when I was already quite full).
88 Seoul BBQ takes it a notch higher by adding a bowl of Tuna Rice to the mix. You get a bowl of rich tuna flakes, seaweed, mentaiko (spicy fish roe), and rice.
With gloves provided, you can mix the ingredients and mould them into fun shapes, adding an interactive element to the dining experience.
Korean Seafood Pancake ($18.88)
The Korean Seafood Pancake was crisp on the outside, soft and filled with an array of seafood on the inside.
Each slice revealed bits of shrimp, squid, and green onions held together by a flavourful batter, though I found this slightly on the oilier side.
The option of a Kimchi version ($16.88) would cater to those looking for that tangy kick.
88 Seoul BBQ, with its diverse offerings, is more than just a dining spot. It is an experience, a journey through the streets of Seoul, capturing the evolution of Korean BBQ of the 80s. Quite fun.
88 Seoul BBQ
68 Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555964
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 12am (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with 88 Seoul BBQ.