10 Best Korean Restaurants in Singapore: BBQ, Bibimbap & Fried Chicken
Eat & Drink |
January 08, 2021
We have had a constant love for Korean food since Hallyu hit our shores. It is true if you are now craving for that meaty goodness wrapped in lettuce, a piping hot bibimbap bowl, some pieces of crispy-juicy fried chicken, or all of them.
It is ok to crave for good food at all times. What to do now is to get your right fix at the right restaurants. Just allow those listed below to make a hit with you.
The restaurant has been started as an idea of Big Mama who was a former maths and science teacher. She decided to utilize her experience in cooking Korean food to serve Korean students studying in Singapore. She has succeeded in attracting customers from different backgrounds, indeed.
- A place to have one of the best Dakgalbi in Singapore: It is hard to find a Korean restaurant serving Dakgalbi in town. Fortunately, Big Mama offers Dakgalbi as one of its two signature dishes. Tender chicken chunks, vegetables, rice cake, sweet potato, and spicy sauce are included as ingredients, pan-fried on the spot at your table. The dish is delicious to taste and entertaining to watch. And the best is to save a small portion of your Dakgalbi in the pan and add a bowl of rice (S$3) to be fried with the remaining foods. The fragrant fried rice will certainly satisfy both your palate and stomach.
- Big Mama is there for those who want to experience Korean home-style cooking: Just like mom cooks for her child and so does Big Mama. A lot of Korean students have flocked to this homely eatery to enjoy a taste of home.
- More Korean specialties on the menu: At Big Mama, you can find more than just Korean popular dishes such as grilled meats, bibimbap, and ginseng chicken soup. With around 30 items, the restaurant offers you a beautiful selection of dishes that are closer to daily local meals.
BANCHAN: There are six complimentary and refillable side dishes served at Big Mama (kimchi, spinach, crunchy lotus roots, japchae, water-chestnut cake, and ikan bilis). While all the banchan are pretty good, the standout is the kimchi.
- Dakgalbi (S$15/pax, min 2 pax)
- Suyuk ($25/$40)
- Seafood pancake (S$15)
- Grilled mackerel (S$18)
- Mandoo ramyeon (S$10)
AMBIENCE: Big Mama has a very simple interior with pictures of signature dishes pasted on the walls to inspire diners with their tantalizing colors. With the presence of Korean diners, Korean TV shows from a screen on a corner, and warm service, you will feel like dining in a cozy house of a Korean friend.
AVERAGE PRICE/PAX: S$30
LOCATION: This small casual Korean eatery is located on Kim Tian road which is walkable from Tiong Bahru MRT.
- Reservation should be made 2 days in advance.
- Only service charge applies, no GST
Todamgol is considered as a successful step of those who have run the famous Kko Kko Nara restaurant since 2008. This restaurant is a new standout in Tanjong Pagar that offers Korean BBQ as well as Korean favorites such as bibimbap, pancake, and japchae. While dinner menu stands on the high side, its lunch menu is very affordable. Diners can definitely get a delicious lunch dish at S$12.
- Dining in a traditional Korean village: On Tanjong Pagar road, if you catch sight of a Korean restaurant with rustic decoration, it would be Todamgol. The charm of climbing plants and village-related ornaments in front of the restaurant invites diners over while the cozy interior with wooden tables, old-fashioned chairs, and uniquely decorated walls makes diners feel like being in a Korean village.
- Bibimbap – one of the best in Singapore: Ingredients that set bibimbap at Todamgol apart from its counterparts are the bibimbap sauce and a large amount of seaweed in each bowl. Taste it and feel how the light sesame flavor sauce brings out the difference of your favorite dish.
- Pricey yet big: A Todamgol’s main dish costs more than other Korean eateries’, but its size will make any diners satisfied. Ranging between S$25 and S$35, Todamgol’s main courses are big enough for 3 persons to share.
- Open till 3am: Looking for a Korean restaurant for late-night dining? Todamgol is a good choice.
BANCHAN: There are about 5 to 6 banchan served at Todamgol.
- Bu Dae Ji Gae
- Beo Seot Bool Go Gi
- Seafood pancake
- Kim Chi Jun Gol
- Sam Gyub Sal
DRINKS: Korean rice wine, liquor, hot tea, Korean cold beverages, and soft drinks are served at reasonable prices.
ATMOSPHERE: Todamgol is where Korean businessmen choose to have their meals, enticing food fragrances waft in the air and Kpop music is played in the background. The main seating area is quite spacious and comfortable. Private rooms are also available for large groups.
AVERAGE PRICE/PAX: S$35
- Reservation is highly recommended.
- Some dishes are only available for lunch.
Jang Won is one of the best Korean restaurants in Chinatown. Run by a Korean family and followed by not only Korean diners but also Japaneses and locals, this restaurant is quite a find for those who prefer a touch of Korean in a less crowded environment.
- A comfortable and relaxing atmosphere for enjoying Korean food right at Chinatown: Settled in hectic Chinatown, Jang Won is a gem among various Korean restaurants in the area. You can find there a more spacious dining room, a decorating style that gives you a glimpse of the quiet countryside, and most importantly, delicious dishes.
- Kimchi jjigae – an enticing dish: This kimchi soup is highly recommended among food bloggers. With S$14, you will have a big, red, hot soup bowl with kimchi, tofu, and thinly sliced pork. Its color is enticing and its taste is a highway to heaven.
- Private room available: Jang Won offers a private room suitable for a group of 15 people.
BANCHAN: Jang Won’s banchan menu is regularly rotated so you will have chances to taste different sets of banchan. Normally, there are 6 banchan served, which are complementary and refillable.
- Kimchi chigae (kimchi soup)
- So galbi (short pork rib)
- Samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly)
- Korean ginseng chicken soup
- Kimchi pancake
AVERAGE PRICE/PAX: S$25
- Buses: 51, 63, 124, 174, 174E, 186, 851, 961, 961# and 970 (Walk 2 mins from bus stop B05131)
- Nearest MRT station: Chinatown MRT (NE4) (Walk 1 min from Exit A)
Wang Dae Bak Korean BBQ Restaurant is one of the most well known Korean BBQ restaurants in Singapore. As its name would suggest, the restaurant is specialized in serving high-quality BBQ dishes at affordable prices. Besides, a good selection of Korean favorites such as pancakes is also on offer.
- It is a real charcoal BBQ: This sets Wang Dae Bak apart from others. Grill prime rib and pork belly over the charcoal fire; you will know how special and flavorful they are.
- Free flow of egg BBQ: It sounds strange but is quite a highlight at Wang Dae Bak. Egg mix is poured around the side of the barbeque pan and what you need to do is wait until it turns fluffy. Half-cooked or well done are both awesome and wonderfully, it is free.
- Huge size pancakes for sharing and filling: Served on bamboo-woven trays, Wang Dae Bak’s pancakes are really impressive with their huge portion and generous ingredients. If your pancake turns cold, grill it over the charcoal fire to taste it crispy until the last piece.
BANCHAN: There are 5 complimentary and refillable banchan served at Wang Dae Bak.
- Prime rib
- Spicy pork belly
- Marinated chicken
- Kimchi pancake
- Seafood pancake
- Spicy seafood tofu soup
- Budae jjigae
ATMOSPHERE: Wang Dae Bak at China Square is much more spacious and convivial than its sister restaurant at Amoy street. During dinner time, it is packed with Koreans, Japaneses, and locals enjoying BBQ with soju. It is such an inspiring scene for anyone to start his order.
AVERAGE PRICE/PAX: S$33
- Reservation is highly recommended.
- Free barley tea is served.
- Each table is required to order at least 2 servings of meat.
- Charcoal BBQ pans are only available at dinner time. Korean-style hotplates are used at lunchtime instead.
If you are meat eaters, you can devour this rich protein flavor for your daily meals. Whenever you feel like having meat for lunch or dinner, head yourself to Ssikkek BBQ, it certainly satisfies your needs.
- Food paradise for meat eaters: Fresh and well-marinated beef, pork, and chicken are always full in deep trays for a meat paradise experience. The Ssikkek-style marinated meats reveal true Korean flavors while the non-marinated meats are available for you to jazz them up with your own recipes before letting them be grilled on the pan.
- Wide variety of food: Catching your eyes with an array of dishes at the uncooked and cooked food sections, Ssikkek offers a wide food selection for your BBQ party. You can enjoy bacon, sausages, seafood, and side dishes between your meat helpings.
- Reasonably-priced lunch buffet: With $14, we can have a lunch buffet with unlimited helpings of meats (beef, pork, and chicken) and an array of cooked items. Salad greens and condiments are also available for you to balance out your meal.
BANCHAN: Kimchi, potato salads, seasoned ikan bilis, fried glass noodles, seaweed soup, and many more delicious hot and cold dishes are displayed in huge trays for you to get with no limit.
- Kimchi soup
- Rice cakes
- Pork belly
- Monday to Friday: $14.00+ (lunch), $24.00+ (dinner)
- Saturday and Sunday: $22.00+ (lunch), $24.00+ (dinner)
ATMOSPHERE: Simple setting with attracting K-pop performances shown on TV.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Friend gathering
TO BE CONSIDERED:
- Service: As a budget Korean BBQ restaurant, you are your own chef who takes food from the trays and grill it until it is perfect for your taste. There is no personalized service but the staff will offer help if required.
- Long queue: Attractive to the young, Ssikkek is always packed. The queuing time may range from half an hour to one hour.
- The heat: Entering the restaurant, you will immediately feel the heat just because you are in a BBQ restaurant with gas BBQ grills on every table.
TIP: Reservation must be done and you are advised to come on time; otherwise, your reservation will be canceled and you have to queue.
Tanjong Pagar is known as Singapore’s “Little Korea Town” because of its bustling rows of vibrant Korean restaurants, clubs, and groceries. Aside from its history and charming architecture, there is one remarkable thing about this place: the queues of hungry diners waiting outside the eateries. 2D1N Soju Bang is one of those restaurants that have gained a steady following composed of locals and foreigners alike.
2D1N Soju Bang is run by Korean chefs who specialize in classic Korean flavors but also regularly throw in creative modern recipes. Bulgogi fries while waiting for your samgyupsal – sounds delicious, doesn’t it?
- Located in the colorful Tanjong Pagar: A visit to 2D1N doesn’t have to be all about dining because Tanjong Pagar itself is an interesting destination. The place was historically a sleeping village, with most of its charming architecture still wonderfully intact. Pro tip: take a stroll around Tanjong Pagar and marvel at the art and architecture to start burning that hearty 2D1N KBBQ feast.
- Affordable premium meat combos: The mouthwatering selection of meats include Wagyu loin steak, beef short ribs, and black pork belly. You can choose to go all-beef, beef-pork combo, and chicken-pork combo. Any combo you choose comes with complimentary dishes and, of course, the requisite banchan.
- Deliciously fun Korean treats with a twist: With its depth and complexity of flavors, Korean cuisine can’t ever be boring! At 2D1N, it gets even more exciting. Try their East-meets-West dishes such as bulgogi fries, carbonara tteokbokki, and kimchi pancake.
- Wagyu Loin Steak
- Spicy Chicken Feet
- Sea Snail Salad
- Sulguk Hangover Soup
LOOK & FEEL: The frosted glass doors may seem intimidating but once you get inside 2D1N, you will ease into the unassuming brick-lined interiors, all ready to feast.
AVERAGE PRICE/PAX: S$40
NOTE: Get more value for your money by asking the staff about their ongoing promotions.
- Buses: 143, 162, 166, 851
- Nearest MRT: Novena (NS20)
K.COOK Korean BBQ Buffet is a place to head to when one has a sudden craving for Korean BBQ while being in Orchard. Yes, it is convenient. But more than that are its cheap prices, good service, and delicious food, all make up a worth-visiting restaurant.
- Well-stocked buffet areas with a good spread of meats: All one needs for a satisfying Korean BBQ meal is available – cooked food, pickles, marinated and non-marinated meats, seafood, fruits, desserts, and soft drinks. Big meat eaters can make your pick from the pork belly, beef short rib, beef bulgogi, chicken sausages, squid, prawn, and much more.
- Value for money weekday lunch buffets: The prices are very affordable and among the cheapest in Singapore for a Korean BBQ buffet! With lunch at just $14.90+ per pax, you will definitely get the bang for your buck at K Cook. Check out their Facebook page for regularly updated promotions, such as the 4-come-and-pay-3 promotion.
- Korean BBQ with a view: Located on the 7th floor of Orchard Central, K Cook dining areas, including an air-conditioned room and an open-air area, serve diners with a nice view of Orchard Road. It seems a small spend for a little luxury.
- Spicy Chicken
- Pork Belly
- Lunch $14.90++
- Dinner $24.90++
- An additional charge of $ 2 applies on weekends and public holidays
Motivated by its successful 5-year stint in Los Angeles, California, 8 Korean BBQ decided to open two stores in Singapore in 2013. The concept is simple: high-quality pork belly served 8 ways, presented as the signature dish, and which the restaurant is named after. 8 Flavors Pork Belly features the versatile meat in its 100% no-additive glory plus seven complementing flavors that are both healthful and extremely tasty.
8 Korean BBQ is more than just great-tasting pork belly; it also offers premium pork and beef selections for diners who are ready to splurge on a special meal. Oh, and just to let you in on a juicy secret: the Ktown Smash Burger is something you won’t find at any other KBBQ places – or even burger joints for that matter.
- 8 Flavors Mangalitsa Pork Belly: Pork belly in its pure, natural state already tastes good, but 8 Korean BBQ elevates its goodness by marinating it in seven nutritious flavors: red wine, ginseng, garlic, herb, curry, miso paste, and gochujang or red pepper paste. It’s no ordinary pork belly, either. Mangalitsa pork belly has higher marbling, thanks to zero use of additive hormones and its all-organic diet of nuts and vegetables.
- 12 Flavors of Makgeolli: Koreans love pairing their barbecue with alcohol. Makgeolli is a traditional sweet-sour rice wine that serves as a perfect palate cleanser between bites of KBBQ.
- Housemade Korean Side Dishes, Sauces, and Dips: To be able to have authentic Korean side dishes, sauces, and dips at home? Yes, please! 8 Korean BBQ and Joo Bar partner up to offer Joo Mun Chy in jars – delicious Korean sides and sauces such as kimchi, gochujang, ssamjang, bibimbap sauce, and cuttlefish.
MENU: 8 Korean BBQ’s menu is easy to navigate: 4 signature combos to choose from, an ala carte selection of premium pork and beef, an assortment of traditional dishes, and a kickass burger. A lunch specials menu is currently in the works and is surely going to be perfect for employees who fancy a quick indulgence during their break.
- 8 Flavors Pork Belly
- Prime Beef Combo
- Steamed Kimchi with Pork Stew
- Ktown Smash Burger
LOOK & FEEL: 8 Korean BBQ at The Central has an industrial-chic vibe going, with indoor and al fresco dining options.
AVERAGE PRICE/PAX: S$37
NOTE: If you don’t think you should be cooking food that you’re paying for in a restaurant, you can request 8 Korean BBQ’s friendly wait staff to grill your meats for you.
- Buses: 2, 12, 33, 51, 54 (2-min walk from Clarke Quay Station Exit E)
- Nearest MRT Station: Clarke Quay MRT (NE5, take Exit G – The Central)
If you want to unwind with friends at a Korean fried chicken place, head yourselves to Chicken Up on Tanjong Pagar road. For first-timers who may ask "why we have to pay high prices just for fried chicken widely found in town?' the answer is its excellent flavors and generous portions.
- Fabulous chicken: At Chicken Up, the not-too-greasy, crunchy chicken skin and succulent, tender meat are what make the dish. Served piping hot on your table, Chicken Up’s crispy and lean version always makes people want more.
- Wide variety of fried chicken: Yes, it is the true world of fried chickens with the presence of many attractive names like Spicy Up Chicken, Mild Up, Curry Up, YangNyum, Soya Chicken, Andong Stew, Popcorn Chicken, and Suicide chicken. Each of them has unique and tasty flavors that will certainly change your minds about fried chicken.
- Chicken buffet: Available at $25 for all-you-can-eat chicken and additional $15 for all-you-can-drink beer. Chicken and beer lovers, this is one of your places.
- Spicy Up
- Popcorn chicken
- Andong Stew
- Soya Chicken
- Ginseng chicken soup
SIDE DISHES: Complimentary salad and pickles are promptly served after being seated. Fishcake soup, cheese corn, and truffle fries are featured side dishes complementing well with fried chicken and the beers.
BEVERAGES: Popular Korean drinks like Hite, Soju, Asahi, and Maggoli are available.
ATMOSPHERE: Chicken Up is a cozy restaurant, offering diners two dining areas – indoor air-conditioned seating and an alfresco outdoor venue. In nice weather evenings, outdoor seating with a vibrant street view is an ideal place to chill out. The indoor area is adorned with the displayed beers and soju and made lively by Korean MTVs shown on a big screen.
OPENING HOURS: Opened as late as 2 am, Chicken Up offers chicken lovers the choice of having their favorites for either dinner or supper.
AVG PRICE/PAX: $25
With the smooth vibe of Korean native language, diners at Kko Kko Nara Korean Restaurant will enjoy a delicious chicken plate with a feel of Korea. Unlike fast food places, Kko Kko Nara offers tasty fried chicken in a laid-back atmosphere.
- Fried chicken in a pub-alike venue: Looking like a pub with a bar counter, cushion seats, dim light, and K-pop music playing in the background, Kko Kko Nara provides diners a relaxing environment to enjoy Korean fried chicken to the heart’s content.
- A late-night spot for fried chicken: Open till 3 am, this located-on-Korean-street restaurant is a place to have delicious fried chicken and soju for your big supper.
FRIED CHICKEN FLAVORS: There are four different flavors on offer: original, soy garlic sauce, sweet & spicy, and hot & spicy. Combo set is a wise choice for those who want to have a mixed plate of all four flavors.
- Korean Fried Chicken
- Kimchi chigae
- Spicy Korean Ramen
PRICE RANGE: $15 – $30
- Reservations are advised for large groups or at dinner time.
- Less cost if you have Kko Kko Nara’s dishes at lunchtime as dinners with at least $5 plus per dish are differently priced
- Side dishes are non-refillable.
- Some main dishes like Bibimbap, Bulgogi are not available at night.
- Buses: 80 and 145 (Walk 2 mins from bus stop B05421)
- Nearest MRT station: Tanjong Pagar MRT (EW15) (Walk 3 mins from Exit A)
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