Andong Zzimdak satisfies with its succulent and savoury braised chicken stew
By Samantha Francis
Jjimdak is said to be the representative dish of Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea.
Korean cuisine continues to make waves in the local food scene, but who’s complaining? From Korean barbecue to bibimbap (Korean mixed rice) and patbingsu (Korean shaved ice dessert), the options are delicious and endless.
The new kid on the block is Andong Zzimdak, a jjimdak (Korean braised chicken dish) speciality restaurant with more than 65 outlets in South Korea.
Jjimdak is said to be the representative dish of Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea. According to the owners, the jjimdak is to the South Koreans what the laksa is to us Singaporeans — in other words, an iconic dish that evokes homely flavours.
The fact that it picked Singapore to launch its first ever Southeast Asian outlet makes us pretty lucky indeed.
The stew was piled with braised chicken, carrots and potatoes, on a bed of sweet potato noodles.
Braised Stews For Sharing
Brought in by the same people behind dakgalbi (Korean grilled chicken dish) restaurant Yoogane, Andong offers four signature jjimdak dishes in the following flavours: Andong Jjimdak, Boneless Jjimdak, Seafood Jjimdak and Mayak Jjimdak.
Each of these jjimdak dishes come in medium and large portions for sharing, but my advice is to pick the medium sized one to start. The Mayak Jjimdak arrived first and it was huge. The stew was piled with braised chicken, carrots and potatoes, on a bed of sweet potato noodles. It may not be the most photogenic dish, but the rich aroma of the ganjang (Korean soy) and mulyeot (Korean corn syrup) braising sauce will awake your taste buds right away.
More Mild Than Spicy
While the Mayak Jjimdak was supposed to be the spiciest jjimdak variation on the menu, most of my dining companions and I found the spiciness rather mild. The chilis in the stew imparted a slow, gentle heat, but it was nothing unbearable.
The chicken was tender and well marinated, but the star of the dish had to be the chewy potato noodles that was sweet and savoury all at once. The strands of translucent noodles had soaked up the braising, making each mouthful a delight.
After enjoying the Mayak Jjimdak, the original Andong Jjimdak tasted rather bland in comparison. It came with the same ingredients, but had a rather mild-tasting braising sauce.
For the set lunch, diners can choose from dishes like Andong Zzimdak Rice, Chicken Cutlet Rice and more.
If you’re dining alone and still want a taste of the jjimdak, you’re better off ordering the set lunches which will set you back just $12.90. Diners can choose from dishes like Andong Zzimdak Rice, Chicken Cutlet Rice and more.
Apart from the signature stew, sides like the crispy Seafood Pancake ($9.90) will complement your meal nicely. Nonetheless, it is safe to say that the jjimdak alone will keep you happy and full till the end of your meal.
Andong Zzimdak, Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road, #B1-44F, Singapore 179103, Tel: 6533 3951