Mouth-watering barbecue

Bornga korean restaurant dining cuisine bbq where review
Woosamyup

Korean restaurants are plentiful but Bornga serves a mean menu of barbecued pork dishes that will make your mouth water

By Chia Hui Jun

Apart from hearty stews, street food, and soju that Korea is known for, Koreans also have Gogigui. It’s basically Korean barbecue, and is often prepared at the diners’ tables with inbuilt grills.

At Bornga, the meats are grilled right in front of you, which adds to the sense of anticipation as you watch them slowly turning invitingly brown.

THE NIBBLES

The appetiser was water kimchi, which was cold and spicy, with crunchy radish bits. I liked the vegetable salad as the sesame oil made the sweet, tangy sauce fragrant.

There is a wide assortment of banchan, or side dishes for diners to choose from. They also provide ten varieties of fresh vegetables for you to wrap the meat and kimchi.

WINSOME GRILLED PORK

We started off with Mansinjang Samgyupsal ($24 per 200g), which was tenderised pork belly with parsley flakes, salt and pepper. To be honest, this dish was a little plain and forgettable.

Fortunately, the Yangnyum Dwaeji Galbi ($33 per 250g) was more promising. They changed the grill to a copper one to ensure more even cooking, and the pork ribs marinated with a special house sauce were soft, tender and succulent.

The highlight of the night had to be their signature dish, Woosamgyup ($28 per 200g), featuring Chef Paik’s patented recipe of thinly-sliced US beef short plate seasoned in Bornga secret marinade. Chef Paik is a renowned celebrity chef in Korea.

This beef brisket was doused in sauce just before it was grilled, which apparently enhances the traditional bulgogi taste. It was bursting with flavour, and amazingly delicious.

Bornga korean restaurant dining cuisine bbq where review
Yangyum Dwaeiji Galbi

MORE YUMMY DISHES

They then served the Dwaeji Gohchujang Barbecue ($36), where spicy pork slices are grilled, and then stir-fried with spring onions and served with leek on a hot plate. This is a dish I felt had personality – it had a distinctive taste, and the caramelised onions had me going for seconds.

Next up was the Bornga Bulgogi ($45), a yummy bubbling hotpot with beef fillet, vegetables and glass noodles which made for a break from the last two intensely-flavoured dishes. The beef stock was naturally sweetened with pear broth, and it was warm, mild and comforting. This dish serves about two to three people.

The more spicy dishes were served at the end, with the sixth dish being Sundubu Jjigae ($18), a tofu stew. It is put together and cooked in the serving vessel, with a raw egg added before serving.

The seafood soup was full of ingredients such as tofu, egg, scallops, and clams. Its fiery red exterior belied a mildly spicy and sweet taste, which was a pleasant surprise for me.

The last dish, Yukgaejang ($20) was a fiery beef soup with shredded beef, scallions, bean sprouts and glass noodles. It was too hot for my liking, but may just be what another chilli-loving Singaporean is looking for.

Bornga, Vivo City, #02-123/124, 1 Harbourfront Avenue, Singapore 098585

Republished from Issue 38.