Friday, 21 June 2013

Updates from Mia: Ssikkek Korean BBQ

A couple weeks ago, Ade suddenly had this pregnant lady's craving for Korean BBQ and I totally worsened it by raving on Blue Garden (located at Link Hotel) to her. Without a doubt, we ended our chat with an arrangement to meet up with the rest of the girls for a Korean BBQ session and that's how we found ourselves at Ssikkek Korean BBQ (Chinatown branch) earlier this week! And as I've visited Blue Garden previously but didn't blog about it, I will be squeezing in some comparisons along the way.

I gotta apologise in advance for the lack of photographs (in both numbers and quality)  for this update. I didn't plan to blog on my experience at Ssikkek initially. Only thought of doing this when I saw a forum topic asking for reviews. :p And yes, in case you're wondering what Ssikkek means, it means Shi Ke in Chinese. 

 The Chinatown branch is located at Oriental Plaza, a 5 to 10 minutes walk from Outram MRT Station Exit H (I think?). And as we're crossing the traffic lights towards the Oriental Plaza building, we can already smell the mouth-watering scent of barbequed meat from the restaurant! When we're there at 730pm on a Tuesday, the shop is already fullhouse and there's a group or two of customers waiting in line outside. A peek at the waiting list shows a handful more. But thank goodness, I had the sense to make a reservation the day before. So, no waiting required! But please, do be punctual if you made a reservation. We were there on the dot. :) 

The interior of the restaurant is relatively packed with many seats (yet still fullhouse on a Tuesday night, yes), but still has sufficient room to move about comfortably without knocking into edges and corners of tables and chairs with every step and turn of the body. We were given a mid-corner table right at the meat section. Yippee! 
As compared to Blue Garden, Ssikkek seems to have a better selection of raw items for bbq. Unlike Blue Garden, which has cut the meat into bite size, Ssikkek serves their meat in bigger pieces while providing customers with clean scissors to cut them up when they're cooked. The scissors, along with tongs, are provided at every table too, unlike Blue Garden, which was located at a common pick up point with the plates and bowls and that resulted in us forgetting about taking the tongs and using our own chopsticks to handle the raw meat! =.="



And there you have it! The pictures of sizzling barbequed meat! There's chicken bulgogi, and a selection of pork like pork collar, pork belly & bacon, and a selection of beef (not a beef-eater, so I can't comment). But Ching totally fell in love with one kind of their beef and just couldn't stop eating it.
Personally, I like the chicken best. The meat is marinated relatively well and is tender and juicy upon cooked (I have good skills, too?). The sangchu (lettuce) served were fresh and had minimal bitter taste (can't help it, sangchu in singapore can never beat sangchu in korea), hence it didn't affect the taste of my wraps as much. My habit of eating Korean BBQ is 1 pc lettuce, 1 pc meat, 1 pc kimchi = 1 wrap. And I only eat the meat as wraps, so the lettuce and kimchi are equally important to me as well. And yes, their kimchi is pretty good too! It's both spicy and sour, with a nice crunch and cut up into bite size for easy eating. I swear some places serves their kimchi badly cut and it's so exasperating trying to find a proper bite size one.
Ching, Ade and Boon obviously prefer the beef to chicken, as they just polish off stack after stack of all sorts of beef from their plates. From my observations, the thinly sliced (bacon-like) ones is the most popular of the lot. And as for the pork, well... they're just, pork. Not a fan of pork to begin with, plus look at those thick melted fats! (urgh!) But I did have my fair share of the pork collar. Not bad, though chicken bulgogi is still the winner. 
And apart from meat, there's also a small selection of seafood (prawn, which weren't fresh on the day we're there, and squids), and other miscellaneous like rice cakes and potatoes. My recommendation will be to just stick to the meat. Even though I love potatoes to bits, the waiting time for them to get cooked (even though they're already thinly sliced) can be rather frustrating. 

And as for cooked food, I have to say Ssikkek is rather disappointing. Was looking around for ddeokbokgi (spicy rice cake) but couldn't find any, even though I was informed that they do serve them. In fact, I did find the container labelled as ddeokbokgi but it turns out to be cooked meat inside... (??) There was also other cooked food like stew/soup, fries, kimbab (with soggy seaweed, of course), and japchae for us to choose from. And Japchae was the only cooked food we decided to try. It wasn't too bad, quite tasty, in fact. Even though the japchae is kind of dry (probably left out in the open for a while, but what to do? it's buffet style.), it's still pretty well seasoned and cooked just nice to give the sweet potato noodles a QQ chewy texture. Worth a try! :) 

On the other hand, Blue Garden seemed to have won in terms of selection of cooked food. I remembered they had abalone porridge (you can hardly find any abalone inside, of course. But it's still good.), ginseng chicken soup, korean pancakes (my favourite!), ddeokbogki, fried chicken wings and etc. But you gotta be fast at Blue Garden because they doesn't seem to refill the cooked food (or perhaps we were there rather late so they stopped refilling....) 

As for drinks, Ssikkek provides free flow of cold drinks, which includes korean tea and the usual soft drinks like Coke, Sprite & ILT. Blue Garden, on the other hand, only provides diner with free flow of water. All flavoured drinks are not inclusive in the buffet.

And of course, we will need an ice cream dessert after the meal! Ssikkek sells these ice bar (mango and melon flavours) at an addition of $1 per piece. But I gotta say it's just a normal ice cream (plus I'm neither a fan of either flavour). However, at just $1, why not? 
Blue Garden, on the other hand, includes ice cream scoops (chocolate, strawberry & vanilla) in the buffet.

As for the price, dinner at Ssikkek is only $24++ per head, which amounts to $28.25 in total, and $14++ for lunch. I'll recommend you go for dinner, because if I'm not wrong, Ssikkek does not serve seafood for lunch menu. Plus, we don't go home straight after a lunch gathering, right? It's really not a very good idea to go about wandering on the streets after a visit to Ssikkek (and any other bbq restaurants). Every inch of your body and clothes reek of smokey cooked meat. *sick* I felt really sorry for the commuters on the trains, especially those around me, both times I went home after Ssikkek & Blue Garden.
 Nevertheless, $28 for all those yummy meat, what are you waiting for?!


 And because I brought up Blue Garden, here's some (badly taken) pictures of the bbq while I was there.

Till then, 
Mia

3 comments:

  1. tried this before..find it abit oily. I still prefer 2d1n soju bang!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i've never tried soju bang before! will go try that out one day! :)

      Delete
  2. wow! will try this one day! ^^

    ReplyDelete

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