I was reminiscing the days when I travelled to South Korea for work esp. that few authentic Korean BBQs I had when I was there. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to hunt down a similar authentic restaurant in Singapore until I read about Blue Garden from a few local food blogs. Located on the ground level of the Link Hotel, it resembled any of the restaurants along the streets of Seoul.
A Korean lady greeted us at the door and showed us to our table. It wasn’t crowded at lunch on a weekday but we made a reservation anyway. Very typical Korean furnishings. Nothing too fanciful. Just felt like this was a home kitchen and dining room and it was all pure casual dining. The buffet line was condensed in a U-shape right in the middle for easy access.
The variety of the ingredients wasn’t overly outstanding but for the price we had paid, it was well worth the money. Anyway, a Korean BBQ is all about enjoying meat, meat and more meat. So long meat are plentiful, there’s nothing else to complain.
We started off the BBQ with all meat. There were pork shoulder, pork belly, beef shoulder, bulgogi beef and bulgogi chicken to choose from. Of course we had to take a bit of everything. The meat slices had the right thickness and tasted really good when grilled both sides. My favourites would have to be the bulgogi beef and pork belly. There were also sausages, tripes, intestines and prawns but they weren’t great. I thought the intestines tasted funny, probably because they weren’t properly cleaned out.
What’s a Korean BBQ without lettuce? The traditional way of eating this would be to wrap the meat with a slice of lettuce and to dip it in the bean sauce provided. For me, I didn’t use any sauce at all as I thought the ingredients were fresh enough to be eaten on their own. I got addicted to eating meat with spring onion kimchi though (picture below). There were so many types of home-made kimchi and this was definitely my favourite among all. I normally don’t even eat that much spring onions but these were tastily preserved. I probably had thirds!
Spring Onion Kimchi
There was also a small section of cooked food – Korean ginseng chicken soup, fried chicken drumlets, stewed pork belly, sushi, pan cake, kimchi fried rice, rice cakes and all sorts of kimchi. I didn’t really bother myself with these items as I was there only for the BBQ but again, I must highlight that the spring onion kimchi did blow me away.
Be prepared to smell like BBQ meat when you leave the restaurant. There are no exhaust fans in the restaurant so the smoke and smell will surely get you. Despite that, we didn’t really mind at all as our tummies were made very happy. This could probably be the closest (to authentic Korean BBQ) we can get here. Perhaps they should consider serving beef short ribs in future 🙂
Blue Garden Korean BBQ Buffet Restaurant
50 Tiong Bahru Road
Link Hotel #01-07
Tel: 6224 0700