Wednesday 24 September 2014

Eight Korean BBQ – Sumptuous Mangalitza Pork Belly

Eight Korean BBQ originated from the USA open its first outlet in Singapore at the Central, Clarke Quay. The number Eight '8' represent eight different colour and marinate of the delicious Mangalitza pork belly, which is also known as the 'Kobe Beef' of Pork.

The Dining Area

The first thing that you notice when you enter 8 is the setting. Set in chick industrial setting, it is a refreshing diversion from the traditional Korean BBQ restaurants that has been popping up like mushrooms in Singapore. The meat is cooked on angled grill pan by the well trained service staff.

Part of the Dining Area
The Tilted Grill Pan

For Oink Oink lovers like us, this place is a dream come true. A must order here is the whole 8 type of pork belly, 8 colours set ($98) which comes with Kimchi, Bean Sprouts, vegetables and Seafood Bean Paste stew. As we were keener to try the Army Stew, we ask to change and top up the difference of $6.

The 8 Colours Set. (From Left: Red Pepper, Miso, Curry, Herb, Garlic, Ginseng, Original & Wine)

If you order items like us, the following is on how the order of the food will be. Korean Grill Squid ($18) and 8 Special Steam Egg ($12). The squid is quite huge and grilled with a touch of butter for taste. It is springy and tender, and comes with a soy and mayonnaise dipping sauce. Best eaten while it is hot. A unique cooking method that is different from most of the Korean BBQ, 8 will place their kimchi and bean sprout on the grill and it become a hot side dish. The steam egg is light and fluffy, but at side the stone bowl, the eggs can be a bit dry.

Korean Grill Squid

Special Steam Egg

The side dishes are very limited, however it is free flow together with the wrapped vegetables. If you need sliced garlic or other condiments just ask the service staff.

Radish Block to Clean the Grill

Next will be the beef. You can choose from US Prime Beef or Kagoshima Wagyu. We tried their US Prime Beef Rib Eye ($58). The size is about 300 gram with nice marbling on the beef, seasoned with salt and pepper. Cooked to medium rare, it is tender and just melts in your mouth. Awesome!!

US Prime Beef Rib Eye
The army stew is decent as its objective is to fill up your tummy. Ingredients are pretty basic, instant noodle, sausage and luncheon meat cooked on seafood soup base with bean paste.

The Army Stew

The Army Stew - Ready To Eat

For highlight of the dinner, 8 type of seasoned pork belly: Wine, Original, Ginseng, Garlic, Herb, Curry, Miso paste and Red pepper paste. The first four has a more lightly flavoured seasoning, while the later 4 has a stronger flavoured seasoning.

Pork Belly on the Grill

Since the cooking is done by the service staff, the pork bellies achieve the right texture. It was cut to bite size and has a crisp texture and it just melts in your mouth. So Sinfully Delicious!!!

Pork Belly - Ready to Eat

Our preference so far is: wine, original, herbs and miso. We find these flavour complements the pork belly instead of overpowering it.

Ginseng Chicken Soup - Dismembered by CBK

We tried their Ginseng chicken soup ($25) and Seafood Pancake ($20) on different occasion, but we find them quite ordinary. The ginseng chicken soup version here has a light cloudy broth and the chicken is not stuffed with rice. The ginseng taste is not very commanding. Meanwhile the pancake taste very plain and a bit too oily.

Seafood Pancake

Service is friendly and good. Each service staff was allocated between 2 to 4 tables, as they need to be in charge of the cooking so it is easy to catch their attention. In case if you are worried about the oil and smell get to your bags, you can put them inside your stool. The table are very small, so you hardly any space put your stuff on it. Unfortunately, you will come out for the place smelling like bbq pork belly, so not recommended if for lunch if you have to go back work afterwards.

The Exhaust System - to tall to make any difference

Overall, we find this pork belly centric restaurant is excellent; it is one of my favourite. The pricing is reasonable and it has become a place to go to satisfy my sinful cravings. So if you are around Central, give this place a try. Gun Bae!!! Cheers!!!

Food & Drink: 8.5/10
Value: 8.5/10
Service: 9/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50

Eight (8) Korean BBQ
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#02-79/90. The Central
Singapore 059817

T: +65 8692 1188
OH: 11.30 – 14.30; 17.30 – 22.30 Daily

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