The 88 Pocha + BBQ is the extension of the 88 Pocha brand, owned and operated by Food Palace Group Pte Ltd. The first outlet of 88 Pocha opened at Lor Mambong, Holland Village earlier this year and the second outlet at Kovan opened a few months later. A full review of this exciting Pojangmacha at Holland Village is available here.
This third 88 Pocha outlet at Duxton has incorporated Korean BBQ into its menu. Instead of offering the regular Korean BBQ menu that you usually find in Singapore, the team introduced the time-honoured tradition of frozen pork BBQ, revisiting the cherished memories of the 1980s and 90s. In the late 90s, the advancement of modern refrigeration methods ensured Koreans were able to enjoy fresh pork all year round and curtail frozen pork BBQ. However, this old-cherish tradition starting to make a comeback in the Korean dining scene. Again, due to the advancement in technology, frozen pork is delivering a better flavour compared to the vintage years.
The furnishings of 88 Pocha + BBQ outlet are slightly different from the first 2 outlets. There are still pojangmacha tables and chairs at the back section of the restaurant, but the front half of the restaurant is decked up with proper Korean BBQ tables and exhaust system. To spice up the atmosphere, the restaurant also uses colour lights just like in the retro era.
For the tasting, we tried the Duroc Pork Set ($45.88), which comes with Pork Belly (180g), Pork Jowl (180g), Kimchi, Chinese Chive and Watercress. To ensure the dish reached the optimum flavour, the service staff did the cooking at the table.
We get started on the banchan. Consists of mashed potatoes, strips of pickled radish, kimchi and fresh lettuce to go with BBQ.
|Dipping Sauce: Salt + Sesame Oil, Samjang and Garlic|
Mashed Potatoes & Pickled Radish
|Fresh Lettuce with Black Pepper at the Back|
There are a few ways to eat the thinly sliced grilled pork belly. First, with the watercress. The duroc pork belly is naturally sweet, complimented by the bitter and crunchy watercress. Second, with grilled kimchi. According to LD, the kimchi is slightly aged, when they are grilled the flavour becomes more intense and balances out the fat in the pork belly.
The pork jowl is paired with Chinese chives and BBQ garlic. I like the texture of the pork jowl as it is thicker, juicier and has a nice bouncy texture. The Chinese chives provided aromatic and bitter flavour that enhance the taste of the pork jowl.
For dipping sauce, we have salt + sesame oil, samjang sauce and garlic. There is also a pepper on the table, it is recommended to sprinkle this on top of frozen pork.
To accompany the pork duroc set, we choose the Seafood Soft Tofu Stew ($12.88). It is packed with ingredients and the stew is on the lighter side. Though the clams are light in flavour, we can still taste it in the broth.
Completing the BBQ experience is Bacon Kimchi Fried Rice. Due to the holes on the grill plate, the fried rice is done on an aluminium foil. Instead of using the existing pork fat left on the BBQ, the fried rice uses bacon. The texture of the fried rice is good and flavourful as well thanks to the generous kimchi, Chinese chives and seaweed,
LD also tried Golbaengi (Topshell) Bibim Naeng Ramyeon ($12.88). Korean ramyeon style cold noodle with topshell. I think it looks menacing due to the red colour sauce but LD likes it. It is springy, refreshing and packed with flavour.
Other than the Duroc Pork set, 88 Pocha + BBQ also serve Chicken Set ($45.88) – Chicken oyster (4 pcs), Boneless Neck (100g), Chicken Thigh (200g), King Oyster Mushroom, and Leek. Plus, there is also A5 Wagyu Beef Clod ($38.88 for 150g) part of the BBQ ala carte.
Overall, it was nice experiencing the vintage Korean frozen pork BBQ. The combination of the pork belly, eaten with kimchi and watercress brings out a different flavour to the dish. I like the pork jowl the most as it is packed with the goodness of the OINK OINK. Check out 88 Pocha + BBQ for the nostalgic BBQ and street food of Korean in the 80s and 90s. Geonbae!! Cheers!!
Thank you very much Protegie and 88 Pocha + BBQ Team for the invitation.
Food & Drink: 7.25/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Budget per Person: $26 - $50
88 Pocha + BBQ
17 Duxton Road
T: +65 9273 9957
OH: 11.30 – 15.00; 17.00 – 23.00 Daily
Menu, Reservation and Delivery Links available here