Thursday 14 September 2023

Kelim Dakdoritang – First Spicy Garlic Chicken Stew in Singapore [MEDIA INVITE]

Kelim Dakdoritang (‘KD”), established in 1965, is one of the oldest and largest Dakdoritang brands with 50 restaurants in Korea just opened its first outlet in Singapore. KD is known for its garlic-loaded spicy garlic chicken stew, which is prepared according to a time-honoured recipe passed down through generations.

Kelim Dakdoritang
Kelim Dakdoritang
While the team was preparing our Spicy Chicken Stew ($36.90, S, 2pax) in the kitchen, we were served 2 types of banchan (Korean side dishes). Radish Kim Chi and Bean Sprout. Each diner will also get a special dipping sauce. Although KD only serves 2 banchans compared to other Korean Restaurants in Singapore, both banchans match the dish we are about to eat and we did not miss much.

Radish Kim Chi
When the spicy chicken stew arrived at the table, the first thing I notice was the huge lump of minced garlic, sitting on top of the spring onions, rice cakes, potatoes and chicken. We were recommended to take some of the garlic and mix it with the dipping sauce.

Spicy Chicken Stew
Spicy Chicken Stew
Heated on the stove in the table, we start digging into the stew once it reaches the boiling point. We started with the rice cake. It is chewy, bouncy and absorbs a bit of the robust flavour of the stew. Surprisingly, the fiery-looking stew is not spicy. (Spiciness rating, 3 /10).

Rice Cake
The Chicken
The chicken is tender, juicy with a nice bounciness. While the potato is still slightly hard, it soaks up the flavour of the stew. While the ingredients in the stew are flavourful enough on its own, I suggest you dip into the dipping sauce. It just gives the meat a different taste of sweetness, plus the smell of the garlic becomes sweet.

The Potato, Rice Cake & Chicken
We clarified with the KD team, that the spiciness level for the Spicy Chicken Stew is set at 0. If you are a daredevil and like it super spicy, you can ask them to add the spiciness level, up to Level 5 when ordering.

During the meal, we added the Kalguksu ($5) to the stew. After 5 minutes, we took out the noodles and the texture was soft yet bouncy and soaks up the flavour of the broth nicely. There are other toppings that you can add to the stew, such as Udon, Ramyeon, Potato, King Oyster Mushroom, Enoki Mushroom, Quail Egg and Sausage.

The stew also comes with fried rice. Using the leftover broth topped with the rice and seaweed mixture and cooked at the table.

Fried Rice
Fried Rice
During the media tasting, LD and I also tried Dakbal – Spicy Chicken Feet ($19.90). The fiery red stew looks more intense compared to the chew stew. Don’t let the look deceive you, when I tried it, the spiciness was very mild (Spiciness rating, 3 /10). The skin is gelatinous and the taste reminds me of the Indonesian Chinese version of Curry Chicken.

Dakbal - Spicy Chicken Feet
Dakbal - Spicy Chicken Feet
Dakttongjip - Fried Chicken Gizzard ($15.90). I am a fan of chicken gizzard, but I am a bit confused with their version here. Although the gizzard and the crispy batter are tasty, they seem to be distant. It’s like eating 2 separate dishes. I don’t recommend this.

Hotteok – Pancake with Brown Sugar 2ps ($9.90). The version here is slightly different than those sold on the streets in Korea. The Hotteok is crisp externally, a bit chewy internally and filled with seeds. At KD, they added brown sugar for additional sweet flavour, making it a complete dessert dish instead of just a snack.

Overall, it was a great experience trying out the dishes at Kelim Dakdoritang. LD and I return the following week for another session of Spicy Chicken Stew and we are glad to report the standard is the same as during the media tasting.

Part of Dining Area
We also tried Jumeokbap – DIY Flying Fish Roe Seaweed Rice Ball ($9.90) & Grilled Semi Dried Squid ($20.90). The portion of the rice is big and they are generous with the ingredients of seaweed and flying fish roe.

Meanwhile, the Grilled Semi Dried Squid is chewy, tasty yet easy to bite off. The mayo and the dipping sauce enhance the flavour of the squid. Yummy.

Grilled Semi Dried Squid 
Thank you very much CQ Works and Kelim Dakdoritang Team for the tasting invitation.

Food & Drink: 8/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 7/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50

Kelim Dakdoritang
14B Kensington Park Road
Singapore 557265

T: +65 6241 4241
OH: Daily 11.30 – 14.30; 17.30 – 22.00

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