Thank you very much to Hungry Go Where and Manbok Chinatown for the invitation.
With Korean BBQ Restaurants swarming this little red dot called Singapore, each restaurant must have its plus points to survive and thrive in the competitive F&B scene in Singapore. Although the idea is Korean BBQ and Steamboat buffet was pioneer by Seoul Garden in the 1990s in Singapore, let must just say that Manbok Chinatown is way ahead of them in terms of quality.
|Price List & Beer Promo|
Manbok offer diners the option of Korean BBQ with up to 10 different type of cuts of meat to choose from. Meanwhile for steamboat, you can have the seafood (prawns, octopus & clams), luncheon meat, sausages, vegetables, dumplings, and instant noodle plus the necessary ingredients to whip up Budai Jjigae (Army Stew). However, don't hesitate to experiment.
|Budae Jjigae - Army Stew|
There are a few dishes for the cooked food selection such as their stir fry potato glass noodles, Korean Pop Corn Chicken, rice cakes, and other dishes which will rotate regularly. Free flow items includes salads, wrapped veggies, daily made Kim Chi, soft drinks and ice cream are also provided.
|Condiments, Sauce and Lettuce|
On each table, there are two stoves. One for BBQ, using combination of gas and charcoal with stainless steel bbq grill plate, while the other for steamboat. To minimise the patrons from coming out smelling like bbq meat from dining here, they use adjustable exhaust system.
|The BBQ Stove|
So when we get to the cooking, we started to experiment and decided which ingredients are best for what method of cooking. Disclaimer: this tasting experience is based on Chubby Botak Koala and Little Devil's standard of cooking method and skill. Thick cut pork belly and beef short ribs is a must for the bbq. The pork belly has a nice balance of fat and good for grilling. Short ribs can be a bit tricky, we overcooked it once, and it become rubbery. We did better on the second try, but it is still kind of chewy. Not recommended for someone with denture. We find the sausages tasted a little sour, so we did not try if further.
|BBQ in Progress|
The marinated meat such as spicy pork collar, marinated pork collar, marinated chicken thigh and spicy chicken breast provide a good selections for non-beef eaters. The pork are tender and the same can be said about the chicken thighs. Skip the spicy chicken breast, as it has no fats, so it become hard after bbq. We decided to add octopus to the grill which turn out to be one of the best item for the night.
|Our Favourite - BBQ Octopus|
For steamboat meat, beef brisket cuts and beef short plate cuts, will provide you with a good quality meat for the steamboat, in which they use seafood as their base soup. Of course you must try to do your own Army Stew. LD was the main chef for this, putting together her evil concoction of bean paste and chilli paste and other ingredients to the soup base. The result, Yum Yum, delicious. I had two serving of the noodles, but without slurping too much of the soup. He..he.. you know I don't like chilli right.
|Basic Ingredients to create Army Stew|
|Little Devil's Army Stew|
The cooked food selection is good. Especially the Stir Fry Korean Glass Noodle. The chicken wings, pop corn chicken and seafood rice cakes, was gobbled up by the rest of the customers not long after it is served. I manage to snap and try a few of the dishes thanks to the advance notice by the service staff. Please note, on the normal day, they will only serve 2 type of cooked food item and they will rotate it regularly.
|Cooked Food Selections|
Service is very good. During the tasting, the service staff change the steel grill plate regularly. We are warmly greeting when we enter the restaurant and we can see they do the same thing to the rest of the customers.
Overall, we find that Manbok provide a good option for Korean BBQ and Steamboat. Current price for dinner is $29 (+ Service Tax), however if you dine in a group of 4 or more, each will get free beer. If I am not mistaken, if you come in before 6pm, you can also get a free beer. However, do check with the restaurant.
Food & Drink: 7/10