Wednesday 5 April 2023

88 Pocha – Korean Street Food in Pojangmacha Setting [Media Invite]

Pojangmacha or more popularly known as Pocha is a popular night spot in South Korea since the 1970s, where customers can enjoy Korean street food offerings with their alcohol at a reasonable price. I did not manage to see this during my last trip to Korea but seen this often enough in Korean dramas, where the characters eat and drink by themselves under the tent. Usually, they will sit on plastic chairs and dine on red plastic foldable tables.

88 Pocha
88 Pocha is a concept by Food Palace Group Pte Ltd, the company that brought Niu Dian to Singapore (Click here for the Niu Dian full review). The name 88 Pocha is inspired by the 1988 Olympic Games held in Seoul, South Korea, where the nation achieve 4th overall ranking, their best ranking till today. Helmed by a South Korean chef that has been a long-term resident in Singapore, he recreates his favourite and popular Korean street food with a twist.

Front Dining Area
It is easy to spot 88 Pocha in Holland Village, you can see the 88 Pocha inflatable balloon man waving at you. Just like the Pocha setting in Korea, the furniture used are plastic stools and foldable plastic tables in red and blue colour. In the outdoor dining area, you can see the 1988 Olympic Tiger mascot toasting the diners, while the indoor walls are decorated with the menu and soju posters. The dining experience is completed by K-pop music blasting from the speakers.

Indoor Dining Area
Part of Indoor Dining Area
We started the meal with Gimmari (4 pcs, $8.88) Korean deep-fried seaweed rolls. The version here is glass noodles wrapped in seaweed. It is crispy, tasty and has a nice chewy glass noodle texture in it. It can be easily mistaken for a mini version of Korean blood sausage. But based on the serving size and price, I will not consider to order it again.

Gimmari Fillings
Tteokbokki ($11.88). Plump and chewy rice cake. LD says the sauce is thick and it absorbs into rice cakes and fish cakes. The spiciness level is moderate, though it can be better if they amp up the spiciness level.

Truffle Jjajang Ramyeon ($11.80). A dish made famous by Hwasa, a member the KPOP group Mamamoo a few years ago. When this dish was served, the truffle aroma will be the first to reach your senses. I like the combination, served with cheese and fried egg. The noodle is springy (QQ), and completely coated with strong jjajang sauce. I had difficulties melting the cheese and mixing it evenly. The result, I have half the noodle with cheese, and the other without. It’s like having 2 noodle flavours in a bowl, which was nice.

Truffle Jjajang Ramyeon 
Truffle Jjajang Ramyeon with the Hidden Cheese
Truffle Jjajang Ramyeon
Tuna Cheese King Egg Roll ($15.88). A jumbo-size egg roll, filled with tuna. The egg is fluffy, perfectly cooked and the tuna sits in the centre nicely. I am not a fan of canned tuna due to the smell, however, the version here is almost absent of the fishy smell. I think the ketchup on top helps as well. This dish definitely worth the price and it will go well with alcohol. Yummy!!

Tuna Cheese King Egg Roll 
Tuna Cheese King Egg Roll
Half Fried Chicken ($15.88). It has a crispy exterior, followed by juicy and succulent flesh. Even the breast part is juicy as well. The chicken is well marinated, we ate most of it without the dipping sauce. For those who like a dipping sauce, it has a thick, sweet flavour but not spicy.

Half Fried Chicken
Half Fried Chicken
LA Galbi (8 pcs, $18.88). The beef ribs are well-marinated, juicy, easily come off the bone. While the meat is tender, it also has a slight chewiness in it. Definitely, a finger-licking good dish.

LA Galbi
LA Galbi
To end the meal, we have Red Bean Bingsu ($12.88). In all the previous bingsu that we tried previously; the shaved ice texture is always very smooth like snow. The version at 88 Pocha has a texture like crushed ice. The toppings are unique, you have red bean, fruit loops, mixed fruits, chocolate and strawberry ice cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce. The instruction from the service staff is to mix it vigorously, basically stab it. Hidden at the bottom of the crushed ice is the condensed milk. Surprisingly, all the topping works well together, creating a unique flavour on their own.

Red Bean Bingsu
Red Bean Bingsu
Red Bean Bingsu - After Mixing
To accompany our meal, I had diet coke ($2.88), while LD choose Earl Grey Highball ($18.88). LD says the highball have a hint of earl grey tea and they are very generous with the alcohol portions.

Earl Grey Highball
Diet Coke
Overall, we had a nice dining experience at 88 Pocha. Most of the main dishes are delicious and they incorporated the latest trend in Korea as well plus the atmosphere is just great. The Tuna Cheese King Egg Roll. Half Fried Chicken and LA Galbi are the must-try. We’ll definitely come back if we are in the area. Geonbae!! Cheers!!

Menu 1
Menu 2
Thank you very much Protegie and 88 Pocha Team for the invitation.

Food & Drink: 7.75/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 8/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25; $26 - $50

88 Pocha
26A Lor Mambong
Singapore 277685

T: +65 6235 9950
Mon – Fri: 11.30 – 15.00; 17.30 – Midnight
Sat – Sun: 11.30 – Midnight

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