Midway through Ramadhan, I somehow develop some serious hankering to shop and also to eat some Korean food.
I was just thinking too much about this wicker bag that I fell in love with at H&M and though of getting that for Eid (a wicker bag for Eid? yeah). And I've been seeing too much Korean food on their variety shows.
So… H&M just opened at VivoCity, right? And there's Seoul Garden Hotpot at the neighbouring Harbourfront Centre, right? Hmm…
Got my readily available partners-in-crime, in the form of my cousins Tim & Sue.
So excited was I that I started browsing their menu days prior and already made up my mind as to what to order. I think I might have memorised the menu, too!
However, on D-Day, Sue had to back out do to last min. work commitments. Aww.. shucks! But that didn't stop Tim & I from ordering a meal fit for 3 pax, still. Heh.
Honestly, it wasn't us being greedy. It's just that some sides came attached with the mains that we ordered.
My cousin's Sliced Chicken Hotplate comes with its own little dish of 'kimchi' and a small dish of chicken nuggets, as part of the Ramadhan promo.
Not knowing that, I excitedly ordered another portion of the cucumber 'namul' (pickle) with 'idako' (baby octopus). Inside the covered metal bowl is plain, white rice for my cousin.
I upgrade my 'bibimbap' for $5; to get a side dish (I chose the deep-fried mid-joint wing), pickle of the day (cucumber 'namul') and a bowl of cold white fungus sweet soup.
Does that explain the full table? Then again, full tables at a Korean restaurant is actually very common; given their penchant to serve numerous 'banchan' (sides) in many small dishes.
Cold white fungus sweet soup + Peach & mango tea
…And my cousin Tim in the background.
The cold white fungus sweet soup was served at the start, surprisingly. I assumed that it will be served after the meal. Well, it made a refreshing start to a very filling dinner…
MY cousin was raving on & on about that Peach & mango tea. The combo sounds a lot like the ubiquitous Sjora to me but it does taste different. Nicer, actually.
My hot cinnamon tea
This drink is actually available free-flow. Apprehensive, I asked them to top-up and they did. So there.
Pretty strong cinnamon taste, with slices of red dates floating inside.
The various side dishes
My cousin doesn't eat veggies so I walloped all the pickles. To compensate, I only had 1 of the nuggets & chicken wings. Gave her the rest.
Sliced Chicken Hotplate
Slices of marinated chicken meat that appeared to be stir-fried with kimchi, spring onions, chillies and loads of shitake & enoki mushrooms.
She only ate the chicken meat and let me relished the rest (that explained why I felt so full after).
Marinated beef bibimbap
Having tried the Bulgogi beef bap previously, I decide to go for this version with chunkier-looking beef slices.
Love that this is the 'dolsot' version but instead of a hot stone bowl, it comes in this hot, cast-iron bowl. I like that the rice can get charred and stick to the base of the bowl. The idea of scraping out that burnt rice just seem so enjoyable and not to mention, delicious.
It also helps that I chose the more savoury 'Kimgaru' (shredded seaweed) rice.
Check out that burnt rice bits… and I spot some 'tobiko'!
In my hunger, I immediately poured in the 'gochujang' (spicy bean paste sauce) provided on the side. Even added more from the jar on the table. And then I proceed to mix everything up (especially that raw egg in the middle).
Only after a few scoops did I notice the tobiko (flying fish roe). Gosh, I love those! Makes me love this bibimbap even more.
But it was seriously filling. There must have been almost 2 bowls of rice in there! My advice is, if you're ordering the hotpot, then get the bibimbap to share.
Both of us ended up waddling to H&M. However, upon seeing the SALE banners, we forgot our discomfort and zoomed right in.
Made ourselves at home at the fitting room while trying the numerous outfits that we dumped into the shopping bag provided. Since our rooms were next to each other, we kept going into each others fitting rooms to get opinions and to give comments. It was some crazy fun!
Thanks a lot, Tim! To Sue, next time, we'll go again ok??
Their menu HERE
Seoul Garden HotPot
HarbourFront Centre (Ala-Carte Menu)
1 Maritime Square #02-03/04
Tel: 6275 6338
Opening hours: 11:30am to 10:30pm