I have been wanting to try the Korean food at BORNGA / 本家 / 본가 , and I finally had the opportunity to try it (twice in fact). On both occasions, we had the barbecue (which isn't exactly cheap, but more on that later). The first time we were there , there was a crowd and some waiting involved. We ended up being seated at the (with no air conditioning). But it worked out as there were only two tables at the back. As for the second time, oddly enough there wasn't much of a crowd (even though we were there at about the same time as the previous time). Hence, we were seated at a rather spacious table inside.
|A waiting area inside|
BORNGA / 本家 / 본가 is apparently Korea's leading BBQ restaurant and was established in 2002, with the outlet at The Star (Vista) being its flagship restaurant in Singapore. The decor is more or less typically Korean, with a flair of modernness. The airy brown-hued dining room provides a great deal of space between each table (both outdoors as well as indoors); having a seating capacity of 52 outdoors and 74 indoors.
BBQ meat prices range from S$18-45++ and there is a minimum order of 2 portions. Accompanying the BBQ meats are the sauces such as sesame oil, sauce for the woosamgyup, raw garlic slices, bean paste. If BBQ isn't your thing, there are ala-carte items such as bibimbap, cold noodles, army stew, soups etc... Drinks (tea) and the banchan (lettuce salad, shredded spring onions, radish kimchi, and soup kimchi ) are complimentary as they are refillable, something atypical to Korean restaurants.
|Time to order!|
|Sauces and condiments for the BBQ!|
Banchan (Side Dishes):
|Radish Kimchi, Seasoned Shredded Spring Onions and Salad|
- Radish Kimchi:
This would have to be one of the best radish kimchi l’ve had - crunchy, savory with a slight tinge of sourness, savory-ness and some spiciness to boot.
- Spring onions:
- Soup Kimchi:
|Soup Kimchi - it's an acquired taste|
- Ssamcheban (assorted vegetables):
|Veges, veges and more veges!!|
Yangnyum Dwaeji Galbi $33 / 250g
|Yangnyum Dwaeji Galbi|
The pork pieces were well marinated and had no tinge of that porky smell (which may or may not be a good thing, depending on how you like your meat).
Mansinjang Samgyupsal $24 / 200g
Beef Slices (Woosamgyup $28 / 200g) & Yangnyum Dwaeji Galbi again
|Yangnyum Dwaeji Galbi again (left) and Woosamgyup (right)|
Now this was simply delicious (if you can and like to eat beef). The thinly sliced beef with just the right about of fats on it, made the final barbequed product a lovely moist combination of beef and flavor to be eaten with the vegetable wrap and sauces.
Pork Ribs: These were also nicely marinated.
The experience of the barbequed meats was made more memorable as the staff at Bornga did the barbequing. As a result of the ‘help’, the meat was cooked to near perfection (well, much better then if we were to have attempted to do it ourselves). Of course, if you are game to try the barbequing yourself or think you have consummate barbequing skills, I am sure you can do the barbecuing yourself.
This would have to be my favorite. Consisting of fried transparent ‘glass-type’ noodles (similar to the Chinese variety, only slightly thicker and more chew in texture), vegetables and soy sauce (amongst other ingredients), this dish was a chewy delight. It was not too oily and had a nice sweet savory flavor to it. The crunchy vegetables (e.g. mushroom and spring onions) added a nice texture to the dish; bringing the overall flavor and consistency together creating a delightful dish (for me).
Seafood Pancake / Haemul Pajeon ($22)
The seafood basic does have the ‘flavor of the sea’ to it, mostly coming from the calms/mussels that are inside. The thickness was just nice, not thick like the one at Tosokchon (Seoul), however, the batter was a little too flaky and bland for my liking. It has to be eaten with the sauce that accompanies it to bring out its full flavor. Without the special (tangy) sauce for the pancake it was a little underwhelming.
Dwaeji Gohchujang Barbeque $36
|Dwaeji Gohchujang Barbeque|
This would go well with the vegetable wraps or with rice, with its sweet tangy sauce coating the thinly sliced (yet fat inducing) slices of pork served on a hotplate together with sliced onions and spring onions.
Omija (5 flavored tea) Drink/Dessert:
|A little weird but kinda grows on you the more you drink it :p|
That said, while the menu isn’t extensive and the pricing for the BBQ isn’t exactly the cheapest, the quality of the food and service makes up for the lack of variety and pricing (somewhat). I would definitely want to go back to try the ala-carte items such as the cold noodles and bibimbap!