Korean BBQ at BORNGA / 本家 / 본가 (The Star)

Korean BBQ at BORNGA / 本家 / 본가 (The Star)

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.

Korean BBQ at BORNGA / 本家 / 본가 (The Star)
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.

Korean BBQ at BORNGA / 本家 / 본가 (The Star)
Indoor seating

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.

Korean BBQ at BORNGA / 本家 / 본가 (The Star)
Time to order!
One thing that stood out most commendable is the attentive service: they barbecue the meat for you and even cut it for you, clearing the grill plates each time they are done grilling the meat for you and they are observant attentive enough to refill the drinks without asking. Besides that, the waitresses/waiters also serve with a smile, making them approachable and friendly (unlike Nando's).

Korean BBQ at BORNGA / 本家 / 본가 (The Star)
Sauces and condiments for the BBQ!

Banchan (Side Dishes):

Banchan
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: 
This is just a dish consisting of sliced spring onions that are mildly marinated with chili flakes and other ingredients. 

  • Salad
Well, it was basically just salad.. lettuce, shredded carrots and the like. Subtle in taste and crunchy.


  • Soup Kimchi: 
Kimchi Soup
Soup Kimchi - it's an acquired taste
Basically a water(y) soup version of kimchi (consisting of sliced radish, carrots, cucumbers etc…) which might take a little getting used to. It is a little cleaner in taste (e.g. no prominent taste of fermentation) and lighter in flavor (e.g. might be a little bland and a tad sourish) than the radish kimchi.


  • Ssamcheban (assorted vegetables): 
Ssamcheban (assorted vegetables)
Veges, veges and more veges!!
Only available if you order the BBQ meats, this tray offers all types of vegetables. From lettuces, cabbage, carrots, all kinds of edible leaves and green chili. this tray has a large variety of vegetables enough to fill your stomach! And if they are not enough, you can always get complimentary refills.



BBQ Meats: 


Yangnyum Dwaeji Galbi $33 / 250g
Yangnyum Dwaeji Galbi
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 
Mansinjang Samgyupsal
Mansinjang Samgyupsal
Less exciting than its marinated pork cousin, the slices of pork had a more ‘natural’ flavor to them. Nonetheless, they were just as delightful as vegetable wraps.


Beef Slices (Woosamgyup $28 / 200g) & Yangnyum Dwaeji Galbi again
Korean BBQ at BORNGA / 本家 / 본가 (The Star)
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.


Dishes:

Chapjae
Chapjae

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)
Seafood pancake

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:
Omija (5 flavored tea) Drink/Dessert:
A little weird but kinda grows on you the more you drink it :p
This was served after the meal and you either like it or you don’t. It also requires some time getting used to the flavor, which is slightly odd. When you first take a sip, you will be hit by a strong wave of sourness, followed almost instantly by an equally strong wave of sweetness, than a tinge of saltiness and a slight bitter aftertaste which almost instantly disappears the moment you swallow the concoction. It seems to help clear the palate of the oily greasy feeling after eating barbequed meats.

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!






BORNGA / 本家 / 본가

#02– 24, The Star Vista
1 Vista Exchange Green
Singapore 138617 Reservations: (65) 6694 4696
Website: www.bornga.co.kr
Operating hours: 11:30am to 10pm daily

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