Farewell Dinner at Big Mama’s (Korean Food)

We had a farewell dinner (some time back) for our favorite Korean language teacher’s farewell and where else would we go but a Korean restaurant! Ke had suggested going to Big Mama, whose owner, to our pleasant surprise happened to be 샘's friend. So with venue in place and day scheduled, all that was left was to await the (farewell) dinner.

The day come and we met as planned at Tanjong Pajor Tiong Bahru (thanks for informing me Csa :p) MRT Station. Big Mama is just a walk way; about 10-15 minutes from the station. Coincidentally there was a Korean meetup group having the same meeting place and same venue - we had to clarify a couple of times that we were not the group people they thought we were.

Anyways, with attendance in full, we made our way to Big Mama. When we arrived, though it was not yet time for our reservation, the place was already bustling with activity and the smell of food was simply overwhelming. We were getting hungry (and a little impatient) as we waited. But wait we did. ^^

Big Mama

Big Mama is not that big, so it would be good to note to call and make reservations before heading down. Even on a weekday evening, it can (and most probably will) be crowded. I can’t even imagine what it is like on weekends! Most of the patrons that day had reservations and walk-ins had to wait (or they gave up waiting) a pretty long time.

Just as all Korean restaurants, an array of (complimentary) banchan was served. The lotus roots was nice and refreshing, while the kimchi tasted of homecooked/made goodness. The japchae was a little too bland for my liking, but it was still nice and chewy (not soggy at all). The rest of the banchan were nice in a home-cooked sort of way. The mung bean/green bean was interesting, it had little flavor in itself and the sauce accompanying brought out a subtle light refreshing taste (but some might find it too bland).

From the top left to the right: kimchi, seasoned ikan bilis (anchovies?), mung bean/green bean jelly
From the bottom left to right: lotus roots (my favorite!), spinach (I think) and japchae
Another set of banchan at the other table with makkoli/makgeolli (rice wine). We had 11 people after all. ^^

With around 11 people we ordered the following:
  • Dak Galbi (Spicy Korean Chicken) @ S$15 per person + rice at $3 per person
Dak Galbi
Chunks of chicken meat are marinated in a homemade special chili sauce and then stir-fried together with an assortment of rice cakes and vegetables. To top it off, after you are done about 1/3 or 2/3 you have the option to add in rice (they even do they frying for you if you want!). The final result (with the added rice, slightly charred and crispy) is a yummilicious hearty combination.
Dak Galbi
On its own, I found the sauce a tad salty. But the chicken pieces together with the rice (you have to add it as it gives the dish a different flavor altogether!) it was the perfect combo!

  • Samgyupsal Suyuk /삼겹살 수육 (Steamed pork belly) @ S$15
The person-in-charge for your table will teach you how to eat this in 3 different steps :
  1. Cucumber + pork dip in chili sauce
  2. Cucumber + pork dip in ginger sauce
  3. Radish + bean sprout + pork 

Samgyupsal Suyuk
We had two servings of this. The meat was boiled in a special way that makes it not that greasy.
Highly recommended if you are not on a diet. heh :p

  • Stir Fried Squid @ S$18
stir fried squid
The squid was fresh, though some might find the sauce to be a tad spicy.
Perfect with a bowl of rice.

  • Dolsot Bibimbap @ S$15
dolsot bibimbap
Being vegetarian, Jy had a 'special' order of bibimbap with just the vegetables and an egg.
According to her the bibimbap was delicious!

  • Haemul Kimchi Jeon (Kimchi Seafood Pancake) @ S$15
Haemul Kimchi Jeon (Kimchi Seafood Pancake)
This would have to be one of the highlights of the night! The pancake was not too floury, crisp and flavorful (of kimchi and seafood - both complementing not overpowering the other!). We had more than one serving of this and I prefer this over the one I tried at Bornga and Tosokchon (it must be the kimchi lol).

  • Dwaeji Moksal Yangnyum Gui (Grilled pork collar slices with Gal-Bi seasoning)
Dwaeji Moksal Yangnyum Gui
The meat was well flavored and nicely done.

  • Army Stew
army stew
Yup, there's a perk being a friend of the restaurant owner. We got to try the yet debut (at the time) army stew before it went on the menu! With instant noodles, sausages, ham and kimchi, this dish was an instant hit (it is basic Korean comfort food after all). The stew was nicely flavored, had a tinge of bake beans flavor and was not watery at all. Recommended if you have an army of hungry souls.

After the (reasonably) satisfying dinner (which cost us about S$20 each), we had a mini prize presentation for our teacher and there was a frenzy for photoshots with her that night. 
engraved pen
An personalized engraved pen for her.
If not for the distance, I wouldn't mind heading down again to Big Mama to give it another go. Just thinking about the food now is starting to make me hungry already!

Big Mama Restaurant

2 Kim Tian Road, Tiong Bahru
Tel: 6270 7704
Website: http://bigmama.sg/

Operating Hours:
Tues - Sun : 11.30am to 2pm
5.30pm to 10pm
Mon : Close

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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.


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