16 places to get authentic Korean food in Singapore for those missing South Korea

by admin

At this point, no one knows when our next trip to South Korea will be, but it doesn’t stop us from holding out hope. Whether it’s the shopping along Ewha street you miss, or tucking into a piping hot plate of jjimdak on a blustery autumn evening, we’ve got your back. Okay, perhaps not so much on the former, but here are 16 places to get authentic Korean food in Singapore to tide you over while waiting for the chance to be back in the +82. 

1. HANJIP Korean Grill House

flatlay of korean bbq
Photo: @hanjip.sg/facebook

Striving to be the most “authentic traditional Korean barbeque restaurant in Singapore”, HANJIP Korean Grill House is quite literally one of Singapore’s biggest Korean barbeque restaurants, occupying a space of over 5000 square feet. 

The Clarke Quay-based establishment boasts a range of Kurobuta Berkshire Pork, Australia Wagyu, and USDA Prime Beef selections, and some of their signature cuts are aged for enhanced flavour and texture — all while remaining delightfully tender. 

Book a table here.

📍 3C River Valley Road, #01-11 Clarke Quay, Singapore 179022
🗓️ 11.30am–2.30pm, 5pm–10pm (Daily)

2. Jangsu Korean BBQ

a bowl of jjampong
Photo: @Jangsubbq.sg/facebook

Those looking for no-frills, straight-up-delicious Korean fare won’t be disappointed at Jangsu Korean BBQ, because that’s what they do here, and boy don’t they do it well. Situated along Teck Chye Terrace, it’s a quick walk away from Serangoon station. 

The Korean BBQ restaurant is run by a Korean couple who serve aged barbecue meat grilled over a classic hotplate. For those dining in a group, BBQ Set A (S$68 for 2 pax, S$99 for 4 pax) offers beef loin, beef sirloin, marinated beef, steamed egg, a choice of soup, and of course, the perennial banchan (side dishes), that mark the uber-Korean meal we so love. 

📍 19 Teck Chye Terrace, Singapore 545725
🗓️ 11.30am–3pm, 5pm–10.30pm (Daily)

3. +82 Plus Eight Two 

korean snacks
Photo: @pluseighttwosg/instagram

Opened by BTOB’s Seo Eun-kwang himself, it doesn’t get any more authentically Korean than +82 PlusEightTwo. The dessert cafe is located in the heart of Dhoby Ghaut, and boasts an industrial-chic interior that quite frankly reflects the cafe culture that has been all the rage in South Korea.

Here, you’ll find bingsu, fruit smoothies, lattes, sodas, toasts, and muffins, amongst other sweet treats, and is overall an absolute playground for the sweet-toothed. 

📍 9 Bras Basah Road, Rendezvous Gallery #01-02, Singapore 189559
🗓️ 11am–10pm (Sun–Thurs), 11am–10.30pm (Sat & Sun)

4. Pocha In A Forest 

korean pojangmacha
Photo: @pocha_forest.sg/instagram

Here’s one for a fully-immersive experience — Pocha In A Forest will have you sitting underneath a tented booth, on iconic yellow plastic stools, and gathering around aluminium tables that your dishes barely fit on. 

For the uninitiated, a pojangmacha is a street stall, often out of a tent, that typically sells street foods such as tteokbokki, sundae, odeng, and hotteok — perfect on a chilly winter evening. The Singaporean-Korean owners of Pocha In A Forest know what’s up because they’ve introduced this first-of-its-kind concept in Singapore. It’s here where you’ll find interesting bar bites such as Fried Prawn Head ($12), Chicken Heart Skewers (S$12), and Dried Pollack Fish (S$12), as well as comforting favourites like Bibimbap (S$16), Kimbap (from S$7), and Spicy Instant Noodles ($12)

📍 36 Prinsep Street, #01-01, Singapore 188648
🗓️ 3pm–10.30pm (Mon), 12pm–10.30pm (Tues–Sun)

5. SBCD Korean Tofu House

Photo: @SBCDSingapore/facebook

This one’s a common favourite amongst those who appreciate a good Korean meal — SBCD Korean Tofu House is home of the soondubu and a powerhouse of flavour. Starting from the hotel culinary scene, Chef Nam Kyoung Soo founded the tofu house back in 2016 with the mission of bringing authentic Korean fare to Singapore. 

Tuck into sizzling hot plates of Bulgogi (S$29.90), Tteok Galbi (S$29.90), or Spicy Baby Octopus (S$29.90) and receive a bowl of hot stone rice, a soon tofu of your choice, as well as an array of side dishes when you opt for the combo meals. Otherwise, all mains and soon tofu are available a la carte as well. 

📍 7 Wallich Street, #B1-01/02, Singapore 078884
🗓️ 11.30am–3pm, 5pm–10pm (Mon–Fri), 11.30am–10pm (Sat & Sun)
Reserve a table

📍 9 Raffles Boulevard, Millenia Walk, #01-114, Singapore 039586
🗓️ 11.30am–3pm, 5pm–10pm (Mon–Fri), 11.30am–10pm (Sat & Sun)
Reserve a table

📍 460 Alexandra Road, #02-21, Singapore 119963
🗓️ 11.30am–3pm, 5pm–10pm (Mon–Fri), 11.30am–10pm (Sat & Sun)
Reserve a table

6. Kko kko Na Ra

Photo: @kkokkonara/facebook

Lauded as the “originator of Korean fried chicken restaurants in Singapore”, Kko Kko Na Ra is built on family recipes from owner Madam Lee’s mother who lived in Jeon La Do, a province in Korea known for their toothsome cuisine. The establishment is also supposedly known to be the first to introduce ma neul gan jang, or garlic soy sauce chicken, in Singapore serving wings and drums. 

But really, diversity’s the name of the game here at Kko Kko Na Ra because there’s a good chance that you’ll find whatever dishes you associate with Korean cuisine on the menu. And when I say diversity, I really mean anything from a hearty bowl of Sundae Gukbap (S$25), Bo Ssam (S$38), Jok Bal (S$48), Jjim Dak (S$48) — which were all local favourites that I often had during my half-year-long stay in South Korea — to the more familiar Budae Jjigae (S$38), Fried Chicken (S$20 for 8 pieces, S$35 for 16 pieces), and Neng Myeong (S$18) that never fails to get Singaporeans excited. 

Book a table here.

📍 68 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088489
🗓️ 11.30am–10.30pm (Tues–Sun), Closed on Mon

7. Danji Korean BBQ Buffet

korean bbq buffet
Photo: Cory Meilany/burpple

While it’s true that there already exists a myriad of Korean barbecue buffet options, many can attest to Danji Korean BBQ Buffet and how it differentiates itself from the other players in the field. For starters, it’s amassed four and a half out of five stars out of a whopping 578 Google reviews, which is no small feat these days. 

For just one price of S$17.90+ for adults on weekday lunches, S$25.90+ on weekday dinners, and S$27.90+ on weekends , you’ll be entitled to a free flow of marinated meats, seafood offerings, a line of cooked food like fried chicken and kimchi soup and the best part — free-flow cheese and butter. 

📍 188L Tanjong Katong Road, #01-01, Singapore 437156
🗓️ 11.30am–2.30pm, 5.30pm–10pm (Tues–Fri), 11.30am–10pm (Sat & Sun), Closed on Mon

8. Noodle Star K 

a korean spread
Photo: @noodlestark.sg/facebook

Noodle Star K does exactly what its namesake promises — delivers a host of noodle-based dishes that are both Korean classics as well as widely appreciated by Singaporeans far and wide. Popular for their speciality Naengmyeon that’s made with buckwheat flour, arrowroot, potato, sweet potato, and other ingredients, the noodles are boiled and then put in a cold bath and topped with seasoning and garnish. 

Keep your eyes peeled for the other noodle offerings such as the Kal-guksu (S$12.80), Jja Jjang Myeon (S$12), Jjam Pong (S$18), Jap Chae (S$13.80), and Jjol Myeon (S$13.80) that are great options on a rainy Sunday afternoon or just for a comfort meal after a long day’s work. 

📍 58 Tanjong Pagar Rd, Singapore 088479
🗓️ 11.30am–3.30pm, 5.30pm–9.30pm (Daily)

9. Pink Candy

Photo: @pinkcandy.sg/instagram

Situated on the fourth floor of Beauty World Centre, Pink Candy isn’t your usual run-off-the-mill Korean eating house. For one, it’s located in an open-air food court, “rooftop garden”, as marked by the arresting signages that pepper the storefront. 

It’s here where you’ll find affordable Budae Jjigae (S$22.90) that serves two, Ginseng Chicken (S$8.90), as well as a special White Kimchi (S$25 per kg) that’s devoid of spice for those who shy away from heat — and to quote Uncle Roger, why you so weak?

📍 144 Upper Bukit Timah Road, #04-60, Beauty World Centre, Singapore 588177
🗓️ 5pm–9pm (Mon, Wed–Sun), Closed on Tues

10. Guiga Korean BBQ Restaurant 

Photo: Alice C/burpple

If you’re running through location ideas for a Korean barbecue meal, chances are that Guiga Korean BBQ Restaurant would’ve popped up. Coming from a friend whom I’d consider the authority in KBBQ, Guiga sits amongst her top few favourites in Singapore, and for good reason. 

Some might recognise the establishment from its location at the cusp of Tanjong Pagar Road, but the restaurant also has the chops to prove itself worthy of its title. There’s no shortage of protein options here with Sliced Pork Belly (S$18), Marinated Pork Ribs (S$22), and Black Pig Fresh Pork Belly (S$25), an offering more commonly found on Jeju Island. 

📍 144 Upper Bukit Timah Road, #04-60, Beauty World Centre, Singapore 588177
🗓️ 11am–3pm, 5pm–11pm (Mon–Fri)

11. Todamgol

Photo: @todamgol_korean/instagram

Branded as a “traditional Korean restaurant”, Todamgol’s dining experience is about as authentic as authentic gets. Right off the bat, what comes into view is a wood-forward, plant-laden storefront that opens up to a warmly-lit interior that fondly embodies the Korean hospitality most might remember from their holidays. 

Todamgol is perfect for anyone looking for more niche Korean dishes that might not necessarily be available in the average restaurant. Take the Jjukkumi Bibimbap (S$14) for example, or the Anglerfish Soup (S$45) and Oyster Pancake (S$30) that provide more interesting options for the adventurous or those who straight up miss a traditional taste of Korea.

Book a table here.

📍 31 Tanjong Pagar Road, #01-01, Singapore 088454
🗓️ 11.30am–3pm, 5.30pm–11pm (Daily)

12. Meta 

a flatlay of korean food
Photo: @metasingapore/facebook

Taking a break from “go chu jang this” and “yang nyeom that”, Meta Restaurant takes things up a few notches, having been awarded one Michelin star in 2017, 2018, and 2019. It’s not everyday that a Korean restaurant makes an appearance on the Michelin list, but what’s innovation if not pushing boundaries, I say. 

The menu is divided into two meals — Lunch (S$198++) and Dinner (S$258++), and there’s much to be excited about. Both start with a slew of snacks such as foie gras, tuna, gimbap, and chawanmushi, and the occasional uni and caviar make an appearance, depending on the course you’ve selected.

Book a table here.

📍 1 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089109
🗓️ Lunch: 12pm–3pm (Thurs–Sat)
🗓️ Dinner: 6.30pm–11.15pm (Tues–Sat)
Closed on Sun & Mon

13. Dal-In Korean Restaurant

Photo: dalinsingapore/instagram

Speaking of diversity, Dal-In Korean Restaurant holds its own through the vast options and a menu that seems to just go on forever. I’m generally skeptical of big menus because they tend to go down the “jack of all trades” route, but if it’s anything I’ve learnt during my time in Korea, it is that Koreans are as good at multitasking as they are at banging out pop band members. 

The usual suspects like Kimchi Jeon (S$15 for small, S$22 for large), Yukgaejang (S$16), and Bibimbap (S$12) are unfailing, and there are also sharing portions such as Gochujang Jjigae (S$40), Beoseot Bulgogi (S$45), and Chilli Prawns (S$35) for when you’re dining with pals. So gather all your dears and dal-ins, and be prepared for a spread. 

📍 21 Amoy St, Singapore 069856
🗓️ 11.30am–12am (Mon, Weds & Thurs), 11.30am–10pm (Tues), 11.30am–1am (Fri), 5pm–10.30pm (Sat & Sun)

14. Bigmama Korean Restaurant


If you could condense comforting, home-cooked Korean food into a single stop, Bigmama Korean Restaurant might just be it. At the very heart of Bigmama is cooking that strikes a balance between flavour and a strict no-MSG policy. 

Their signature dish comes by way of Suyuk (S$25), which is boiled and then enjoyed with a selection of sauces, and is eaten as a ‘clean’, healthy dish. I’ve also got my eye on the Andong Jjimdak, Samgyetang, and Spicy Pork Ribs that form the holy grail of Korean comfort cooking. 

📍 2 Kim Tian Road, Singapore 169244
🗓️ 11.30am–3pm, 5.30pm–10.30pm (Tues–Sun), Closed on Mon

15. Pa Bul Lo

Photo: @PaBulLoBBQ/facebook

Amongst the ranks of Korean BBQ joints nestled in Serangoon Gardens, Pa Bul Lo is perhaps one of the more lowkey names but they serve up great Korean fare all the same. 

Apart from the perennial marinated meat, Pa Bul Lo also has cooked dishes, and better yet — lunch specials on weekdays that go at S$12 per main. Some of the selections include Chicken Kal-guksu (S$12), Sundubu Jjigae (S$12), and Dolsot Bibimbap (S$12) that are rare finds at these prices nowadays. 

📍 63 Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555959
🗓️ 11.30am–3pm, 5.30pm–10.30pm (Tues–Sun), Closed on Mon

16. Singkoba 

a spread of korean food
Photo: @singkoba/facebook

Not every Korean BBQ restaurant offers daechang, or large intestine, but Singkoba wears theirs like a badge of honour — and rightfully so. 

For those who prefer to stick with what they know though, the restaurant also has the classics like Pork Belly (S$19), Spicy Pork Belly (S$21), and Seasoned Beef Ribs with Soy Sauce (S$38) that form the basics of any good Korean barbecue feast.

📍 155 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068611
🗓️ 11.30am–3pm, 5.30pm–11pm (Mon–Fri), 11.30am–3pm, 5pm–11pm (Sat & Sun)

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