On one hand, we can all agree that Korean street food is incredibly popular in Singapore. On the other hand, halal Korean food options that are both tasty and reasonably priced, are few and far between. I am happy to report that the brainchild of Celop Lok Lok and The MomMom Club, Unloked Kitchen, a Muslim-owned eatery in Jalan Besar, ticks off both boxes.
The eatery is tucked away in 51 Kopitiam @ Jalan Besar, also home to well-known hawker stalls like Ipoh Tuck Kee Son and Tuck Kee Frog Porridge. Just look out for the bright red signage — you won’t miss it.
Find a seat and make your way to the tiny stall, which is flanked by a large display of lok lok for customers to choose from. Menus are still being finalised, but the friendly owners and staff will be more than happy to give recommendations.
Lok lok you’ll love
Those who’ve dined at Celop Lok Lok in Geylang can find the same assortment of lok lok here, with interesting chicken, beef, and even turkey options. Greens and Mushrooms are priced at S$1.20 per stick, while Meats are priced at S$1.80 per stick. All deep-fried lok lok are seasoned with roasted seaweed and/or spicy powder.
I for one couldn’t stop munching on the addictive King Oyster Mushroom, Broccoli, and Fried Tofu. Vegetables have never tasted better.
You can also request for your lok lok skewers to be boiled in a housemade clear seafood-based broth.
As part of the Hari Raya celebrations, Unloked Kitchen is having a lok lok promo from now till 31 May— buy 10 sticks, get one free.
There are five different dipping sauces to pair with your lok lok: Salted Egg, Curry, Roasted Sesame, Bibimbap Sauce, and the crowd favourite Secret Chilli. My personal favourites were the Curry, a more fragrant and less sweet version of McDonald’s curry sauce, as well as the fiery Secret Chilli, which paired excellently with the boiled lok lok.
Korean comfort food
Nothing beats huddling over a pot of Army Stew (S$29.90) on a rainy evening. Unloked Kitchen’s rendition of the classic budae jjigae is chock full of ingredients like chicken luncheon meat, mushrooms, baby corn, tteokbokki, and glass noodles (as a substitute for the usual ramen).
The army stew served here is equal parts homely and hearty, and can easily feed up to four people.
All it took was one bite of the regular Tteokbokki (S$9) and I started sweating immediately. The spice comes from the stall’s speciality chilli oil, which is drizzled in every bowl of chewy tteokbokki and fish cakes. Mind you, this oil is potent stuff. Even my spice-loving colleague who takes pleasure from eating “te la” mala was feeling the heat.
There are four spice levels to choose from (for now), but the bravest of souls can attempt to work their way up to a hellish-sounding level 15. Good luck.
There is no end in sight to the Korean corn dogs craze. Unloked Kitchen has put their own spin on the Korean street snack by serving their Half-Half (S$5) and Mozzarella (S$6) corn dogs with a side of condensed milk. It was a eureka moment for me, as this was reminiscent of fried mantou dipped in condensed milk but way better.
This certainly served as a much-needed respite from that eye-wateringly spicy tteokbokki.
The halal fare you can find at Unloked Kitchen is hearty, unpretentious, and authentic-tasting. I’ll definitely be back for more — let’s see if I can build up my spice tolerance.
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