Satisfy your pork belly cravings at Seoulizm, a hip neon-lit Korean BBQ joint serving mentaiko steamed egg, smiley face fried rice & more

by Christabel Tan

Tanjong Pagar, otherwise known as Singapore’s “Little Korea”, is home to some of the best and most authentic Korean BBQ restaurants on our shores.

If pork belly is up your alley, you should definitely check out the newest kid on the block, Seoulizm, a Korean-owned restaurant that stands out from the crowd.

seoulizm
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The fairly minimalist interior, save for the strategically positioned neon lights that create hip, out-of-this-world vibes (treading the line between retro and futuristic), is a refreshing change from the usual decor you see along the stretch of Korean restaurants.

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Despite the more modern concept (that appeals to Singaporeans and our love for social media/all things IG-worthy), we noticed that practically every table was occupied by Koreans, which is always a good sign.

seoulizm
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Although the menu is a lot less extensive than what you can find at most other K-BBQ joints, Seoulizm makes up for it by specialising in well-executed dishes with unique fusion flavours added into the mix.

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The signature banchan is served on a large silver platter guaranteed to elicit “oohs” and “aahs” — it comprises a selection of housemade kimchi, delectable sauces (the spicy sauce made with meat and oysters is a game-changer), tamagoyaki, and fresh vegetables (think lettuce, raw garlic, and green chilli).

seoulizm
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If you’re a decisive diner who always knows what you want, Seoulizm is the place to visit, given that the only meat they offer is pork belly (samgyupsal).

You can choose between Naengdong Samgyupsal (S$24), thinly sliced frozen samgyupsal, and fresh Saeng Samgyupsal (S$24), but limited quantities of the latter are available daily.

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When it comes to Korean BBQ, I’m someone who doesn’t mind frozen pork belly (not when it comes to beef though), especially since I prefer enjoying the meat with both regular and grilled banchan in lettuce wraps with lots of thick, spicy paste (ssamjang).

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Over here, the staff will place four different types of kimchi from the platter onto the grill and cook your first round of pork belly for you.

Each perfectly grilled slice of juicy, glistening meat is then placed atop the kimchi, which becomes infused with the pork’s flavourful juices (and fat) — every bite is an explosion of flavour. Seriously, grilled kimchi just hits different.

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Of course, the other dishes don’t pale in comparison.

There is only one stew (jjigae) on the menu — the vague-sounding Seoulizm Soup (S$25), a cross between kimchi jjigae and army stew (budae jjigae), which arrives piping hot, chock full of ingredients like sausages, tofu, and spam. Despite its modest size, it was hearty and very filling.

seoulizm
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Cleanse your palate in between bites of meat with the refreshing Spicy Cold Noodle (S$12), or bibim guksu. You are also encouraged to wrap the pork belly with noodles (there are plenty of fun ways to enjoy Korean BBQ after all — the possibilities are endless).

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One of my personal highlights was the Mentaiko Cheese Steamed Egg (S$18), the quintessential K-BBQ side dish made even better.

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I may be biased towards mentaiko, but this was one of the best gyeran jjim I’d tasted in a long time — fluffy, cheesy, and overall just very well-balanced.

You can also try an equally tasty-sounding rendition with Truffle Cheese (S$18).

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As the meal comes to a close, the Cheese Fried Rice (S$12), a must-order, comes in.

Sit back, have a drink, and leave it to the staff to whip up this simple yet effective concoction of kimchi, white rice, seaweed, and leftover pork belly for you.

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Cheese and meat drippings from the grill (you’ll be sold once the full-bodied flavour hits) are also added into the mix.

seoulizm
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The end result? Smoky, extra indulgent fried rice studded with charred crispy bits and ooey gooey cheese, topped off with two fried eggs and kimchi that form a special (and rather adorable) smiley face.

We highly recommend saving some stomach space for this — you won’t regret it.

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An authentic Korean BBQ experience with a unique no-frills menu that takes the pain out of being too spoilt for choice? Sign me up for another visit!

@tastesoulsg Food & pretty unnie captured my seoul hehe😍 #tastesoulsg #seoulizm #sgkbbq #koreanbbq #cheesefriedrice #koreanporkbelly #sgkoreanfood #tanjongpagar #whattoeatsg #wheretoeatsg #seoulfood #sgfoodie #unnie ♬ We Caa Done (feat. Drake) – Popcaan & Drake

Reservations can be made here.

Seoulizm
Instagram
📍28 Tg Pagar Rd, Singapore 088451
🕒 5pm–11pm (Daily)

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I would gladly desert you for dessert.

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