Singapore probably doesn’t need another Korean BBQ restaurant. There seems to be too many Korean establishments on this tiny island, especially along Tanjong Pagar road, you can catch sight of several tabletop grills at one place, few doors down or even across the street.
Although Korean food is never on my first choice agenda when comes to selecting preferred cuisine, I have been to a number of Korean restaurants serving a beautiful selection of dishes that made me come back for more.
Some of the best Korean places in town I normally go – Wang Dae Bak Korean BBQ Restaurant, Togi Korean Restaurant, Superstar K Korean BBQ Restaurant, Big Mama Korean Restaurant and occasionally, I would go to AYCE places (All You Can Eat) such as Ssikkek BBQ, and K.Cook Korean BBQ for the meat and its affordable price point.
E!GHT KOREAN BBQ (8 Korean BBQ) is a not a new player in the industry. Debuted in 2013 at The Central at Clarke Quay, this modern Korean BBQ establishment specialises in Hungarian Mangalitsa pork that made the cut for using higher-quality meats and offering a more interesting variety of flavours than its competitors.
E!GHT, named after its eponymous 8 Colours Set ($98 – shares four), features the speciality of the house – Mangalitza Pork Belly, hand-cut in thick, scrumptious slices and comes in an array of flavours such as Red Pepper Paste, Miso Paste, Garlic, Curry and more.
Korean cuisine and eating, even at a BBQ restaurant is more than just grilled meat. Army Stew, Seafood Soft Tofu Stew, Seafood Pancake, and Mangalitza Kimchi Pasta are especially recommended.
In addition to the speciality hot grill, Stone Pot Bibimbap, Korean Stews, Ginseng Chicken Soup and a variety of non-BBQ items are served during lunch hours. For dinner, order the signature BBQ set which certainly is the way to enjoy and wash it down with E!ght chamisul soju or an icy cold Korean Hite Beer.
Though I am not a big fan of soju cocktails and alcohols in general, the alcoholic beverages here are pretty good. You can try mixing it up Korean style like the Soju Bomb – by pouring a shot of Soju into a glass of beer; or try the Go Jin Gam Rae – where Hite beer, Soju and coke are drank in one shot for a sweet finish.
E!ght Korean BBQ is more famous for its Mangalitza Pork, but the meaty counterparts here shouldn’t be overlooked. Wagyu connoisseurs should take a chance at the Kagoshima Wagyu promotions at E!ght, where the desirable ribeye is prized at $88 (U.P. $110) and the tender sirloin cut at only $78 (U.P. $100).
Other proteins include the beef belly and squid make good options for BBQ as well.
At most typical Korean institutions, it is all about charcoal grilling. Whereas for E!ght Korean BBQ, charcoal-less grills were imported specially from Korea to assist in smoke reduction from the grilling of meat; the most essential part of it, you probably would not smell like a walking charred bacon when you leave.
Grilling meat tends to become dry and tough with overcooking, E!ght Korean BBQ customers can simply sit back to enjoy the banchan and drinks over conversation, whilst the well-trained staff expertly prepare the food for them at their table.
The Banchan selection at E!ght is pretty straightforward, just five plates of accompaniments, nothing fancy. Because the real point here is to eat the BBQ food like how the Korean does.
Take a leaf of lettuce, add a dollop of bean paste, slivers of bean sprouts and a piece of grilled meat, fold in half and try eating the whole thing in two bites.
Address: 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, The Central,