Woorinara Tasting Session

June 25, 2015 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Woorinara Tasting Session
19 Lorong Kilat #01-02

2 Clementi West Street 2
#01-01 West Coast Community Centre


Opening Hours:
Daily: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5:30pm - 11pm



This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session, but I did pay the standard price during subsequent visits.
Attended with representatives from HungryGoWhere, The Arctic Star, and Chubby Botak Koala.



Hearty Korean Dining & Hospitality

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 4
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 9
Value for Money: 8
Budget about SGD $30 ++ per person.


.....



Woorinara, also known as Woori Nara Korean Restaurant, has been in operation for quite a few years now, since 2009. The Korean owner (Teddy) and his family, opened Woorinara to offer authentic South Korea cuisine to Koreans craving for a taste of home. In fact, Woorinara in Korean means "Our homeland"! Thus, you're assured of getting hearty, generous portions of tasty and authentic Korean food when dining at Woorinara.

Woorinara Exterior



Ambience at Woorinara is their weakest point, as the entire place looks aging, with minimal decor. The place is brightly lit, and the wooden furniture is large and spacious enough to put all the hugh dishes, but the ventilation isn't the best, as the smell of cooking lingers in the air. They do have projector screens playing Korean music videos in the background, but sometimes, the background music changes to classical music, which is rather odd. Some parts of the restaurant are also rather untidy.

Woorinara Interior



Service at Woorinara is excellent. Staff are generally Korean, but are able to converse in simple English. They're very hospitable, able to guide you through their extensive and dense menu (over 60 dishes!), providing recommendations on how to consume a dish, and even offering to assist in cooking the dish at your table! The dining experience was us here was almost like a guest in their home, and staff made sure we felt welcome and comfortable. Excellent!

Woorinara Counter



Food at Woorinara is authentic South Korea cuisine. They specialise in grilled / barbecue items, as well as Korean soups, all made using their family recipes! You know it's good when the restaurant is crowded even on weekdays, and you actually see Koreans dining here! Communal dining is highly encouraged because the portions are huge! They serve up to 13 banchan / side dishes, all free-flow, depending on size of your group. Prices are rather affordable as well, budget between SGD $24 to $45 per person when dining here.

Woorinara Al-Fresco Seating



The banchan side dish Kongnamul / Cold Soy Bean Sprouts is fresh and crunchy, with a nice sweetness, and the flavour of the vegetables really shines.

Kongnamul / Cold Soy Bean Sprouts



Felt the banchan side dish Dubu Jorim / Soy Braised Tofu was pretty average, the spices / sauce was somewhat watery, and didn't lend much to flavour, although the texture of the tofu was spot on.

Dubu Jorim / Soy Braised Tofu



The banchan side dish Sigeumchi Namul / Boiled Spinach here is probably the best I've tried in Singapore! There is the usual expected freshness of the vegetables, but they've lightly marinated it with a house sauce, making it both savoury and sweet. So addictive!

Sigeumchi Namul / Boiled Spinach



The banchan side dish Gamja Bokkeum / Sauteed Potato Strips is presented like a swirl, and has a nice softness to the potato. The natural taste of potato come across well, and the strips of carrot within lend some crunch to texture.

Gamja Bokkeum / Sauteed Potato Strips



The banchan side dish Kimchi Oi Sobaegi / Kimchi Pickled Cucumber has the kick of spicy heat, but quickly fades away without burning. Love the crunch and freshness of the cucumbers, which release their cooling juice when bit.

Kimchi Oi Sobaegi / Kimchi Pickled Cucumber



Felt the banchan side dish Myeolchi Bokkeum / Fried Anchovies was very well executed, as it's not too oily, or over fried. Because this isn't coated in sugar, you actually get the taste of the fish, which crunches softly when bit.

Myeolchi Bokkeum / Fried Anchovies



The banchan side Gyeran Mari / Rolled Egg Omelette is a fluffy and soft egg omelette, stuffed with some carrot. Nice, because I like eggs, but overall, this pales in comparision to the other more tastier banchan side dishes.

Gyeran Mari / Rolled Egg Omelette



The banchan side dish Gamja Salad / Mashed Potato Salad here features smooth mashed potato, but is also enhanced with diced apples! These lend a juicy, fresh sweetness to the dish. Good!

Gamja Salad / Mashed Potato Salad



Loved the banchan side dish Musaengchae / Spicy Shredded Daikon Radish! Presented in a swirl, like pasta, it is crunchy and spicy, leaving a slight burn in the mouth that makes you want to keep eating. Excellent!

Musaengchae / Spicy Shredded Daikon Radish



The banchan side dish Eomuk Bokkeum / Stir Fried Fish Cakes has chewy strips of fish cake, marinated in a house sauce that lends some sweetness to the overall savoury flavour of the dish. Decent enough!

Eomuk Bokkeum / Stir Fried Fish Cakes



The banchan side dish Kimchi Baechu / Kimchi Pickled Cabbage is very good! Made in-house, the vegetables crunch nicely, and the kimchi sauce coating the cabbage leaves have some heat, without being overwhelming. Very good!

Kimchi Baechu / Kimchi Pickled Cabbage



Served as part of most set meals here, the Ttukbaegi Gyeran Jjim / Steamed Egg In Pot is a simple, straight forward egg, steamed in an earthenware pot. The eggs are soft and fluffy, but should be eaten quickly as it tends to harden slightly when it cools. Texture is similar to a mix of scrambled eggs and egg omelette. Good!

Ttukbaegi Gyeran Jjim / Steamed Egg In Pot



The Beef Set (SGD $99) set meal is meant for 4 people, and is served with Galbi-Gui / Boneless Short Rib, Bulgogi / Marinated Beef, Beef Sirloin, a variety of Vegetables (enoki golden mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, lettuce, onions, garlic, chili), the Ttukbaegi Gyeran Jjim / Steamed Egg In Pot, and a choice of Kimchi Soup, Soybean Paste Soup, or Spicy Soft Tofu Soup.

The Galbi-Gui / Boneless Short Rib was the highlight here, with its savoury, beefy flavour, and tender, meaty texture. The Bulgogi / Marinated Beef was excellent as well, I notice a slight sweetness to the marinade, which contrasted well with the savoury and juicy beef strips. Pair these with the vegetables or egg when eating! My least favourite part of this set meal was the Beef Sirloin, which was tender, but lacking in that nice beefy flavour.

Beef Set - Galbi-Gui / Boneless Short Rib, Bulgogi / Marinated Beef, Beef Sirloin


Beef Set - Vegetables


Beef Set - Grilling


Beef Set - Galbi-Gui / Boneless Short Rib, Pork Belly, Vegetables


Beef Set - Bulgogi / Marinated Beef, Vegetables



The large Pork Cocktail (SGD $55 / $88) set meal is meant for 4 people, and is served with Pork Belly, Pork Collar, Pork Jowl. In a vase.

A VASE.

OF PORK.




A HUGE VASE OF PORK !!!


Pork Cocktail - Vase Of Pork Belly, Pork Collar, Pork Jowl


Isn't that the most beautiful thing ever? Like something I expect to see as decor when I walk into a gourmet butcher shop! It's served with a variety of Vegetables (enoki golden mushrooms, button mushrooms, bean sprouts, spring onions), the Ttukbaegi Gyeran Jjim / Steamed Egg In Pot, and a choice of Kimchi Soup, Soybean Paste Soup, or Spicy Soft Tofu Soup. And Kimchi Bokkeumbap / Kimchi Fried Rice.

The pork is stir-fried at your table, along with the vegetables, and a house sauce is poured over while grilling. This results in the pork meat and vegetables taking on a pronounced sweetness, with a slight spicy taste, contrasting with the savoury flavour of the pork meat. The vegetables lend a crunch to texture, contrasting with the soft, tender pork. I like that the pork has a nice layer of fat, which is easily removed if you choose. Finally, white rice is stir fried in the remnants of the pan to make the Kimchi Bokkeumbap / Kimchi Fried Rice. This has a strong seaweed and kimchi flavour, with a colour like tomato rice. Overall, the best set meal I had here, highly, highly recommended!

Pork Cocktail - Grilling


Pork Cocktail - Stir-Fry Sauce


Pork Cocktail - Kimchi Bokkeumbap / Kimchi Fried Rice



The Kimchi Jeon / Kimchi Pancake (SGD $17) smells, and looks, like a pizza! Topped with gooey cheese, and sliced into pizza slices, the cheese pulls away sexily when a slice is lifted. The actual pancake is excellent, the kimchi taste is very pronounced, it has large chunks of kimchi stuffed within, and I daresay it's the most flavourful Kimchi Jeon / Kimchi Pancake I've ever tasted in Singapore! No surprise it's among the most popular dishes. Highly recommended!

Kimchi Jeon / Kimchi Pancake



The large Budae Jjigae / Spicy Sausage & Ham Army Stew (SGD $28 / $38) can comfortably be shared by 4 people. A hearty, flavourful stew / soup, packed with various ingredients including fish cake, sausage, ham, enoki golden mushrooms, cucumbers, spring onions, and ramen noodles, this is ultimate comfort food. Pretty good!

Budae Jjigae / Spicy Sausage & Ham Army Stew



The large, boneless Cheese Dakgangjeong / Cheese Sweet Soy Chicken (SGD $21 / $40) is a novel, unique dish. The crisp chunks of tender fried chicken are generously coated in a sweet soy and gooey cheese, making eating this a righteous mess. The sweetness is very strong in this dish, but you still get a slight savoury taste from the fried chicken and cheese. An acquired taste, it may not suit everyone. Personally, I didn't quite like it.

Cheese Dakgangjeong / Cheese Sweet Soy Chicken



The staff were kind enough to present us with Won Ki Sam Korean Ginseng Drink as a gift! This energising drink isn't too potent, and you can consume the whole bottle at one go. It has a nice sweetness that isn't overwhelming, and a slight fragrance from the ginseng root within the bottle. You can even reuse the ginseng, either eating it later, or putting it into soups / tea!

Won Ki Sam Korean Ginseng Drink



Overall, I had a fantastic dining experience at Woorinara / Woori Nara Korean Restaurant. The combination of huge portions of authentic and tasty South Korean cuisine, friendly and hospitable service staff, and wallet friendly prices make Woorinara stand out. And despite the rather average ambience and atmosphere, I would still highly recommend Woorinara!





.....



You Might Also Like