Manbok Chinatown Korean BBQ & Steamboat Tasting Session

October 13, 2015 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Manbok Chinatown Korean BBQ & Steamboat Tasting Session
279 New Bridge Road

Opening Hours:
Daily: 11:30am - 3pm, 5:30pm - 11pm



http://manbokinc.wix.com/manbok

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session.
Attended with representatives from HungryGoWhere, The Arctic Star, and Fundamentally Flawed.



Value For Money Korean Barbecue

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 5
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 7
Value for Money: 8
Budget about SGD $32 ++ per person.


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Manbok Chinatown Korean BBQ & Steamboat in Singapore Chinatown has been around for a while now. Among the more well known of the Korean barbecue and steamboat concept, particularly for their value for money prices, owner Mr. Tan tells us that the name 'Manbok Chinatown Korean BBQ & Steamboat' also represents 'a fortune of millions' in Mandarin!

Manbok Chinatown Korean BBQ & Steamboat Facade



Ambience at Manbok is decent for an indoor barbecue outlet. The biggest bugbear of such establishments is smell, fortunately, the exhaust nozzels directly above each table takes care of the majority of it. There is still some lingering smell of cooking, but this subsides quickly, a lot better than other places! Furnishings are spacious and functional enough for comfort, and I like the brightly lit area. Food displays are clearly labelled and kept chilled, but the salad / condiment corner is hidden behind a wall and not immediately visible.

Manbok Exterior


Manbok Interior



Service at Manbok is polite and efficient. Staff have basic working product knowledge, able to explain in simple English / Mandarin the food available, as well as guide you how to operate the barbecue grill on the table. I also commend them for coming around often to change the grilling plate when it turns black from grilling. They also proactively clear away empty / dirty plates, rather than letting it pile up on your table. Good! However, they don't take requests to help you cook the food, and everything else (collection of food, payment) is self-service.

Manbok Prices



Food at Manbok is all about meat... a carnivore's dream! The star is the selection of 10 different cuts of meat (beef, pork, chicken) for barbecue / grilling, as well as the selection of seafood for the steamboat. The selection of salads is rather small though. Manbok also offers a small selection of 3 cooked food items, these are changed daily for returning diners. Communal dining is a must here, at least 2 people, though a group of 4 or more is recommended. Prices are reasonably cheaper than elsewhere, budget about SGD $18 for lunch, and SGD $31 for dinner, per person.

Table Setting



A trio of Cordial Drinks in artificial fruit flavours; Sour Plum, Blueberry, Mango. Of the 3, the Blueberry was decent enough, the Sour Plum turned out to be sweet instead of sour, and the Mango was weird.

Cordial Drinks - Sour Plum, Blueberry, Mango



The highlight of a meal here is the beautiful, large slabs of meat, chilled on ice. Pick from 10 different cuts! My personal favourites would be the Marinated Beef Short Rib, and the Marinated Pork Belly (not pictured).

Raw Meat Items 01


Raw Meat Items 02


Marinated Beef Short Rib


Marinated Chicken Breast


Marinated Pork Collar


Beef Chuck Tender


Beef Short Plate


Pork Belly


Pork Collar


Bacon



The seafood here can either be grilled or boiled into the soup. I do think the soup version is more salty though, so I prefer the barbecued / grilled version. The seafood items are of medium size, and are fresh!

Raw Seafood Items


Clams & Mussels


Squid & Octopus


Prawns



A small selection of vegetables, fruits, and side dishes are also available here, for cooking in the steamboat soup mostly. They even have instructions to show you how best to enjoy it!

Lettuce


Corn


Dduk / Tteok / Rice Cakes


Eggs


Noodles



The Kimchi Baechu / Kimchi Pickled Cabbage here is decent, with a sharp, sour, slightly spicy flavour. Crunchy in texture, this pairs well with the more heavy meats.

Kimchi Baechu / Kimchi Pickled Cabbage



I like the thick, savoury sweet gravy of the Ddukbokki / Tteokbokki / Sweet & Spicy Rice Cakes, which has a lovely bright orange colour hue. It's topped with cheese, which makes this a lot more filling than it looks!

Ddukbokki / Tteokbokki / Sweet & Spicy Rice Cakes



Of the 2 types of pancakes here, I loved the Kimchi Jeon / Kimchi Pancake, which has a sharp, sour flavour. However, the Haemul Pajeon / Seafood Scallion Pancake was rather flat in taste, although dipping it into some of the sauces helps the overall flavour.

Haemul Pajeon / Seafood Scallion Pancake & Kimchi Jeon / Kimchi Pancake



Loved the Maneul Dak Ganjang / Garlic Soy Sauce Chicken Wings, this is easily the best cooked food item here! The chicken wings have a crisp, savoury, slightly salty skin that is fragrant with garlic. The chicken meat is moist and tender, coming off the bone easily. Chef tells us he only makes this in small batches, as the skin gets soggy when it cools, so it has to be eaten quickly!

Maneul Dak Ganjang / Garlic Soy Sauce Chicken Wings



The Gaji Twigim / Deep Fried Eggplant is crisp with the floral aroma and taste of the eggplant. The batter is light and thin, allowing the eggplant taste to come through. Best eaten dipped in sauce!

Gaji Twigim / Deep Fried Eggplant



Look at these Perfectly Round Kimchi Gimbap / Pickled Cabbage Seaweed Rice Roll... they're round. Not easy to make them so round.

Perfectly Round Kimchi Gimbap / Pickled Cabbage Seaweed Rice Roll



The Ssamjang / Korean Barbecue Sauce is very good, I kept dipping various items in it! Best when paired with barbecued / grilled meat, and wrapped in fresh lettuce!

Ssamjang / Korean Barbecue Sauce



Each table is equipped with a barbecue / grill station, a small steamboat, along with the steamboat soup stock and tissue paper. The steamboat soup was rather salty during my visit. Staff also came around often to change the grill plate once it became sufficiently charred from grilling.

Meal 01


Meal 02


Meal 03



Overall, Manbok Chinatown Korean BBQ & Steamboat is worth trying for its value for money prices, and tasty selection of barbecue / grill meats. Their steamboat may not be that great, but the efficient service and decent atmosphere, makes me willing to return to Manbok again!


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