It seems like I’m mildly more interested in Korean BBQs after my Seoul trip, thanks to the amazing restaurant known as Palsaik. Therefore, we decided to have a girls’ night out, on a Monday evening, at Wang Dae Bak Korean BBQ located at China Square Central, a short walk from Chinatown. China Square Central is a cluster of refurbished shophouses with restaurants and bistros on the ground floor, and office spaces upstairs, forming an interesting strip of restaurants catered for the professional working crowd (read: expensive meals).
Wang Dae Bak is located near South Bridge Road, at the bottom of the overhead bridge connecting to Hong Lim Complex. It is a fairly intimate joint with about 10 tables indoors and another 5 outdoors. However, you can tell it is quite spacious indoors, presumably for easy and safe manoeuvring of the hot BBQ plates. Each table is equipped with its own exhaust, and for those who are afraid of fumes and smell on their bags, do know that each of the stool is really a barrel drum and you can lift up the cushion and store your bags inside. That keeps your belongs relatively fume-free and secure!
As there were 3 of us, we ordered a set for 2 ($48++) which includes marinated prime rib, pork belly, spicy chicken and marinated pork shoulder, which really introduced us to the various cuts and marinades available at Wang Dae Bak. Not only is the banchan (read: side dishes) and vegetable free flow, the scrambled egg mixture is free refill too! You can fry the egg to your desired doneness around the rim of the pan, an interesting concept. The meat grilled nicely on the charcoal grill, though I would have really preferred if someone could grill it for us because we nearly burnt some pieces not know how hot the charcoal grill is. Nonetheless, the meat is delicious wrapped in leaves with some pickled radish and kimchi.
We also ordered a seafood pancake ($19), which is by far the best pancake I have eaten. It is also a very big portion; I estimate the diameter to be close to 12 inches, going by the size of pizzas I eat. The pancake is fried to a cracking crisp without being overly oily. The thicker middle pieces are soft on the inside, with copious amounts of seafood. In writing this post, I can distinctly remember my first mouthful of this brilliant seafood pancake. Sharing is definitely recommended, and there is more than enough to go around.
Apart from the food, Wang Dae Bak also serves a soju bomb/submarine set comprising 2 big bottles of Hite beer and a bottle of soju for $39. It is fairly worth it for the beer usually costs around $10-15 at other restaurants. Needless to say, despite it being a Monday, we toasted and ate and enjoyed ourselves utterly at Wang Dae Bak. This is a Korean BBQ restaurant I will definitely patronize again.
Note: there is another outlet at Amoy Street.