Hi everyone! Sorry for the vanishing act. Soon after the previous post, I had a very painful case of tonsillitis, followed by high fever and a sore throat. For two weeks, it was a diet of plain porridge and light vegetables. Eating out was, well, out for me. Not that I would have been able to taste anything anyway.
After that, real life took over. Now, things are slowing down, and the tastebuds have returned (yay!). It’s good to be eating normally and blogging again. 🙂
Ricky and I accidentally stumbled upon this cosy-looking Korean restaurant while looking for a place to have dinner in Chinatown. Literally translated as “top scholar”, Jang Won, an 8-month-old joint, is a relatively new kid on the block of Korean restaurants that have been mushrooming on our sunny shores.
It’s no secret that I’m fanatical over Korean food. The part that I most look forward to when eating in a Korean restaurant is the banchan. Other than the standard Chinese cabbage kimchi, the other items are constantly rotated, so you get a different combination of dishes each time.
I was pleasantly surprised at the number of banchan given at Jang Won. Seven! That’s the most I’ve come across so far. They were all very delicious, too.
Crunchy, spicy, and refreshing.
Cooked in sweet soy sauce, the potato cubes disintegrated easily. Very more-ish.
Ricky, the I’ve-had-my-hepatitis-jab-so-i’m-safe cockle lover, declared this his favorite of the lot.
This was light and crunchy. Served to balance out the spiciness of the other items.
Each beancurd piece was daintily dotted with a chilli-garlic topping.
Slices of fishcake were tossed in a dressing of sauces for extra flavor.
Your standard Chinese cabbage kimchi.
Today’s combination of banchan was a wonderful myriad of flavors and textures, all complementing one another excellently. I could just feast on them alone!
Grilled mackerel on a hotplate, drizzled with some sweetish sauce. Dip in bean paste (in left corner) for extra saltiness. The fish was nothing spectacular, but it was nice and juicy.
I was so looking forward to the chicken galbi. Literally meaning “ribs”, galbi was originally grilled beef short ribs, from which pork galbi and chicken galbi have evolved.
However, while beef galbi is sweet-savoury, chicken galbi is spicy. To prepare the latter, macerate chicken pieces (usually boneless) in a spicy marinade. To cook, place cut cabbage, sweet potato slices, tteok (Korean rice cake) slices, and marinated chicken on a grill or pan. Let everything cook, then toss to mix evenly towards the end.
Having had high hopes for the chicken galbi, I was a little disappointed. It was alright, but I couldn’t help comparing it to the superior version I’ve tasted at the home of a Korean friend’s. The jang (sauce/marinade) for the chicken, so crucial to the overall taste of this dish, was somehow lacking. Also, the sweet potato was M.I.A., and I could count the number of tteok slices with just one hand.
Still, the food was undoubtedly authentic. One might even say that the rough-around-the-edges quality was part of the homely charm. Indeed, half the restaurant was filled with Korean natives. Proof that the taste here is close to the real deal?
The side dishes come at no extra charge with the main courses. We were each charged S$1.50 for plain rice, which I thought was too pricey. The total bill was S$37.40, inclusive of 10% service charge.
Jang Won Korean Restaurant
44 Mosque Street #01-01
Tel: 6532 6949