AP and I met up over lunch at VivoCity last week. Since we’ve pretty much tried out all the F&B outlets in VivoCity, we went to one of the newer openings — Bornga.
This is Bornga’s 2nd outlet in Singapore, after their first Singapore opening in Star Vista. I’ve visited the one in Star Vista before (not blogged), and found that the food at the VivoCity branch is consistent in taste and presentation.
However, prices here are higher since my last visit at Star Vista. Not sure if the Star Vista outlet has also raised their prices accordingly.
Their signature beef brisket Woo Sam Gyup — thinly shaved and doused in a special light marinade just before serving to retain the meat’s original flavors. This is very good, definitely a must-try.
We wanted to try a non-beef option, hence the pork belly Sam Gyup Sal. This wasn’t as outstanding as the beef brisket; it was a little tough and not as flavorful.
There’s a minimum order of two meats for barbeque. Every BBQ order comes with Bornga’s signature long tray of fresh lettuce and vegetables to wrap the barbequed meats.
In case you need help, there’s an illustration in the menu to demonstrate how to wrap the BBQ meats.
Here are the complimentary ban chan (side dishes), mainly kimchi and more greens.
I find that Bornga’s ban chan aren’t as varied or interesting, compared to other Korean restaurants that I’ve been.
One interesting feature in the VivoCity outlet that’s not present in the Star Vista outlet, are these exhaust pipes that extend from the ceiling to your table. They absorb the smoky BBQ fumes really well. A very thoughtful touch, I think, which can prevent diners from smelling of BBQ. The staff tell me that the Star Vista outlet might be installing these too, in the near future.
We also ordered the cold buckwheat noodles to share. The chewy noodles goes amazingly well with sweet, crunchy slivers of pear, radish slices, cucumber, beef, and hard boiled egg. The icy sweet broth is delightfully refreshing!
This complimentary chilled drink — omija cha 五味子茶 — is served to all diners at the end of the meal. Sweet, tangy, subtly bitter and salty — this fruity-tasting beverage tastes quite similar to hawthorn. I believe it acts like a digestive for all that rich BBQ meats.
Service here was rather efficient. Our food was quickly presented, and the servers grilled the meats for us, replacing the grill plate after each round of barbequing. However, they didn’t top up our tea after the first round, even though there were 3 servers standing near our table chit chatting away.
What was intended to be a casual lunch turned out to be quite a pricey affair. One bowl of rice is charged at S$2.00++. But at least it’s good quality short-grain sticky rice.
Total bill of 2 meats, cold noodles, and 2 bowls of rice (inclusive of 10% service charge & 7% GST): S$83.55
1 Harbourfront Walk
Tel: +65 6376 8268
Daily: 11.30am to 10pm