Koh Grill & Sushi Bar’s Shiok Maki, the most satisfying Maki in Singapore (with menu)

Koh Grill Sushi and Bar

Address: 435 Orchard Road, #04-21, Wisma Atria Shopping Centre

Opening hour: 11.30am to 10.30 pm daily

Introduction

It’s like finally I managed to visit this place. As many of you had already know, Koh Grill & Sushi Bar is famous for one thing – their Shiok Maki. For my non-Singaporean reader, Shiok is a Singapore slang that conveys a feeling of sheer happiness and pleasure. Koh Grill & Sushi Bar is situated within the food court, Food Republic of Wisma Atria.

I’d heard about the long waiting time to get a seat at Koh Grill & Sushi Bar and that’s what exactly kept me from paying a visit after so long. Seems like the wait is not so bad recently as I got a table immediately on a weekday lunch time.

Their menu is surprisingly extensive, with selection ranging from Sushi, to Bento, Sashimi, Grill, Soup, Hotplate and Noodle, and the price looks pretty reasonable.

Koh Grill & Sushi Bar Menu – Maki and Sushi (click to enlarge)

Koh Grill & Sushi Bar Menu – Main course and Ala Carte (click to enlarge)

Koh Grill & Sushi Bar – Bento Menu (click to enlarge)

Shiok Maki Generation 1 ($16.80++)

There are currently two versions of Shiok Maki, and the difference is one is the grilled unagi (eel) version and the other is the fried prawn version. A serving of their Shiok Maki cost $16.80++ for eight pieces of Maki. I was not exactly a fan of Maki but these made me one.

The exterior of the Maki is wrapped with thin layer of soft salmon sashimi, followed by a roll of Japanese rice, seaweed, and then with the charcoal grilled unagi as it’s center. These Maki are then drizzled by the star of the show, a layer of thick special blend of mayonaise, which part of it are torched to give an enticing appearance and a smoky fragrance. The dish is finally completed with a generous sprinkle of roe. Gobble it up in a mouthful to understand why it is call the Shiok Maki.

However I feel that it’s a little wasteful to eat everything in a go because i won’t be able to appreciate the taste of the individual ingredient. For instance, the charcoal grilled unagi is actually very good by itself. There is almost zero fishy taste in it and is skillfully grilled with a good smoky flavour.

This Shiok Maki is a little pricey, at almost $2.50 per piece but I would say it’s worth it. However, if you are not a mayonaise fan, this Maki probably won’t work as well for you.

Sashimi Sushi Moriawase ($16.90++)

This Bento Set cost $16.90++ and it comes with three kinds of sashimi and four kinds of sushi, california roll and a bowl of mini udon. i feel that it’s quite value for money, and that’s much about it.

The udon taste quite average and the sashimi isn’t much exciting either. Those that like fatty fish may find these a little disappointing.

Asparagus Buta Special ($10.00++)

How can I visit Koh Grill without ordering any grilled item right? So I decided to order this “thumbsup” item – stir fried asparagus wrapped in grilled pork belly and it’s actually pretty lovely.

Imagine crunchy asparagus wrapped in thinly sliced grilled pork belly, sizzled in a garlicky pepper mix. Koh Grill & Sushi Bar also brushed a layer of their infamous mayonaise on each pieces of pork belly to complete the final touch. Apart from the Shiok Maki, this is probably something I will order again for my next visit.

Garlic Fried Rice ($5.00++)

This fried rice smells very good when it’s served and upon a closer look, some of the rice grains were burnt. It’s actually not a big problem but the problem lies in the whole dish is not salty enough. Thumbs up for the fragrance but not for the flavour.

Conclusion

Apart from the Shiok Maki, except for the Asparagus Buta Special, the rest that i had are not as impressive. Their menu is really extensive so do let me know if you have any recommendations for their main course.

Left – Sake Aburi $4.20++ for 2 pcs Right – Sake Belly Aburi $5.00++ for 1 pc Taking the diff in price, non belly version is good enough for me

I visited Koh Grill & Sushi Bar with some expectation for it’s Shiok Maki and they actually managed to meet my expectation. Shiok Maki is like the junk food of Makis, which is not as healthy, but provides a good level of satisfaction, or like what it promised – Shiok. If the length of the queue remains short, I really don’t mind coming back to have their Shiok Maki again.

Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong Korean BBQ at Myeongdong, Seoul

Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong Korean BBQ (강호동 백정)

*Update. The Dongdaemun Branch that i went had apparently moved and therefore i will indicate the address of their most popular Myeongdong branch instead*

English Address (Google Map): 3-3 Myeongdong 2(i)-ga

Korean Address (Naver Map): 서울특별시 중구 명동2가 3-3

Introduction

Korean BBQ restaurants can be found at almost every corner of Seoul and the pricing can differs a lot depending on the shop, as well as the type of Meat ordered. Baekjeong is one of the popular and reasonably priced BBQ restaurant.

Baekjeong is a restaurant opened by a top Korean host Kang Ho-Dong (강호동/姜虎东). For Running Man fans, you may have heard of Yoo Jae-suk. Both Yoo Jae-suk and Kang Ho-Dong are said to be among the best comedian/host in South Korea. Kang Ho-Dong’s masterpiece includes X-Man (co-host with Jae-suk), Star King and Happy Sunday: 2 Days 1 Night. The unique thing about Baekjeong is they use charcoal stove for grilling instead of a gas one.

Menu 1: Click to enlarge

Menu 2: Click to enlarge

Marinated Pork Belly

I had my share of unmarinated meat at runningman Haha’s restaurant Paljamakchang already so I decided to try the marinated version this time. For marinated meat, remember to request for netted grill instead of a flat grill. Else the marinate will stick to the pan and the meat will be burnt very easily.

The marinated pork belly cost W$8900 ($10.90) for two slices (150g) . Their pork belly is really well flavored in a sweet spicy marinate. I am instantly hooked to the sweet BBQ fragrance of their pork belly. The crispy tender pork belly is especially enjoyable when wrapped in fresh lettuce, green onion and garlic.

Fresh and Crunchy Lettuce

Tada – The end product

Marinated Pork Rib W$9900 (S$12.00)

The Rib cut is always my must-order for Korean BBQ because of it’s tender and succulent nature. Baekjeong’s rib looks absolutely appetizing and taste equally good for it’s price. Although it’s not the best tasting rib I had, there is absolutely no complain.

The Rib cut.

I didn’t order alot because this is my supper meal. On top of the grilled meat, Baekjeong BBQ comes with a portion of Egg, which is serve in a hollow of the BBQ plate. The taste is actually quite ordinary, like our steamed egg, but it just feels kind of nice to grill your own hot plate egg and it’s complimentary.

Conclusion

The price of Baekjeong BBQ items are very reasonable so i can order without worrying too much on the price. The tables are very well spaced from each others and staff are friendly so it’s quite a good dining experience. The quality of the food is quite decent and I left the place feeling well satisfied with my Korean BBQ craving fulfilled.

The side dishes

Map and Directions

Actually the direction is exactly the same to Myeongdong Gyoja and it’s along the same street.

1. Come out from Exit 8 of Myeongdong Station, turn to your left and walk straight for three to five minutes

2. Past two cross junctions and turn right at the 3rd one

3. You should be able to see Baekjeong

Char Restaurant – The Chinese Roast with a Twist

Char Restaurant

Address (Google Map): 393 Guillemard Road Singapore 399790

Opening hours: Thu to Sun 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10pm, Closed on Mon

Introduction

I first know about Char Restaurant from a post from Mitsueki.wordpress.com. Char is a restaurant selling Chinese food and i was quite excited about it because there is just too many new western restaurants recently and we need to bring back some refreshing eastern flavours.

The restaurant is situated in the middle of Dakota Station, Paya Lebar Station and Aljunied Station. If you are travelling by public transport, the easiest mean is to take a bus. Or you can be like me, to walk from Dakota MRT and it’s actually not that far.

This restaurant offers Cze Char style dishes with their three signature roast dishes – their Char Siew, Roast Pork Belly (Sio Bak) and Roasted Duck at $20.50 (+10% service charge, no GST).

Char’s Dinner Menu: Click to Enlarge

Roasted Char Siew

This Pork Belly Char Siew is quite different from those that we find in Hawker Centre or even Chinese Restaurant. The thick spice-infused caramelised coating makes the Char Siew slightly crispy on the outside and the pork belly cut completes the dish with a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

The fragrance of the five spice powder is evidently stronger than the traditional Char Siew and the texture of their fatty Char Siew is one of it’s kind in Singapore. Comparing to a typical Hawker Char Siew, this is much more tender but the thick caramelised coating makes it much sweeter. It’s more like a grilled Kong Ba and is the must-order.

Roast Pork Belly

I was only half convinced that the Roasted Pork Belly is Char’s signature dish until I tried it. The best part of a Sio Bak (Roast Pork Belly) is always about the roasted skin and Char Restaurant’s version is fantastic.

The crusty crackling skin is not tough on the jaw and crumbles easily. The bottom part of the pork belly is less salted and charred comparing to a typical Hawker Centre version. Char is quite generous with it’s portion for it’s price.

Roast Duck

Char’s Roast Duck is also one of the three signature roasts. Among the stack of duck, there are only 3-4 pieces of meaty slice while the rest are the rib parts with millimetres of meat. The skin is actually quite well roasted, well flavoured and crispy and it’s served in it’s stuffing gravy. I would have enjoyed this dish more if the parts served are more meaty.  Overall this duck is actually quite well done but if i only has two votes, i will cast it on the Char Siew and Roasted Pork Belly.

Egg Fried Rice ($5+)

I absolutely love this fried rice. The photo is actually not doing justice to it’s taste. This fried rice is like a combination of Ding Tai Feng’s Egg Fried Rice with Japanese Garlic Fried Rice. If you love Garlic Fried Rice, you will like this. Each grain of rice is well-separated and it’s packed with fragrance of fresh garlic.

The price is also very reasonable for it’s portion and considering that it’s a restaurant. The only complain is they use a little too much oil to prepare this dish as a thin layer of oil remains on the plate after finishing this dish.

Spicy French Beans

I generally like french bean for it’s crunchy texture that goes very well with the fried dried shrimp. Char offers a spicy version which the spiciness has nothing to do with chilli but with a kind of Szechuan pepper (花椒) and unfortunately, I dread the taste of these peppers so this dish is a thumbs down for me.

Conclusion 

I was rather impressed by Char Restaurant’s Char Siew and Roasted Pork Belly. Although there are roast meat stalls all over Singapore, to find one that matches Char is not going to be an easy task. Is the price a little too expensive? Actually the price is about the same as a famous roast meat stall along upper paya lebar for three kinds of meat (Char Siew, Roast Pork Belly, Roast Goose), or it’s even slightly cheaper.

Their Char Siew and Roast Meat are said to be the end product of incorporating western cooking style into Chinese dish and just the preparation of Char Siew takes two days to complete which involves multiple cooking processes to get the melt-in-your-mouth texture. If you are looking for an interesting place to experience a new style of Chinese food, Char may be just the place for you.