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Authentic Korean cuisine for the masses
Happened to be at Far East Square and was looking for a cheap lunch venue when I stumbled upon Su Korean Cuisine, which offered a set lunch at $10 /pax - a seemingly good deal in this part of town.
Located at the basement of this teenager centric shopping mall, Su spots a cafe like interior with plenty of booth seats and minimalistic decor.
Sides - I've always had the notion that the side dishes in Korean meals make the entire meal more bang for the buck because of the variety of dishes you get to sample. However, more often than not, the quality would be very average (based on the limited experience I have with Korean food). Su's offerings weren't an exception.
BBQ Chicken Fillet - As mentioned in my post on Auntie Kim's, I've never really been able to appreciate Korean food and whatever it entailed. The chicken slices were tender but I didn't quite take to the sugary sweetness of it. The proportion of garnishes to chicken meat was also quite high, which meant that the meat ran out pretty fast.
BBQ Beef - Another overly sweet dish to me, the beef slices were relatively tough and dry without much beefy taste. As with the BBQ chicken, portions were also found wanting.
I guess $24 for a relatively filling lunch in an airconditioned environment in town is still reasonable by certain yardsticks. Food quality is average to me but that may be due to the fact that I can't really appreciate Korean food.
See all my pictures here.
Farewell meetings and dinners are usually bittersweet affairs where affected parties are more or less torn between feelings of delight for having great friends and feelings of sadness of having to leave the hard earned connections behind to reach for the future. Nonetheless, its always wonderful to have a good meal with all these people who have been a big part of my life. The location was introduced by Emma who recommended the place to no end for its value for money and supposedly good food.
The interior is nothing to shout about but comfortable to be in with its soft lighting and open ambiance. The air conditioning is very powerful though, probably to diminish the discomfort of having a hot stove in front of you but unfortunately, we opted for the kitchen to cook for us, which made us end up feeling extremely cold.
Refillable Korean Side Dishes - These dishes are refillable and comes in small portions. Each refill is random and contains different sample dishes to excite your taste buds. Each is nicely done but some, like the bean sprouts and kimchi ended up being the main attractions in this selection. The problem with the refills is, it came too slowly and the serving staff had alot of problems attending to our needs. Their frustration is apparent as they struggled to keep pace with our speed of eating and the small but heavy bowls did not help their job one bit. Add the fact that the set menu for 8 is a first for them as nobody has ordered it before and you got a huge headache in terms of service.
Seafood Pancake with Spring Onion - This is very good. Fragrant, crispy and strangely juicy (its not because of the oil though), this dish gained sounds of "Oooo's" and "yums" from the all members of the group. Who would have figured beaten eggs with prawns, squid and fish cake thrown into the mix along with spring onions could make a pancake taste this good. Its available on ala carte and very much worth a try.
BBQ Beef?, BBQ Beef Short Rib? - The '?' you see behind both names are not there by accident. They are there because i can't tell which is which since they taste almost exactly the same. If not for the slight beef taste each dish contained, this could have been venison or pork and we wouldn't have been any the wiser. That said, both dishes tasted mediocre despite the tender and chewy beef pieces. Not recommended.
BBQ Chicken and BBQ Pork Collar - After tasting these 2, i'm beginning to feel they marinated everything and cooked everything in the exact same way because it sure doesn't taste any different from each other. Both were sweet, spicy and even had almost the same texture with the small difference of chicken meat being tougher and harder (that's not good by the way).
Authentic Ginseng Chicken Soup - Another mediocre dish. This started out with much promise as we noticed on ala carte, its costs between $3-5 for a refill of the ginseng stock. A sign of good things to come? Sadly, that is not to be. The ginseng soup tastes like it was only just prepared and was very bland, with only slight hints that ginseng had been used in the soup. The chicken was nothing spectacular but tore easily as it was very tender but not recommended.
Boiled Sliced Pork With Cabbage - Simple as this dish may seem, it actually tastes pretty good. The pork was firm and springy which contrasted with the cold crunchiness of the cabbage which is further enhanced by the sour balachan chilli. Nicely done but too bad about the portion size though, which was rather small.
Sauteed Vermicelli with Pork - Another nicely done dish. The vermicelli packed lots of taste and was very pleasing to consume with aromatic sesame sprinkled all over it and traces of pork spread throughout the dish. I can't quite describe why its good but it is, try it to find out.
Stone Bowl Rice - Served in a piping hot stone bowl and mixed by the customers themselves, this is an interesting and authentic Korean dish. As you can see, the bowl consists of a lone egg surrounded by bean sprouts, carrots, cabbage, sliced mushrooms, rice and minced pork. The trick is to mix the dish quickly before serving. So is this any good? For me, i liked it but i liked the cold rice version better, where everything was cold and somehow, it tasted better. This is still decent though.
Seafood and Vegetable in Claypot - Another simple yet nicely done dish. The seafood was fresh and added a dimension of sweetness to the seafood broth which tasted like seafood soup without too much salt like other offerings elsewhere. The ingredients include, mushrooms, fresh prawns, carrots, shittakes, bean curd and even scallops which we fought to have. There were even some clams thrown in for good measure. Good stuff.
Sauteed Crab Korean Style - First impressions was that the crab was small and subsequent tastes did not improve upon that impression. The sauce it was cooked in is a form of chilli which resembles kimchi and turned out overly salty. The crab meat was also minimal and not sweet nor firm which points questions at its freshness. This is something i won't try again.
Seafood Fried Rice - Simplicity is the best policy and this is apparent when this dish came out very well done yet again. Generous servings of squid and shrimp were given with its fragrant and very tasty egg fried rice. On a side note however, i myself can actually do a one up on their fried rice so maybe they should hire me instead?
Complimentary Fruit -
Looks can be deceiving as these pieces of fruit turned out to be very sweet and satisfying which i'm sure you'll agree that it simply is a huge contrast between the picture and the actual taste.
The total bill came up to $296.25 for a bittersweet hit and miss farewell dinner.
For a place with lots of service blunders, i've given them a benefit of the doubt since they admitted upfront that this was the first time anyone has ordered the set meal for 8 people. And food wise, like i've said, there are hits and misses on a pretty much 50-50 basis. I do however, recommend trying the hits on their own to see if you like it but deter on ordering via set menus. Try at your own risk because Korean food is an acquired taste and it certainly doesn't come cheap.
To the people who turned up for the meal. Thank you for all the good times we've had and for turning up. Hopefully we'll get together again soon. Cheers and all the best!
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