I am not a fan of Korean food at all. Those Korean dishes like their army stew, cold noodles and basically everything, does not appeal to me. However, if it’s fried chicken or BBQ, it’s a different story. Basically I just love any sort of fried chicken and table BBQ, so the origin does not really matter.
I’ve got a few Korean BBQ restaurants which I’ve tried and loved, with my top 3 being Wang Dae Bak, Superstar K and Eight Korean BBQ. Hearing good reviews and enticed by attractive promo deals, I decided to give Seorae a try. Situated in Plaza Singapura, one of the busiest malls when it comes to dining, expect large crowds during dinner hours. I had my reservations made way in advanced for 5:30pm on a Saturday and it was a wise move despite such an early timing. There were people queuing outside not long after!
Anyway, Seorae seems to run various promos from time to time. At the time of dining, they had 1 for 1 beef short plate/ pork belly with UOB cards. The minimum order for BBQ a la carte would be 2 meats, so that meant that I would end up with 4. It may seem like a big portion for 2 pax but in the end it was just right. If you’re a fan of the usual Korean fare, you might want to get those set menus instead which comes with stew and whatnot. But for me, I do not like any of those so strictly BBQ a la carte order is good for me!
Spicy Beef Short Plate Woosamgyeob – $22.90++
Beef Short Plate Woosamgyeob – $22.90++
The beef was thinly sliced but the quality was really good. It turned out very tender. I’m glad that I got 2 servings of this! Both marination was good and I had no regrets getting them both.
LA Galbi – $29.90++
This was supposed to be one of their better items but I didn’t see how it was. The fact that it had a bone in it made it harder to eat. The staff helped us cut it up and placed it on the grill but it wasn’t of much help because it was cut into pieces too big to be eaten in one mouth. The meat was not of tender texture so it doesn’t just break apart when bitten. It needs to be cut up into smaller pieces before eating and luckily I found spare scissors in the drawer by the table or else eating it will be impossible.
Taste wise, I enjoyed it only as much as the other cut of beef, so you might want to save some money and get other cuts instead!
Garlic Dakgalbi – $15.90++
The chicken thigh was well marinated and every piece was delicious when charred.
As with all other Korean BBQ places, side dishes are free flow. Seorae seems to have less variety to choose from with just kimchi, spinach, bean sprouts, potato, egg and lettuce, but these are sufficient for me. They provided 3 kinds of dipping sauces. You could add $2++ a cheese mixture, which can be refilled 3 times (so total 4 rounds). I would recommend getting the cheese!
After settling the bill, they gave me a voucher for $25 off $80 spending to be used on weekdays. And so, I came here again within a week!
I tried mostly different cuts this time.
But the Garlic Chicken thigh – $15.90++ was so good, I just has to have it again. It was still good.
Garlic Galmaegisal – $21.90++
This is Seorae’s signature meat – pork skirt which is supposedly a rare part. However, I did not like this. The pork had a strong smell and the meat was not that fantastic. I would totally skip this one. If you have to, perhaps try the spicy marinade instead because I’m guessing that a stronger spice may help to mask the odour.
Samgyeobsal – $17.90++
The pork belly turned out tough and quite tasteless. I got the original one which has no marination, so maybe the spicy one would fare better. It seems like pork items at Seorae were quite disappointing.
Jinkkotsal – $29.90++
This is beef short rib. It was so much better than the LA Galbi I had the previous time, being tender and in bite size pieces. It’s expensive but worth trying!
What I like most is that they use purely charcoal for the BBQ, which I find is quite rare because most other charcoal Korean BBQ places have gas flame together with the charcoal. However, the cooking was kind of slower but it’s worth the wait.
Overall, I do think the food at Seorae is better than most other Korean BBQ, but not all meats were good. I would recommend the chicken thigh (Dakgalbi), beef short plate (Woosamgyeob) and beef short ribs (Jinkkotsal)! The rest please skip and save your money.
On the other hand, the service I experienced I would rate below average. I seldom talk about service on this blog because I personally do not really command super good service and is typically fine with just the benchmark level if it’s normal restaurant, but the standard at this place was quite bad. The staff were not rude, but seems to be not trained and unfamiliar with the restaurant. It was also quite slow and refilling of side dishes required prompting and they took quite some time to do it each time. Not once was a refill initiated by the staff. I would appreciate some initiative to check on the customers needs every now and then. And each time, the refill portion was tiny (like 4 pieces of lettuce). If they were going to be so inefficient at least just deliver more each time? And they also could not answer basic questions when asked (like when I asked whether I should put the meat whole or cut up first, or when one of them adjusted the fume hood without explanation and I asked whether the position matters – totally no answers.) It’s as though there’s only 1 or 2 experienced staff and the rest are just there to do routine stuff like bringing dishes around silently. For a popular and busy restaurant like this, such untrained service is really unacceptable.
Poor service aside, I do think the standard of the BBQ is worth coming here again. With promotions, it worked out to be around $40/pax nett, for a very filling meal which is quite a good deal for the BBQ quality.
Overall: A good pure charcoal Korean BBQ choice in town with mostly delicious meats, but with poor service.
68 Orchard Rd
#02-01, Plaza Singapura
Sun – Thu: 11:30am – 10pm
Fri & Sat: 11:30am – 11pm