TIM'S CHOMP REVIEW: BORNGA/本家/본가 ORIGINAL KOREAN TASTE @ THE STAR VISTA

Guess who is hijacking the food review section of Daily Bits & Pieces (DBP)?! It's me! Tim!

You might have seen my other post, the one about my fat freezing experience. As much as I go insane about eating healthy, I am a sucker for good food too.

Once again, with much, MUCH persuasion from the 'boss' herself, I am back on DBP share my foodie experience. :D and it shall be named CHOMP REVIEW. Yessss....

ANYWAY!

As mentioned in the title, tonight's dinner was at  BORNGA/本家/본가 ORIGINAL KOREAN TASTE at THE STAR VISTA.

Say it with enough gusto, and it will sound like a warcry. BORNGAAAAAAA!!
We had difficulty choosing tonight's dinner location, mainly because it was such a pain to go ANYWHERE on a weekend. Personally, I dislike leaving the house on weekends, much less when going to a new mall during the school holiday period on a weekend during dinner hour. Every restaurant WILL be packed.

And I was right (again). Before us in the queue were at least 7 more groups of customers! And it was full house. I anticipated we will have to wait 45 minutes to get a seat. Without eating lunch, the future for me was bleak. "A hungry man is an angry man." English 17th century proverb, nuff' said.

Fortunately for us, we got our seats 30 mins into waiting. I mean, that isn't too bad right? Let's hope the food is worth the wait!

When we were seated, I realised a couple of things that just made this visit even better.

  1. Tables are a decent distance from one another, giving a certain feeling of spaciousness when seated and allowing more privacy when talking. Unless you talk loud, then it wouldn't matter. 
  2. The restaurant is adequately staffed. Pretty easy to catch their attention.
  3. Staff are quite friendly and polite too, even when they are busy. Of course, it is a two-way thing. Please do not expect the staff to be polite and nice to you if you are just being nasty.
Our order was then taken by, i am guessing, the manager of the outlet. Good knowledge of products, not pushy, always smiling. We were indeed glad that we were taken care of.

Because of our hunger and our surrounding influences, we ordered a total of 2 types of BBQ and 2 mains.
Woo Samgyup (우삼겹) - Thinly sliced beef brisket dressed in BORNGA special sauce. SGD$22
Hukdaeji Samgyupsal (??? ???) - Unmarinated black pork belly. SGD$18
BORNGA Naengmyeon (본가) - Buckwheat noodles with cold broth. A house specialty. SGD$15
Budae Chijae (부대찌개) - A spicy stew with kimchi, sausage, ham & vegetables. SGD$40

The next 10 minutes was probably the most painful part. WAITING FOR OUR MEAL. In the meantime, they brought a LONG plate of veggies, to be used to wrap our incoming BBQ. Looking at it does not help control the hunger.

A platter of veggies that stretched the entire width of the table.

Without fail, Adora needs her alcohol fix. She would have gone with soju (주), if it wasn't for the price. Alcoholic drinks is pretty steep in this joint. For example, SGD$8 for that bottle of hite beer. eek!


Obviously the focus is not on me. 
Alcoholic drinks. Never my choice of poison. Nonetheless, a familiar brand.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity (to make it clear, BORNGA did not take long. It was just us), we got our food!

Another plus point: Table wide enough to squeeze dishes.
Our appetizers (bean sprouts, kimchi, water kimchi, salad, spicy cucumber salad (?), spicy pickles (not in the picture) and some kind of seaweed coated in malt candy) and BORNGA Naengmyeon has arrived. 

A closer look at the anatomy of a BORNGA Naengmyeon.
I have never had a better bowl of noodles. The cold broth is so tasty it makes you wonder, 'how can cold soup taste so good?'.  Half a perfectly boiled egg, a thin slice of beef and seasoned radish slices crowns a ball of buckwheat noodles. The noodles were chewy, not soft and soggy like soba. Really one of a kind. Whether you are a 'noodles' person or not, if you feel like trying something different, try a bowl of BORNGA Naengmyeon!

Not long after, our order Woo Samgyup and Hukdaeji Samgyupsal arrived! It looked so good that it was all gone before the camera made it to the scene. My sincere apologies. You can visit BORNGA's menu on their website to get a reference. Do take note that the prices stated in their ENGLISH website does not apply here. Also, not everything in the online menu is available here in Singapore. Best bet would be to head down to BORNGA @ The Star Vista itself to check it out. I took the liberty of extracting screenshots of the meats we ordered.

Unlike the common pork belly that can be found from supermarkets to other BBQ/steamboat restaurants, this pork belly will not leave a greasy aftertaste and tastes AWESOME! You got to try it for yourself. Exercise is needed the next day still.
I mean, I queued up for quite a long time and I have to order 'normal'? Ain't nobody got time for that!
We figured we might as well just try their specialty. It was really quite good! 
After BBQ-ing them on the grill, pair them with the veggies that were given earlier and dip in their special sauce. O-M-G. Delicious! It is difficult to explain in words. You got to try it yourself!

Surprisingly, at this point of time in the meal, we did not feel full! Maybe because majority of what we have been ingesting were vegetables and lots of them.

NEXT UP: Budae Chijae (부대찌개) 

It was time for the stew! We have tried similar stews at other Korean restaurants and nothing comes close to this. If you take a closer look, there are actually two triangular pieces of cheese. 

FYI, Budae Chijjae is actually a type of thick Korean stew similar to a western stew! It was invented after the Korean War where food was scarce so the Koreans made use of surplus food from the U.S. Army bases and fused them with their own traditional kimchi chijjae (kimchi stew). FACT NUGGET!

HMM HMM! DELICIOUS STEW! BORNGA definitely does not hold back on the serving.
 Halfway through the pot and we surrendered. We took away the remaining stew and was about to leave when the waiter reminded us that there was still dessert.

WHAT?!

FREE DESSERT!! Just when it couldn't get any better. We were given two bowls of flavoured ice shavings. Once again, I apologize for not taking a picture of this dessert. First mouth, we went "WHAT IS THIS??" It was definitely sour, but somewhat refreshing! We asked the manager what was it. He told us it was dessert made with juice from fruits of the marigold vine. Very different!

In the end, we left BORNGA happy. Very satisfied. Dinner did not start out well but BORNGA just made our night. We will return, that's for sure.

Oh! I scanned their name card in for you too!



**TIPS**
  1. As with any other shopping malls in Singapore, restaurants will grow a queue during peak hours (6 - 8pm). So if you want to avoid the crowd, arrive either before 6pm or after 8pm. I arrived at BORNGA at 7.15pm and had to wait till almost 7.50pm to enter.
  2. Bring facial tissues or wet tissues, especially if you intend to have BBQ.
  3. Go in a group, around 4 to 6 persons. So that everybody can share and you won't need to worry that you over order. Also, majority of BORNGA's tables are in 4 pax or 6 pax. Makes sense?
  4. To be honest with you, BORNGA is not cheap. But both of us feel the price is worth the money. There is also the standard service charge and GST so expect the bump.

That's about it! Feel free to leave your comments below. I would appreciate the help of those who know how to write Hukdaeji Samgyupsal in Korean too!

Cheers!
Timothy.

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