Manbok Galbi Korean BBQ Restuarant at Tanjong Pagar

Door face of Manbok Galbi (Sorry for the bad take)

Today was a special occasion because I was meeting one of my sister’s friend whom I have not seen him since Chinese New Year and they were going to have dinner together. My sister asked me to join them for dinner, but have not any good suggestion dining place and it was when Manbok Galbi Korean BBQ came across my mind. I have visited the restaurant two weeks ago and I am still yearning to go back because of the friendly staff and my curiosity of BBQ eel which they have advertise. I roped in my girl friend and buddy for the dinner as well.

We was meeting up for dinner at 7pm, but as usual, Tanjong Pagar is packed with cars and carpark lots along the road was all taken up and we had to go to the nearest carpark at the estate. Upon entering the shop, the entire restaurant was filled with people and we are lucky just to have a table for five of us. The shop owner recognised me immediately as he tapped on my shoulder and brought me a chair so that we can all sit around the table comfortably.

Ordering food is one of my forte and given my appetite for my liken food, I actually placed orders for two set of meat, one set of mushroom, one fried seafood with rice cake, one mackerel kimchi soup, two bowls of cold noodles and last but not the least, THE EEL.

Before the start of the big feast, here are some appetisers. These are normally provided during the start of the course, accordingly to korean culture. A nice way to wake your stomach for better food later.

The korean side Dish (also called Pan Chan)
The Korean Side Dish (called Pan Chan)

Then it came the pork belly, marinate pork and mushroom. One thing I liked about this restaurant is they really care about the food that the customers are eating and will take the attention to check on the food when it is being barbecued. One reason I revisit this restaurant is because they are still using conventional method of usage of charcoal. Though it might take longer time to cook as compared to electrical or gas type of BBQ grill, but the time wasted is definitely compensated through a better taste.

I would say that this is a bad choice. It does not really tasted like it is being carefully cooked and the dish turn sticky after the gravy started to dries up. We did not finish this as the rice cake is too fulfilling and we are afraid that will left no rooms for other food coming in soon.

Seafood with Rice Cake

Seafood with Rice Cake.

Next in the line is the Mackerel Kimchi Soup. Cooked in a korean styled hot pot, the soup is boiling and lively with aroma smell of kimchi. One thing I liked about this soup is that it does not have the stench of the fish and the texture was quite smoothening and not overcooked or boiled. A big favourite for my girl friend who is a fish-nivore.

Kimchi Mackerel Soup

This was a total joke ! While we was placing our order earlier on, we was choosing between the seafood rice cake and the seafood pancake, but the waiter actually served it to us ! We split the pan cake and gobbled up within minutes without noticing that the waiter had actually placed it on the wrong table. It was till half of it being gobbled up, we discovered that this was not part of the order. Though it was too late, but we still informed the waiter as this might be another table order. Guess what ? Since there is no turning point, he decided we can keep the dish and free of charge. What a luck ! The pan cake unlike those I have eaten in other restaurant as it has a more soft and chewy texture compared to being crispy fried in other korean restaurant. A dish to be try as well.

Before we knew it, our table looked like this !

A table full of food !

Not done yet, I still have the cold noodles ! Initially we thought that two bowls of this noodles should be sufficient enough to share among five person, but we was totally wrong. The portion of the noodle was quite huge and it took an substantial amount of space in my stomach before I cleared one bowl with my buddy. The noodle is very chewy and if you eaten it while it is cold, it tasted the best. Maybe they does not want to ruin the taste of the soup, they did not actually put in a lot of ice to keep it cool. Anyway, my buddy and I finish the second bowl after everyone were bloated and we thought we should just “throw away” into our stomach.

Korean Cold Noodles
Korean Cold Noodles

Last but not the least, the star of the night, BBQ EEL ! I was a first-timer barbecue an freshly caught eel. In fact, the eel was taken from the fish tank right near the entrance door and being handled in the kitchen. While it was being serve to us, the eel is still twitching, seemingly alive ! Honestly, though it is eel like Unagi, but it has a totally different taste without the teriyaki sauce used in Japanese food. Honestly, it is hard for me to describe the taste because it was my first time. However, tasting the freshness and tenderness of the eel with tint smell of charred crispy skin, I would say that $55 for an eel is a worthwhile try.

The eel lies flat on the grill
It started to curl up
Turn it over and grill the other side.

It has been a great pleasure to dine at Manbok Galbi Korean BBQ, given that the father and son restaurant showed their great passion and hospitality to all of their customers while providing quality original korean barbecue food. Apart from that, the ambience of the restaurant is also good for spending quality time with your friends.

Manbok Galbi Korean BBQ
63 Tanjong Pagar Road
Singapore 088484
Tel: 6221 9942
Operating Hours: Mon to Sat – 11.30am to 3am, Sun – 11.30am to 12mn
Parking is available along the roadside, but it is hard to get a lot during peak hours. You can try parking at Tanjong Pagar Plaza multi-storey carpark which is less than 5 minutes walk to Manbok.