AC, Keropi, Mao Mao and I went to Manbok BBQ Restaurant for dinner. It is a small eatery and the staff are mostly Koreans, so that they are not fluent in English and might have trouble understanding you. Despite the language barrier, the service was pretty good and the staff came to change the grill frequently.
We were given a few sides and sauces when we sat down. If we wanted to, we could ask for a refill of the sides at no extra charge.
One of the sides was what seemed like tofu. It tasted pretty decent and the texture was soft. I didn’t dislike it, but I prefer the other sides.
I liked the pickled radish. It was light and refreshing, especially after eating a lot of fatty meat. It tasted slightly spicy as well.
I’ve always like the Korean ikan bilis (dried anchovies) which tasted both sweet and salty. The ones served at this restaurant was more salty than sweet but still nice. It was one of the favorites at the table.
Each of us were given a dish with these two sauces. One of it was an tangy vinegar-based sauce while the other was a sweetish and not very spicy chilli sauce.
Each of us were also given a dish of thinly-sliced onions and spring onions in vinegar. I’m not sure if it was meant as a side or for dipping the cooked meat. So sometimes I dipped the meat in it and sometimes I ate it on its own. It seemed to work both ways.
We ordered the beef set ($81) which came with three different cuts of beef. The set was meant for 2-3 people, depending on how big is your appetite. I forgot what were the cuts but the meat is quite good quality. If you love beef, this is the set for you.
We also ordered some pork belly. The minimum order was two servings ($28). The pork belly could be sliced thinly or the normal way. We asked for it to be thinly sliced as AC liked to cook it until it was as crispy as bacon. The mountain of pork looked impressive but three of us managed to finish it and still have room left for the beef. The fourth doesn’t like pork.
We also ordered a kimchi stew (not pictured; $12) which was actually kimchi soup served in an iron bowl. It was serving still boiling hot. The soup was pretty tasty. It wasn’t too spicy so even I could drink it, although I could only take a few spoonfuls at a time. Mao Mao commented that the kimchi flavor was not overpowering and she could still taste the flavor of the stock.
All the meat was cooked on the grill which used coal fire. Or maybe it was charcoal fire. Both looked the same to me. Each grill had its own metal chimney. The metal tube could be pulled up or down so it would not get into the way. It seemed to work pretty well and the restaurant was did not feel very smokey.
Manbok BBQ Restaurant
63 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088484