Even though Seorae has been open in Singapore for a few months already, I have only had the chance to try it quite recently. This chain restaurant from South Korea is slowly making its presence felt with outlets opening up in major cities around the region. Located in Plaza Singapura, Seorae uses a charcoal grill for that authentic smokiness and they are also one of the rare few Korean BBQ places in Singapore that serves the Galmaegisal (갈매기살) - Pork 'Skirt Meat'. The redness of the galmaegisal reminds me of beef (even though it's pork!) and it is considered a premium cut of the pig.
When I got to Seorae on a weekday night, it was packed. To be honest, I did not expect there to be a line out in the front since it's a weekday but let's just say business is booming for Seorae. From the looks of it, Seorae does not entertain reservations but I may be wrong - try here! If you're looking for a drink while having a meal at Seorae (is there any other way to do it?!), try the 5-in-1 Makkoli Mix (S$39.90++) for a blend of Makkoli in five distinctive flavours: Green Apple, Lychee, Mango, Strawberry and Blue Hawaii.
If you aren't here for the BBQ (even though you really should), Seorae also serves up a range of soups and starters. I am personally a huge fan of Soondubu Jjigae (Tofu Stew) and Seorae does a pretty decent version at S$14.90++. I only wish they had a Haemul Soondubu version for that extra punch and satisfaction.
One of the dishes I enjoy at a proper Korean restaurant is pajeon and Seorae serves two varieties of it - Kimchi and Haemul (Seafood) at S$17.90++ each. From my understanding, Singaporeans love pajeon only when it is crispy on the outside. However, if you have been to Korea, you would know that pajeons are not supposed to be crispy - it should be slightly chewy and soft for that satisfying texture. The owner of Seorae Singapore is still trying to find the balance between the two different school of preferences so perhaps you should let them know which version you prefer when you order.
Oh, and if you wish to try the famous galmaegisal in a different style, try the deep-fried version (S$11.90++) which I did not have but definitely need to try when I go back. Seorae also serves other notable Korean dishes like Tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Cake), Steamed Egg, Japchae, Bibimbap, Dosirak and even cold noodles.
The meats are delicious but what really stands out personally for me is the complimentary and bottomless flow of liquid egg (which you can cook on the side of the grill) - the only challenge is getting someone to top it up since it's always busy. You can also opt for a molten cheese dip (also on the side of the grill) for a supplement of just S$2++.
Here's a little tip for you - if you do order the Samgyeobsal (Pork Belly), the grill is actually different - check out the photo above. In order to get a more even sear on the meat, a grill with a larger surface area is utilised. The staff also changes the charcoal from time to time in order to ensure that the heat remains optimal.
How do we separate drinking from Korean BBQ? Here at Seorae, you will be able to enjoy the iconic Soju Bomb from S$20++ for two glasses. Obviously the price decreases as you purchase more so gather your friends for this (it is also more impressive to see a long train of soju bombs):
2 Soju Bombs: S$20++
4 Soju Bombs: S$29++
6 Soju Bombs: S$39++
8 Soju Bombs: S$49++
Finally to end your dinner on a sweet note, check out some of the more affordable Patbingsoo in Singapore (from S$9.90++). The ones that I personally enjoyed most are the Namdaemun Bingsoo (S$12.90++) which is basically a rum and raisin version as well as the Green Tea Patbingsoo (S$9.90++).
Late Night Dining Promotion (from 830PM)
Spend a minimum of S$60++ and get either 2 complimentary Soju Bombs (worth S$20++) or 1 Patbingsoo for free when you dine from 830PM onwards.
This was an invited media-tasting session, though all views expressed are my own.