Hear the word ‘Gangnam’, and most of us would immediately relate it to the legendary Korean pop-song ‘Gangnam Style’ by the talented Psy, which unquestionably amused hordes and inevitably annoyed some.
In case anyone doesn’t know, Gangnam is the name of one of the 25 districts in Seoul, South Korea. It is the third largest district in Seoul; it is a trendy cosmopolitan city with no short of contemporary bistros.
Sarang, a Korean bistro located at Orchard Central in Singapore, offers the latest food trends from Gangnam, making it available to us within our easy reach. Steering away from the usual Korean dining scene of smoky BBQ houses, Sarang presents a new dining experience –a fusion of classic Korean favourites and contemporary creations.
Folded Egg ($6.50)
What once used to serve up conventional Korean fare has now reinvented itself with a radical makeover, introducing a first-of-its-kind Korean Tapas menu.
Complementing its menu overhaul is its refurbished interior, sporting a modern garden sanctuary replete with greenery and chic wooden furniture.
Cucumber Soda ($6.80)
Traditional Korean Brown Rice Tea loses its standing here at Sarang; the cocktails bar supersedes. Non-alcoholic thirst-quenchers include the refreshing Cucumber Soda, the cooling Watermelon Soda and the pleasantly sweet Raspberry Soda –all priced at $6.80.
Spicy Chewy Rice Cake ($7)
Classic dishes include the Spicy Chewy Rice Cake, Japchae, and Kimchi Pancake –all equally well executed.
I had assumed Koreans’ palates to be more delicate, and hence, belittling this harmless looking Spicy Chewy Rice Cake. But, I was proven wrong. This recipe caters to the Singaporeans’ fearless palate, upping the spice level to an impactful one, almost aiming to set those delicate tongues ablaze. I loved the flavour nevertheless.
Want to learn how to cook this? Scroll down for the recipe, courtesy of Chef Jung Yun Yur.
Sarang Japchae ($7)
Adopting a sweet savoury coating are plump and springy glass noodles, fragrant of sesame. This dish is worth trying.
Kimchi Pancake ($8)
Korean pancakes have got to be my ultimate favourite Korean dish, ever. I’ve never liked kimchi, but once it’s incorporated in that thin layer of starchy dough together with succulent prawns and pan-fried to a crisp crust, my aversion to kimchi is gone in a flash.
Spoon Pizza ($8.50)
The Modern Tapas Menu showcases the chef’s creativity, and successful implementations of Western culture in Korean cuisine. Make certain you spend time perusing the extensive menu, as there are many excellent dishes from which to choose.
The Spoon Pizza is a highlight. In the unexpected guise it appears, this ‘pizza’ leaves an impression. It pleases those who prefer not to eat with their bare hands. Instead of a base of dough, you get luscious mashed potato as your base, topped with juicy chunks of meat, which you can simply scoop up with a spoon.
Ginseng Chicken Terrine ($16)
The Ginseng Chicken Terrine is an acquired taste. The characteristic flavour of ginseng may be a tad upfront for the younger crowd to accept.
Okonomiyaki-style Scallion Pancake ($8.50)
Korean pancakes. I can never say no. This version comes with scallion, seafood and bacon, flavoured with teriyaki sauce and a drizzle of mayonnaise.
Crispy Tofu with Kimchi Cream Sauce ($5.50)
Lightly crisp on the outside, the silky smooth tofu within brings comfort in every bite. I want to steal the recipe of the kimchi cream sauce! The only downer for me was the insufficient portion –well, I could eat a truck-full of these!
Sarang Nachos ($9.50)
Sarang’s signature Nachos is a definite crowd pleaser. Crisp chips are topped with a generous amount of marinated beef, jalapenos and olives, and drizzled with homemade bulgogi sauce. I want this portion all to myself!
Signature mains include the Army Stew, Oxtail Soup, Braised Pork Ribs and Kimchi, Wine-marinated Pork Belly, and Sarang Steak –all of which I am utterly tempted to try!
Here’re two recipes by Chef YY of Sarang:
Recipe 1: Scallion Pancake
– Spring onions (1 bundle)
– Shrimps (quantity to own preference)
– Squid (quantity to own preference)
– Clam meat (quantity to own preference)
– Bacon (quantity to own preference)
– 80g flour
– 40ml water
– 5g salt
– 5g white pepper
– 1 egg
– Japanese tonkatsu sauce
1) Heat up the frying pan with oil.
2) Mix the batter (flour, water, salt and pepper).
3) Add a thin layer of the batter onto pan and lower heat.
4) Add spring onions.
5) Add shrimps, squid, crabmeat and bacon.
6) Drizzle a little batter on top of ingredients to ensure that ingredients stick to the pancake. (I skipped this step and the ingredients fell off when I flipped the pancake.)
7) Increase the heat to medium.
8) When the edge of the pancake turns brown, crack an egg over ingredients.
9) Flip the pancake quickly and press downwards lightly with a spatula.
10) Allow the pancake to fry for 2-3 more minutes.
11) Dish out the pancake and drizzle mayonnaise and Japanese tonkatsu sauces before serving,
Recipe 2: Spicy Chilli Rice Cake
– 150g-200g rice cake
– Fish cake (quantity to own preference)
– Cabbage (quantity to own preference)
– Onions (quantity to own preference)
– Carrots (quantity to own preference)
– Japanese leeks (quantity to own preference)
– 5 tbsp chilli paste
– 2 tbsp soy sauce
– 3 tbsp sugar
– 500ml water
1) Place rice cakes in water for 10 minutes.
2) Slice cabbage, carrots, fish cakes, leek and onions into bite-sized pieces.
3) Heat up the frying pan with oil.
4) Stir-fry ingredients.
5) Place water and rice cakes into pan and boil.
6) Mix sauces (chilli paste, soy sauce and sugar).
7) Add sauces into pan and boil over medium heat for 10 minutes.
8) For more taste, add soy sauce.
9) Dish out rice cakes and serve.
181 Orchard Road
#07-01 Orchard Central
Tel: (65) 6773 1322
Facebook page: facebook.com/sarangrestaurant
Sunday to Thursday: 12pm – 10pm
Friday to Saturday: 12pm – 11pm