Wise Guy: Tanjong Pagar has become a K-Town.
Hookerlily: Tanjong Pagar is the gay-hood! Bukit Timah area is K-Town.
Wise Guy: Please, have you seen the number of Korean restaurants at Tanjong Pagar? The Korean restaurants outnumber the 15 gay clubs.
The Ex: Oh, so Tanjong Pagar is now Little Korea.
Hookerlily and Wise Guy: Ewww, no one calls it Little Korea. It’s K-Town!
And henceforth, we christened Tanjong Pagar K-Town, not Bukit Timah area, because Wise Guy has the final editorial say on this website. Authoritarianism rocks, get used to it. Oops, you live in Singapore, you’re already used to it.
Todamgol, meaning (i guess from the signboard?) Korean Traditional Wine House, is the newest venture of the very famous and popular Kko Kko Na Ra at K-Town. The Ex and I walked past it and the decor is so inviting, so homely, kampong-style with thatched roof on the signboard and in the restaurant. There are even real plants with real eggplants outside the restaurant! Just like a farm. The lights are warm and welcoming. Unfortunately, the ventilation is bad. The ex was inside for less than a minute and he already stank of BBQ meat, so we chose to sit outside at the smoking tables – but it was very hot and humid.
Almost all the patrons were Koreans, so you know it’s good. It was crowded, so reservation is a must.
The service was very attentive. We were sitting outside and it was so easy to overlook us. But we just needed to look into the restaurant and give the service staff a look and a wave, and they noticed us immediately. Unlike 2D1N Soju Bang which employs HOT HOT Korean boys, Todamgol employs GORGEOUS Korean girls. WAY TO GO.
Wise Guy: I thought you told me when you went to Korea, the Koreans are hideous. How come all the Koreans here–the waitresses and the patrons–are all so hot?!?!?!! The girls especially, and I am gay, I don’t even look at girls!
The Ex: It’s true! When I was in Korea, they all have broad and huge cheekbones and buckteeth, like those caricatures they drew in racist American magazines. I dunno why they are all so hot! OMG, look at the Korean woman in green jacket, so elegant and slender with perfect skin.
Wise Guy: The ridiculous number of gorgeous people in this restaurant (including me, of course) can start a Korean TV drama series already!
The Ex wanted to eat Korean pancakes but ordered wrongly because the photos in the menu aren’t clear. Dong geu rang teng ($20) is a minced pork wrapped in beancurd skin and fried with egg. Tasted like our Singaporean dish, ngo hiang (5-spice). The soya sauce dip with Korean green chili–similar to the Indian green chili, not spicy–was fantastic. Lovely dish but overpriced. Could have served 6 pieces for $9.
The Beo Seot Bool Go Gi ($35), however, was value for money! 3-4 people can share it. It is similar to the Thai BBQ-steamboat concept (See Mookata Thai Restaurant review) in the sense that the top is a flat area to cook the meat, but it plateaus out at the sides, so that fats and oil from the meat can flow into the garlic-based broth with much vegetables. Kinda like a castle with a moat. How generous they were with the vegetables!! Look at the flat white piece–at first I thought it’s yam or a similar tubular root which I hate but it turned out to be King Oyster Mushroom. How awesome! Who doesn’t like mushrooms?! The beef was thoroughly marinated in a typical sweet Korean sauce – very delicious. Could have been better quality beef but ah well…
The Ex taught me something about Korean etiquette. The metal rice bowl is specially designed so that you can’t pick the bowl up and eat like the Chinese do. The metal, good conductor of heat, ensures the bowl is too hot to be held; and the bottom of the bowl lacks a rim, so you cannot grip it properly. This is because Koreans consider picking up the bowl a behavior befitting of beggars.
All in all, this restaurant makes us want to go to Korea! That’s how much we love it. Great ambience, great service and lovely eye-candy (nearly spelt it as I-candy, no thanks to Apple for my dyslexia and atrocious spelling). The food was wonderful but we wondered why we weren’t served kim chi, not that I fancy kim chi anyway. We paid $76 for two for the food and drinks but it could have been much cheaper if we made wiser decisions, such as not ordering the weird sounding tea (all the other teas have translations, but I ordered one without a translation) which turned out to be ginger brown rice tea. You live, you learn.
31 Tanjong Pagar Rd
M-S: 12-3pm, 6pm-3am
Close on Sun
T: 6224 7077
Rating: 3.661/5 kim chi