Both Wang Dae Bak and Don Dae Bak have free-flow of egg for their BBQ, but WDB serves a la carte, while DDB serves both a la carte and BBQ buffet at $19.90+ for lunch (gas stove) and dinner (charcoal). You’re allowed 90 minutes for the buffet, and after that, you have to leave or order from the a la carte menu. When you see a Korean lady boss and Korean servers, you know this will be good.
When I arrived promptly for my 7pm reservation, I found out that the restaurant overbooked itself, and we had to wait 25 minutes for a table. What’s the point of making reservations?
All three eating companions agreed that the atmosphere was overly boisterous, and they preferred K Cook and Wang Dae Bak. They also said that the service was brusque, but that was understandable because they were super busy. At least the servers responded quickly and immediately. Unlike my friends, I don’t mind the service. They weren’t rude, they were merely busy.
But when the food came, we were appeased. The panchan (side dishes) were fantastic; we had multiple servings. There were 8 kinds of meat for BBQ: marinated beef, beef brisket, pork belly, spicy marinated pork belly, shoulder loin, marinated shoulder loin, marinated chicken, and spicy marinated chicken. A limited selection but they were terrific. They were thick, meaty, and marinated beautifully; not overly marinated in which meat could lose its integrity. Using thigh meat, the chicken were especially tender. The marinated pork loin was a favorite of the ours, and even the non-marinated pork loin was subtly sweet.
But the charcoal was almost ashes, providing little heat, so the food cooked slowly, but beautifully. And the BBQ stove was tiny, each time allowing only 2 pieces of meat. Low heat and small stove are ideal for a long night of feasting but remember you only have 90 minutes!
In terms of food, this may be my favorite Korean BBQ buffet. They need to work on crowd control, and maybe smile a little but overall, it is a darling little joint. Definitely worth visiting and revisiting. Including a makguli ($25) and a coke, we spent $118 for four persons.
Don Dae Bak
35 Kreta Ayer Road Singapore 089000
T: 6266 1727
SMS: 9749 5680 (to reserve, sms your date, time, no. of pax, and name)
M-Sat: 11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.