Yakiniku Dinner @ Aburiya Robertson Quay on 26Mar2013

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Aburiya is my wife’s favourite yakiniku restaurant, and so it is mine. 🙂

We usually order karubi (short ribs – the korean galbi) and jo karubi (prime short ribs). Aburiya also has one of the best kimchi chigae and we also like the bibimen (spicy korean cold mixed noodles 拌面) and bibimbap (mixed rice 拌饭).  When the items add up  and if you order sake too, it is not that cheap, but it is guaranteed to be a thoroughly enjoyable meal.

For the evening, we ordered 1 plate of jo karubi (top picture) – S$14.90 a plate, and 2 plates of karubi – S$9.90 (below picture). The prime short ribs were very tasty, beefy with the BBQ flavour. But the karubi was not bad too & it was2/3 the price!

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karubi (short ribs)

We also had the usual kimchi chigae. So far we liked this dish best here, even when compared with korean restaurants like Chang & Hyangtogol. The soup was very tasty and not too salty. There were a lot of kimchi & silky tofu but I would have liked a bit more of the belly pork. 🙂

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kimchi chigae

We also had the kurobuta pork. There were quite many types & I could not recall which. It was very good, like a good pork collar meat with marbling giving it good taste plus the BBQ flavour.

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and we had the bibimen also. I liked very much the sweet spicy taste of gojuchang sauce mixed with the vegetables and some chicken meat and the nice texture of the noodles. 🙂

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bibimen

What I did not like though was that for this evening, we were sat at a table where there was no sunken pit & the charcoal stove was placed on the table. The heat from the stove was quite oppressive! I would avoid that next time.

c.h.e.f andy

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Lunch @ Sarang Restaurant at Orchard Central on 20Mar2013

korean banchan (side dishes) comprising kimchi, peanuts & kimchi carrots

korean banchan (side dishes) comprising kimchi, peanuts & another veg kimchi

had lunch with my sister today. I had 2 xS$30=S$60 deal.com Sarang vouchers (which I paid S$30 for) expiring soon so we decided to lunch there.

I don’t frequent korean restaurants much these days. My family are mostly carnivores aka meat-eaters and for barbeque beef we generally prefer the Japanese-style korean barbeque yakiniku restaurants. One of my wife Lisa’s favourite yakiniku place is Aburiya. We used also to go to Chang & Hyangtogol but find them rather expensive. Though we all like banchan, those very nice free & refillabe korean side dishes, but they cannot be our sole motivation for having korean.

Sarang at Orchard Central served a very small banchan, comprising just peanuts (which was very nice & we duly had our free refill of peanuts), and the usual cabbage kimchi & another vegetable kimchi.

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kimchi belly pork with tofu stew – S$15.80

We ordered the kimchi belly pork.  Though I would have liked it with a lot more soup (like the kimchi chigae which I always like and order at Aburiya & Watami),  this belly pork was differently done (not just boiled like in kimchi chigae to add base to the soup) & very much better, had very good “mouth-feel”(口感) in texture and taste.

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spicy sotong (squid) – S$11.80

We also had the spicy sotong (squid) which was a generous helping. It might be too spicy for some but was perfect for me.

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galbi (korean beef ribs) – S$24.80

We also added the usual galbi – korean beef ribs. It did have a bit of fat & tendons but it was a very nice dish which I liked a lot and was as good as that served at Chang (though I would need to confess that was many years ago). I guess the chef was a bit modern in his approach so his banchan was not quite the traditional big spread of side dishes, his sotong (squid) was accompanied by thin white noodles & this galbi dish also came with a cup of smooth potato mash (not in picture).

The meal comprising 3 very good dishes & banchan came to just S$34nett (about S$26++) using the vouchers.  I think the prices were actually quite fair for the quality of food offered even though I am unlikely to frequent soon without the discounts.

c.h.e.f andy

Korean Spicy Sotong (Squid) Salad

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Korean spicy sotong (squid) salad

was rummaging through my fridge one day and saw this bottle of gojuchang (a savoury and pungent Korean fermented red pepper paste) – see picture below. I must have bought that months ago from a Korean provision shop. It is supposedly such an indispensable universal seasoning condiment – and I do often take it at Korean restaurants eg for bibimbap (a signature Korean dish-a bowl of warm rice topped with seasoned sauteed mixed vegetables usually with a raw egg & beef) – but it seems that I have found no use for it.

gojuchang - Korean fermented red pepper paste

gojuchang – Korean fermented red pepper paste

I googled the internet and chanced on this Korean Spicy Squid Salad Recipe. I tried it, and it was easy to do & good. I didn’t have watercress & cucumbers so I used what I had in the fridge – kang kong, celery and bean sprouts, and it turned out rather well, as seen in the above picture – my first & only attempt so far! 🙂

The bean sprouts & kang kong were just blanched, with the latter squeezed dry on a sieve to remove excess water as shown in the video. The celery & yellow onions I thought needed some sautee-ing, which I did to soften, and they turned out very well indeed.

After that it was just a matter of adding & mixing gojuchang & other seasoning. It made for a very refreshing & nice salad, a pleasant addition to dinner. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 1 large squid (250g) skin, wings & head removed
  • 1 stalk of celery cut 2cm size
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 a bunch of kang kong
  • a handful of bean sprouts

Seasoning mix:

  • 2.5 tbsp gojuchang Korean red pepper paste
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • sea salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare the squid – remove the head, wings & red skin. cut open the squid length-wise. for the chequered pattern cut, slice length-wise along squid 1/4in apart, careful not to cut through. then cut the squid in 1/2 length-wise. now slice across & cut through the squid every 4th cut – that will produce a 1in width cut with square-cut patterns.
  2. Make the salad – blanched the bean sprouts & the kang kong & squeeze out excess water from the kang kong by placing on a sieve. sauteed the celery & yellow onions. Cooked the squid in boiling water for 4minutes until cooked. In a large bowl, mix everything together – the squid, vegetables & the seasoning mix. serve.