Bornga is Korea’s leading chain for authentic BBQ. With sizzling meats ready to grill, and a host of Korean dishes to share, the country and its flavours is arguably a step closer to Singapore. Located at the newly opened Star Vista, Bornga is the brainchild of Jong Won Paik, one of Korea’s most successful and renowned celebrity chefs. With Valentine’s day just round the corner, this could possibly be one place to think about if you and your partner love Korean barbecue in a streamlined class setting with tasty meats all around.
Start off with the Banchan, the assortment of Korean side dishes. Kimchi, served in different ways, seasoned vegetables, green salad and potato salad make their rounds.
Radish kimchi – more tanagy, slightly spicy with a crunch!
For a very light side dish to accompany the meal, Bornga serves up the Water Kimchi. Presented chilled, the kimchi is lightly flavoured with spice, giving a refreshing crisp sensation with each serving. It is my new found favourite! And I reckon it is extremely healthy and light tasting.
The Woo Samgyup ($22) is BORNGA’s signature thinly sliced beef with the house’s special sauce. Light marinated in what I guess to be soy, garlic and something special,
Choose to either cook the meats yourself, or request the services from the staff. In a few short minutes, the thinly beef slices are ready. Fragrant, crisp and slightly fatty. Dip each piece in some sesame oil with salt and enjoy it wrapped in lettuce.
The Ggot Sal ($38) is the restaurant’s service of unmarinated boneless beef. Meat, served in all its freshness and quality. Perhaps an untarnished way of enjoying pure flavours on its own. And just for enhancement, some light sprinkling of salt. Excellent! My favourite way of enjoying beeef.
Another choice would be the Yangnyum Galbi ($45), beef ribs marinated in Bornga’s special sauce. With quality prices, the expectations are quality portions. The beef ribs I tried were meaty, tender and nicely marbled.
Samgyupsal (Pork Belly $18)
The pork belly is good when freshly grilled. Leave it too long on the grill and it gets hard and chewy.
Another choice would be the Yangnyum Galbi ($45), beef ribs marinated in Bornga’s special sauce. With quality prices, the expectations are quality portions. The beef ribs I tried were meaty, tender and nicely marbled. Excellent colour tones as well, a visual feast all on its own.
Beyond the grilled meats, Bornga serves up quite a spread of authentic Korean dishes as well. There is the Tteokgalbi ($20). The ground rib meat patties mixed with soy sauce seasoning look plain and ordinary, but contain an explosion of savoury flavours in a meaty bite.
Jap Chae ($23). The delights of this dish never cease to amaze me. Translucent glass noodles made from sweet potato are stir fried with savoury stock, vegetables and meat to produce this creation. Nice and chewy, this dish is rich in umami flavours all around. A little oily though but decent to the bite.
A real hit for me would be the Haemul Pajeon ($22). A portion big enough for 6 to share, the pancake made from scallions and seafood is crisp on the outside with generous ingredients within. Fragrant!
For something more homely and hearty, try the Chadol Duenjang Jigae ($16). This traditional Korean soybean paste stew is heated on an open stove to a boil, reducing the liquid to about half portion, before pouring it onto rice to create a bibimbap. Warm flavours through, a great filler that speaks volumes of the history behind it.
For a slightly chilly staple to cool off the recesses of a hot day, have the Bornga Naeng Myun ($15). I recall having a good serving of the chilled buckwheat noodles at Kkongdon Barbecue where there was vinegar and yellow mustard added to the clear crisp noodles. A little chewy, one that requires a good time to savour, the Naeng Myun is perhaps my next favourite dish after the pancake.
Beef Rib Soup. Warm, hearty, with full of beef flavour in a clear soup setting. Take a sip and go “ahhh”.
At the end of the meal, all diners are served a serving of Omija. The five flavoured tea, served with ice slush, is tangy and crisp – clearing the palate from all the meaty aftertastes. The main ingredient is identifiably the Roselle flower, giving the drink its unique purplish hue that presents a certain level of exoticness.
Bornga represents the original Korean taste for barbecued meats, or at least that’s what their tagline claims. I felt that the dishes were nicely flavoured with a wide variety that would suit the tastebuds of many. From the marinated to the unmarinated, each serving of meat was fresh and priced for an expected quality. Do remember to order the korean pancake and the cold noodles, they tugged my heart a little, and are dishes that I will order when I’m back the next time round.
Thank you Bornga for the invitation.
The Star Vista
1 Vista Exchange Green
Tel: 6694 4696
Opens from: 11.30am to 10pm daily