I know the latest kid on the block in NUS University Town is Sapore Italian Bistro, but it really took me some time to discover Hwang’s. Ever since my roomate Aaron bought back servings of Korean Pork Belly for lunch to his room, I would be immediately enticed by the sweet savoury aroma that is so distinctive of the Korean special sauce marinated within each portion of meat. And after visiting Hwang’s mid last month, I have to say that today’s visit is the 3rd time I am back within the short span of 2 weeks. Tasty, and brimming with heartwarming flavour, just excellent before that paper you intend to start sometime later in the day.
I tried the Ginseng Chicken Soup on my first visit and was quite pleased that they sought to serve a portion of dipping salt. I am not entirely sure how true this is to the authentic Korean style, but it is a serving method I remember having at the first Korean restaurant I visited at Katong. Still, for today’s lunch, I opted for the Hotplate of Beef + Pork Belly ($6.50). Once again, as the sizzling hot plate was served up, I was entranced by the aromatics and aural delights.
Portions of thinly sliced beef was well seared with a light dose of the marinade and garnished with a good serving of onions. The main draw for me is really the pork belly as the spices are uniquely distinctive and well seeped into each slice. A lasting hearty flavour that borders a delicate sweetness, a touch of saltiness, followed by a rich umaminess of the flavours developing.
My roomate Jianyi had the other option of Hot Plate Chicken ($5.70). A drink to go along would be the Crushed Peach Juice ($1.50) which carried bits of peach, and a light flowery scent that tapers off at the end. A slight overly sweet though.
Lunch time queues are something to bear with for now, I reckon about 20 minutes in line before ordering.
Three times back at Hwang’s, twice for their Pork Belly, I know I am going to make another visit soon to try their other dishes. I also want to try Sapore some day. It’s always crowded, and after 6pm they have cocktails going from $5 onwards, which really doesn’t help much in reducing the number of guests. Bruce Cafe, Hwang’s and then Sapore, I wonder what more F&B outlets will open once Edusports is up.
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