Mention Bonchon and your K-food loving friends will sure to say, “Yummy fried chicken!” Well, the popular Korean restaurant, in Singapore since 2011, aims to be known for more than just that when they roll out a new menu by end October. This includes a selection of new “East-meets-West” fusion items, as well as a host of new novelty drinks, that will offer diners more variations of K-food delights at their outlets.
Musings on the M49 was hence delighted to be invited to the media tasting of their new menu items held earlier this week at Bonchon’s Boat Quay outlet.
When East Meets West
What happens when an Italian rice ball meets a Korean rice ball? You get Breaded Kimchi Rice Balls ($7.90), that’s what! This was a lovely mash-up. Crisp and crunchy on the outside, and the kimchi-flavored rice within was tasty and yummy.
Another newbie is the Bonchon Sliders. The Trio Sliders ($12.90) comprising mini deep-fried chili crab, beef and chicken mantou burgers, has a great story behind it. It’s meant to commemorate the presidential Trump-Kim summit held in Singapore on June 12, 2018 – chicken is North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, beef is Trump, while chili crab represents Singapore. Well, out of the three, Singapore wins hands down. The chili crab slider was the yummiest, crunchy and juicy with a lovely homemade chili crab sauce. Which is why it’s great that you can actually order the Chili Crab Sliders separately ($10.90/2 pcs). If you really prefer chicken, beef or mixed, then go for the Turf Duo Sliders ($9.90/2 pcs).
We also got to try out some of the new drinks on the menu which comprise flavored ice teas and sodas, as well as alcoholic fruit-mixed sujotos. To kick off, we had the Pear & Passionfruit Iced Tea ($5.50) which also includes doses of chamomile, a very refreshing and not-too-sweet drink to kick off one’s meal. Meanwhile, another bite-sized East-meets-West item is the Beef Meatballs ($8.90/6 pcs) which tasted like western beef meatballs except with a distinct dash of Korean bulgogi sauce.
One of the fascinating new items is the Truffle Cream Tteokbokki ($15.90), which is definitely inspired by European cuisine with the tteokbokki (Korean rice cake) being sauteed with shimeji and shiitake mushrooms, onion and truffle cream. I’s a very rich dish which is probably best shared unless you thoroughly enjoyed tteokbokki mixed with loads of mushrooms in a rich creamy sauce!
K-Stew (No, not Kristen Stewart) Delights
Next on the tasting menu were a trio of Korean stews. First up we had the Bonchon version of the very popular Andong Jjimdak Chicken ($15.90/$29.90), which comprises pieces of braised chicken stewed with vegetables such as carrots and potatoes, and marinated in a ganjang (Korean soy sauce) base broth. A tad spicy, the combination was delicious and would be even more satisfying if there was white rice to go with it!
If you prefer your chicken to be even spicier, then go for the, er, Spicy Chicken ($15.90/$29.90) which is chunky chicken with potatoes and carrots braised in a spicy reddish Korean sauce. It was a tasty dish although the Andong Jjimdak probably win out a tad bit in terms of unique taste.
Last but not least, there’s the not-exactly-new Budae Jjigae or Army Stew ($29.90) which has always been a popular item at Bonchon. A post-war Korean novelty dish that uses leftover army rations such as sausage, luncheon meat, kimchi and tofu, the Bonchon version includes chicken, tteokbokki, egg noodles and string mushrooms. Needless to say, it’s a dish that needs to be shared with an “army” of friends or those with big appetites.
We ended our meal with the Summer Sojuto ($12), which is pineapple, peach, mint mixed with a shot of soju (Korean distilled spirit) which is available in bottle form ($18) as well. A refreshing soothing alcoholic drink that will probably hit you a bit after you finish a jarful, it was a good way to end a good meal.
Other dishes on Bonchon’s refreshing new menu include rice items such as Bibimbap and Bonchon Kimchi Fried Rice, noodles such as cheese or spicy ramyeon, and Bites such as luncheon meat fries, friend mandu (Korean dumplings), and seafood pancake. And not forgetting of course, their famous fried chicken and special sauces.
Bonchon’s new menu is currently available at its Compass One and Northpoint City outlets, while the Boat Quay and Bugis+ outlets will carry it from October 29, 2018.