From the good folks who brought you Yoogane, the popular Chicken Galbi BBQ restaurant, comes a new Korean delicacy speciality restaurant, Andong Zzimdak, which specialises in jjimdak – a steamed, braised chicken dish marinated in a sweet-and-savoury-broth. With over 65 outlets in South Korea, its Raffles City restaurant is its first in South-East Asia.
You could find jjimdak dishes in some Korean family restaurants but Andong Zzimdak is the first to specialise on the signature dish which hails from Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do, a province that apparently rears loads of chickens. A typical jjimdak dish features braised chicken stewed in a sauce made from spicy ganjang (Korean soy) and mulyeot (Korean corn syrup), and served with potatoes, carrots on a bed of thick sweet potato noodles. And it’s seldom served small, no sirree – it’s traditionally served in a massive plate meant to be shared between two to four people, and here in Singapore, the dish follows suit.
During a media tasting session, Musings on the M49 got a chance to try out the jjimdak that is popular with many Korean households. The original Andong Zzimdak is pictured above ($45.90 M / $55.90 L) and seriously, it can feed a family of five or more. The chicken pieces are tender and well complemented with the other items such as the soft potatoes and chewy sweet potato noodles. Not forgetting the generous free-flow portions of kimchi and pickles.
If you prefer your jjimdak to be more spicy, opt for the Mayak Jimmdak (pictured above; $47.90 M / $57.90 L). The broth is spicier and more reddish in colour (though not chilly hot) than Andong Jimmdak but the ingredients are no less palatable. There are also two other jjimdak dishes to choose from – Boneless Jjimdak ($49.90 M / $59.90 L) and Seafood Jjimdak ($52.90 M / $65.90 L)
If you can’t get a posse to share a jjimdak with you, fret not, there are mini items that a solo diner can dine on. Set lunch meals include the highly recommended Andong Zzimdak Fried Rice set ($12.90 with one drink) which is fluffy and fragrant rice topped with chicken karaage, a sunny-side-up egg and spring onions. Other side dishes include chicken karaage, mini seafood pancake, and spicy dokboki or rice cake (all $9.90 each).
Drinks wise, there’s a variety you can try – light fare includes Brown Rice Green Tea ($2) and Iced Citron Tea ($3.50). Or you can try something stronger such as the popular Soju ($19.90 per bottle) which is actually quite light and which goes very well with the jjimdak. There’s also Makegeolli or Korean Rice Wine ($19.90 per bottle) which is also worth a try.
If beer is your thing, go for Hite ($12.90), the reliable Korean pale lager which is light and refreshing. If you can handle your liquor, consider trying a “somac” – mixed half a glass shot of soju to 70% of Hite in a glass beer – and feel the smoothness down your throat as you down it slowly. Remember though, if you plan to drink, don’t drive…
Just like Yoogane, Andong Zzimbak is a place best enjoyed with a group of friends or at least with someone who can eat a lot or totally love chicken. From Mon-Thu, 6pm – 930pm, there’s a 1-for-1 drinks for their HITE Beer, Soju and Makegeolli.
Andong Zzimbak is at B1-44F, Raffles City Shopping Centre, 11.30am to 10pm daily. Tel: 6533 3951