Sarang Korean Bistro @ Orchard Central

Korean food aficionados rejoice! Sarang, previously known as the heartbeat of Seoul has recently undergone an overhaul and since reopened as a revitalized, much improved upscale and decidedly chic Sarang, Korean Bistro. Modeled after the modern contemporary restaurants in the posh and upmarket district of Gangnam, Sarang is the first to introduce the avant-garde concept of Korean Tapas in our country, which is indeed a fresh and exciting addition to our vibrant local dining scene.

Apart from serving up tapas in their menu, Sarang will also be rolling out Korean cocktail pairings of Soju and Makgeolli, for a whole new dining experience that you will appreciate with Master Chef YY’s customized food creations.

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The space along the balcony of the 7th floor, sports all the trappings of a well-tended garden, with planter boxes, lush greenery and largely Mahogany fine-grained furniture all included. And if any of the quirky light bulbs or unique steel framed chairs catch your eye, you probably will not find an identical piece in Singapore as every single item here has been specially imported from Korea, with the sole purpose of maintaining the uniqueness of Sarang.

Sarang means ‘to love’ in native Korean, and this affectionate term is translated in every aspect of this Korean bistro. From the careful conceptualization of the menu, which is an amalgamation of both Korean and Singaporean influences, down to the plating of every dish and even the potted plants that fringe the perimeter of the outdoor terrace, every little detail has been thoughtfully designed and purposefully orchestrated to augment your Sarang experience.

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Classic Tapas – Pairings (Soju Bomb and Makgeolli Sprite)

Sarang Japchae $7 [must try!]

This classic Korean dish of sweet potato noodles is one that I always order at Korean eateries and I am most pleased to say that Sarang’s version is by far one of the best I have had. Bouncy, chewy and QQ with a slight sticky texture, these noodles were spot-on and every bite was peppered with a whiff of sesame oil that was most appetizing. Complimented by the crunch of shredded carrots, onions and black fungus, this dish was every bit as colourful in its presentation as it was in flavor.

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Spicy Chewy Rice Cake $7

Putting his own unique spin on a popular street snack in Korea, Chef YY’s spicy rice cakes are different from what you may be used to, especially if the instant version of Tukbokk is what you usually have. With a stronger intensity of flavors that interplays and injects excitement to your palate, these cylindrical rice cakes are sure to whet an appetite. But for those who are not too accustomed to spicy foods, you have been warned.

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Kimchi Pancake $8 [must try!]

I personally do not fancy Kimchi Pancakes but I gave this a nibble and ended up finishing a few more portions. Delightfully crisp and best eaten when still warm, these pancakes were brimming with prawns, squid, onions and of course kimchi. Paired off with the dipping sauce of rice vinegar and soy sauce, this was a savory appetizer that will have you wanting seconds and thirds.

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Modern Tapas – Pairings (Makgeolli Mojito and Lemon Soju)

Okonomiyaki-Style Scallion Pancake $8.50

Okonomiyaki is best translated as an ‘as you like it pancake’, but if I had my way, I would have kept all the toppings of bacon and seafood, dressed it with the same amount of mayo, teriyaki sauce and dried bonito flakes, and left out all the scallions, because that’s the exact way I would have liked it. So if you are a huge fan of the scallion family, as some of the others were at the table, this one is right up your alley.

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Ginseng Chicken Terrine $16

Terrine is not exactly the first thing that excites me but this one was surprisingly not half bad. One of Chef’s innovative creations, this modern tapas is a concentrated version of ginseng chicken broth, together with dates, garlic and the whole enchilada. Albeit its quirkiness, this one might take a little getting used to.

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Crispy Tofu with Kimchi Cream Sauce $5.50 [must try!]

Similar to the Japanese Agedashi tofu, Sarang’s cubed crispy tofu is instead nestled in homemade Kimchi Cream Sauce instead of the usual hot Tentsuyu broth. The medley of creaminess contrasting with the deep-fried skin and velvety smoothness of the tofu itself was a clever play of textures on the senses. Simple but comforting, this one has my vote.

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Sarang Nachos $9.50

And I bet you never had Nachos drizzled with Bulgogi sauce before… This Mexican crowd favourite wins the hearts of many with its well seasoned beef chunks, jalapenos, olives and tomatoes, smothered in an addictive combination of mayo and flavorsome Korean marinade. Move aside Nachos covered with melted cheese, this could possibly be the next cinema it-snack!

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Spoon Pizza $8.50

One especially for the ladies, this is a pizza you can finish without getting your hands dirty. Chef YY thoughtfully created this dish because he noticed that the more health-conscious ladies tend to eat their pizza and leave the crust behind. So with this spoon pizza, you can simply enjoy all the gooey cheesy goodness and ingredients of a pizza, minus all the carbs, with just a spoon. Oh and those spicy marinated chicken chunks were simply lip-smacking delectable!

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Mains – Pairings (Kiwi Soju)

BBBB (Big Bang Bulgogi Burger) $16

If only I could have Big Bang served on a platter..now that would be a dream come true. But at the moment, this BBBB will just have to do. Juicy beef slices, lettuce and homemade pickles sandwiched in between two toasted buns, this portion serves well for petite appetites. Special mention to those chunky deep-fried potato wedges that were made extra scrumptious with the accompanying Kimchi dipping cream sauce.

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Sarang Meat Lover’s Platter $42 [must try!]

Three different ways of preparing three different types of meats, this platter is a must-order for any meat lover. And while it might be recommended for sharing, you may actually be tempted to finish this all by yourself because it is that good. The standouts had to be the flame-grilled steak dressed with Kimchi cream sauce and the succulent tender chicken pieces in Yuzu sauce. Unfortunately I did not quite take to the wine-marinated pork belly which was a tad too tough and dry.

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Hotteok $8

Dessert came in the form of yet another popular Korean street snack with cinnamon and brown sugar filling, sprinkled with almond flakes and served with Neapolitan ice-cream. Alas, I found the Hotteok too doughy for my liking and would have preferred a much sweeter filling instead.

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Tip: Come by a little before evening and enjoy the change in mood and ambiance as the entire place transitions from day to night.

Thank you Sam of SPRG for the invite and the warm hospitality!

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181 Orchard Road
#07-01, Orchard Central
Tel: 67731322

Opening hrs:
Sun – Thu: 12:00 – 22:00
Fri – Sat: 12:00 – 23:00

Singapore

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