E!GHT Korean BBQ @ The Central

Named after their signature 8 Colours Set, E!GHT Korean BBQ at The Central is the newest establishment to hit the Korean culinary scene in Singapore. But before you dismiss it as another run-of-the-mill BBQ joint with bad ventilation, cramped spaces and greasy sputtering of grills, E!GHT is quick to differentiate itself with a roomy dining area, nicely spaced out sleek sturdy tables, comfy cushioned stools with an ingenious removable lid for you to store your bags and a customized wall fashioned out of bricks imported all the way from now-demolished century-old buildings in Korea. Authenticity takes on a whole new meaning right there.

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Owners Jamie and Kristin Lim, the same people who brought the first handmade rock candy store- Sticky, to our shores, took it upon themselves to ensure that the experience diners have at E!GHT was sophisticated and refined instead of messy and smelly. From the matt black crockery and pans to the stoves that accommodate both grilling and stewing simultaneously, and even the angle at which the pan sits on the stove, no detail is left spared to create a memorable BBQ experience.

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The menu at E!GHT is fairly concise with the owners choosing to place a fair bit of emphasis on exquisite cuts of meat and premium quality instead.

As aforementioned, their 8 Colours Set $98 is a speciality here and the custom-made wooden tray displaying the 8 cuts of 100% Berkshire Pork from USA, differentiated by their marination, is seen on almost every table. This portion which feeds 3-4 diners comfortably also comes with complimentary homemade Banchan, Seafood Bean Paste Stew and Scorched Rice Soup served at the end to cleanse your palate.

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The Kimchi and Mung Bean Salad Banchan will be heated up on the grill so if you prefer your Kimchi cold (I dont), simply help yourself to a portion before the pan starts to sizzle.

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As a full-service restaurant as well, BBQ-ing here at E!GHT is thankfully not self-serviced. So sit back and enjoy as the well- trained staff grill your meats for you to the precise doneness as you kick back a couple of beers or soju bottles. Whichever rocks your boat more, be it Korean Hite Beer $8, Chamisul Soju $20, Korean Rice Wine $20, Korean Herbal Wine $20 or even Korean Raspberry Wine $35, the alcoholic selection promises to please.

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Before firing up the grill, your server will always recommend the best order in which to eat the 8 different flavours of meat- which is from the lightest to the boldest i.e. Wine, Original, Ginseng, Garlic, Herb, Curry, Miso and Red Pepper Paste. Tasting them all in one sitting helps you to identify which flavour stands out best for you and which ones left no impression.

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I personally was especially drawn to the Garlic, Curry and Red Pepper Paste most and had a scrumptious time wrapping the beautifully grilled pieces of pork up with lettuce leaves and eating it in a single mouthful. The servers will also cut up the long slices of pork (approx 70-80g each) into bite-sized portions for your personal convenience. Top ups are $12 per strip.

Once you have picked your personal favourites, you can order the Four Colours Set $58 the next time round and choose only the flavours you liked most. This one caters for about 2 to share.

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While waiting for your pork to be ready on the grill, do not forget about the bubbling pot of Seafood Bean Paste Soup on the other stove, brimming with prawns, cabbage, mussels and toufu that has just the right amount of spiciness without being too overwhelming. Request for a refill of soup if you get too carried away slurping it all up.

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For a change from the usual Bibimbap, the Seafood Bibimbap $18 offers a vibrant alternative with crunchy bits and delight pops contributed by the generous topping of fish roe on the rice.

Non-pork eaters will also appreciate the USDA Prime Beef and Australian Wagyu offered here as Ribeye Steak $58/$88, Beef Belly Slices $38, Beef Brisket $38 or Boneless Short Rib $58. These come in 200g servings so knock yourselves out!

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E!GHT Korean BBQ has also proved to have excellent taste in Kpop, evident from their choice of music videos looping on the flat-screens mounted around the restaurant. You are forgiven if you find yourself bobbing your head to the music.

Concept wise, E!GHT wins points for novelty and thoughtfulness. I believe that this might just be the first Korean BBQ restaurant guys can bring their dates to, even if it was a dressy occasion.

And while there is little doubt that the meats served here are of premium quality, expertly treated with delectable marinates and bbq-ed with skill, I do hope that with some adjustments, the lighter flavours can be more distinct and pronounced for a heightened satisfaction to thoroughly experience the range and variety.

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6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#02-79/90 The Central
Singapore 059817
Tel: 6222 2159

Opening hrs:
11.30am – 2.30pm Lunch (Last Order 2pm)
5.30pm – 11pm Dinner (Last Order 10pm)

Singapore