Joo Bar – Singapore
Anyone who knows me, knows that Korean food is not my favourite type of cuisine. Thus, I was pleasantly shocked that I actually liked the food at the new Korean makgeolli bar, Joo.
Granted they serve modern fusion Korean food, maybe that’s why I like it.
Joo also serves Korean fermented rice alcohol, makgeolli on tap – infused with a variety of flavours like yucha (i.e. yuzu), strawberry, lychee and more. My friends and I thoroughly enjoyed the sampler platter before we decided to get more drinks 😛
Having never tried fresh makgeolli before, I must say the original flavour is obviously sour due to the fermentation process (duh.) And that’s the white one you see in the picture. My sampler comprised yucha, strawberry, lychee and mango. Although it is only 6-8% alcohol, all of it is deceptively easy to drink. So ladies and some lightweight gentlemen, watch out.
So that was our little aperitif before our meal. And with our aperitif, we had bar bites of Baby Eel Paper and Tofu Chips with Guacamole and Kimchi Salsa.
Well I must say the baby eel paper tasted like fried silver fish to me. It’s nothing particularly exciting but it would be excellent with a pint of beer. The tofu chips are Joo’s take on guac and nachos, and it was delectable. You can almost convince your waistline that it’s healthy for you, even though it is deep fried.
I’ll tell you why I loved Joo so much. I love pork. A lot. The fattier the better. And this cut of Hungarian Mangalitsa is perfect.
We tried the slow roasted belly which was essentially a very good and marbled sio bak. It has a nice crisp edge and it melts in your mouth. That was good.
But when the Joo Bossam arrived…Well. I practically forgot about the roast. The pork belly is boiled with Korean fermented bean paste and it comes with a side of yucha vinegared cabbage. You wrap the pork belly in the cabbage and just bite down. Feel the marbled fat ooze out of the tender pork as you bite down on it while the vinegar cabbage cuts through the grease. A match made in porcine heaven.
My other companions tried the Kimchi Chicken Potpie and Seafood Gochujang Risotto.
The pastry of the pot pie could afford to be more buttery in my opinion but beginners to the pong of kimchi would enjoy this as the bechamel sauce helps take away some of the spice and smell.
The risotto is not made with arborio rice, but with Korean white rice instead. It is still cooked with fish broth and pepper paste, before the seafood and parmesan is grated on. The result is a slightly wetter risotto with a spice comparable of a bibimbap. Not my favourite but my companions relished it.
These two dishes were better enjoyed by my companions as I do not really like kimchi.
Yeah, I wasn’t kidding about not really liking Korean food…
But I would go back to Joo just for the pork. And the makgeolli.