Monday, January 30, 2017

[Korean food] SBCD Korean Tofu House 부창동 순두부

In the recent years, Korean restaurants/fastfood specializing in signature Korean food are getting more popular in Singapore.  Some of these specialties include bingsu, fried chicken, gimbap, bibimbap and the latest addition to the list is now soontofu (순두부).  In the 1970s, Korean soft tofu soup has been regarded as a daily comfort staple that provides a rich source of nourishment to Koreans and other nationalities residing in Korea.

SBCD Korean Tofu House, the latest Korean Restaurant in the Tanjong Pagar CBD district, specialises in a variety of Korean soft tofu soup, where the word "soon" actually means soft.

The restaurant uploads the kitchen philosophy of serving uplifting and complete meals.  Every soontofu dish is created using handmade silken tofu prepared fresh daily.  The broth comes in 4 different levels of spiciness - mild, medium, spicy and crazy hot.  After trying the various level of spiciness, level 3 seems to suit me best.  However, this may be a little too hot for some, who aren't into spicy food.

The modern and spacious restaurant has a total sitting capacity of 120 with 96 in the main dining area and 24 in the private dining area.

The private dining area can be further split into 3 smaller rooms with 8 seats each.  The private rooms are names after the restaurant's name, calling itself b-dong, c-dong and d-dong.  In the administrative division in South Korea, "Dong" means neighbourhood.

(entrance to one of the private rooms)

 (Private dining area)

The soft tofu is made with mature white soybeans, after they have been boiled, curdled and pressed.  The soybean is low in cholestorol and carbohydrates and is a good source of protein and calcium.  The chef comes in as early as 7am daily just to start preparing the fresh tofu for the diners.

(Chef making Prawn Tofu Pancake)

(Prawn Tofu Pancake)

Each soontofu soup is served with an egg and individually prepared in a rich, savoury broth.

Another unique practice in SBCD Korean Tofu House if the way the rice served with every meal.  Each bowl of rice is served in a hot stone bowl, and scooped out into a metal bowl at the dining table.  A thick crust of scorched rice (nuraungji) will remain in the hot stone bowl and corn tea is added into the hot stone bowl and covered to retain the heat to further cook the leftover rice.  Diners get to enjoy a bowl of rice porridge dish later, that is not only nutritious, but also aids in digestion.

(Hot Stone Bowl)

Each bowl of rice is cooked in individual hot stone bowl.  Each batch of rice are covered and pressure-cooked for a precise 15 min and 20 secs! 

The healthy soontofu soup is served with comforting taste of homemade side-dishes (ban chan), which include kimchi, seaweed, pickled green chillies, spicy squid strips and a whole fried croaker fish!  Serving a whole fried fish as a side dish is not common in Korean restaurants in Singapore.  Amongst the side dishes, what stood out for me was the seaweed and the kimchi.  They were totally delicious.  The price of set-meal ranges from $17.90 to $29.90.

There are a total of 4 appetiser dishes in the menu.  Besides the Prawn Tofu Pancake, there are also japchae, fried dumplings and seafood pancake.  Price ranges from $12.90 to $19.90.  The prawn tofu pancake is generous with the minced prawn fillings than the soft tofu itself.  Each portion of the appetiser is suitable for 2 to 3 to share.

(Prawn Tofu Pancake)

Besides the soontofu soup, the restaurant also serve popular Korean meat dishes such as L.A. Galbi, Spicy Grilled Chicken and Spicy Baby Octopus, with price ranging from $23.90 to $35.90.  Options are available to order these dishes as main dish or to include them in the combo meal along with a soontofu soup of choice.  My personal preference is the spicy grilled chicken, although I must say that the level of spiciness has been moderated, perhaps to suit the local taste.  The price for the meat dishes are comparable to BBQ dishes at other Korean restaurants.

(Tteok Galbi - Grilled Short Ribs Patties)

 (Spicy Grilled Chicken)

There is a good selection of 10 soontofu soups on the menu and fortunately for vegetarians, 1 of which excludes meat in the soup.  All soup base contain pork and vegetable, except for the Sesame Soontofu which does not use pork in the broth.  The ingredients used in this healthy option includes sesame, broccoli, mushroom and zucchini.  The taste is really light and suitable for diners who just want a light soup meal.  It is also the only dish that is non-spicy, making it suitable for junior diners.  

Overall, the restaurant serves quite a wide range of Korean popular dishes although the main highlight are the soontofu dishes.  The available of seats provides office workers in the vicinity, a good option for a healthy meal after work and with the enjoyment of continuous K-pop music.

The restaurant is located in Tanjong Pagar Centre, the newest tallest building in Singapore and is conveniently connected to the Tanjong Pagar MRT station.

SBCD Korean Tofu House
7 Wallich Street, Tanjong Pagar Centre, #B1-01/02 Singapore 078884
Tel: 6366 6441
Opens daily fom 11.30am to 10pm

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