1. 8 Korean BBQ
This hip Korean joint is so named for its specialty 8 Colours Set, comprising eight flavours of marinated Mangalitza pork — a rare Hungarian breed of tender, ruby-red pork — for barbecuing. Choose from delicious conventional flavours like garlic or gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) to more unique ones like curry.
How to eat Korean barbecue like a Korean you ask? It’s easy: Wrap the meat, along with some onions and perhaps even sesame oil dip and a sliver of garlic, up in a leaf of lettuce and eat it.
Price Range: $30-40 per person.
8 Korean BBQ is at #02-79/90, The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street.
Photo: 8 Korean BBQ
This popular Korean BBQ franchise, with more than 220 outlets in South Korea, specialises in Korean Galmaegisal (pictured), a premium cut of pork skirt that’s denser and more luxurious. In fact, it was traditionally was only served to the Royal Family in Korea. Talk about dining like royalty!
This pork skirt that is marinated in Korean spices is the star of the show here. However, the side dishes or ban-chan are more than enough to keep your taste buds going while waiting for your grilled pork.
Fried kimchi, steamed egg and cheese also surround the grill so that you can make your pork tastier. Yakult Soju and Coffee Soju are also on offer as well as the popular Korean dessert, bingsu.
Price Range: $40-60 per person.
Seorae is at #02-01 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road.
Photo: Seorae Singapore Charcoal Korean BBQ
3. Wang Dae Bak
This busy, almost hole-in-the-wall restaurant is bustling with a mix of both Koreans and locals during mealtimes — and that’s always a good sign.
Wang Dae Bak sticks to tradition with its charcoal fire grills. Perhaps this is the reason why it is considered one of the best Korean BBQ restaurants in Singapore. Its ala-carte menu has quite a few gems, after the marinated meats of course. Popular cuts of meat include pork shoulder butt and prime rib; forget watching your waistline and get a serving of spicy pork skin as well.
Among the must-try dishes are the Kimchi pancake and the Kimchi Jjigae, an anchovy base stew with pork and tofu. Another must-order: the dense, crispy seafood pancake which is even bigger than your grill.
Price Range: $40-50 per person.
Wang Dae Bak is at 22 Cross Street and 98 Amoy Street.
Photo: Wang Dae Bak
4. Seoul Restaurant
Two things: 1) It’s a buffet! and 2) The cuts of meat you get here are more succulent and well-marbled than most others. They even use a special grade of charcoal, imported from Korea, accentuating the taste of your barbecued meat. Also included in the buffet are stews, dishes like Korean pancakes, Naengmyeon (buckwheat noodles) and more.
While slightly pricier ($69.90+ per pax for a dinner BBQ buffet), we’d say it’s worth every cent.
Seoul Restaurant is at #03-02 The Regent Hotel, 1 Cuscaden Road.
Photo: Seoul Restaurant
5. Daessiksin Korean BBQ Buffet
Daessiksin is the Korean restaurant under the Ministry of Food brand. It serves up a Korean buffet, with 5 to 6 cooked dishes and unlimited drinks. The star of the buffet is the range of meats on offer.
With 10 to 12 marinated meats to choose from such as pork, beef short ribs, and pork collar, it will truly satisfy your craving for grilled meats. It has 10 locations all over the Lion City so you can reserve your table at the location nearest you.
Price Range: Weekday Lunch: $14.90++ (adult)/ $8.90++ (child); Dinner: $24.90++/$18.90++; Weekend and PH (all day): $24.90++/ $18.90++
Daessiksin has various outlets at Bugis+, AMK Hub, Causeway Point, Serangoon NEX, Waterway Point, Orchard Gateway, Hillion Mall, Kallang Wave Mall, IMM, Waterway Point.
6. Don Dae Bak Restaurant
Don Dae Bak prides itself for offering a charcoal barbecue experience rather than the usual gas barbecue grills in most restaurants. This restaurant only has one location, so it gets easily full during the buffet hours. You get to man your own grill around a circular table, good for families or a small group of friends. Everything from the side dishes, the drinks and of course, the assortment of meats are all free flow.
Price Range: Mon – Thurs: $25.90++; Fri – Sun: $27.90++.
Don Dae Bak is at 35 Kreta Ayer Road.
Photo: Facebook/Don Dae Bak Restaurant
7. K.COOK Korean BBQ Buffet
K.COOK Korean BBQ is a favourite buffet place known for its value. Although its meat selection may not feature special cuts, it is enough to satisfy your BBQ craving. The buffet selection also includes your favourite Korean side dishes that pair well with grilled meat. Its location which is at the Orchard Gateway area is also a big plus. The best seats in the house are in its outdoor seating area.
Price Range: Lunch: $14.90++ (adult); Dinner: $24.90++.
K.COOK Korean BBQ is at #07-01 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road.
Photo: Facebook/K.COOK Korean BBQ
8. Hyang To Gol Korean Restaurant
If you’re looking to have Korean BBQ in a fine dining setting, Hyang To Gol Restaurant in Amara Hotel is the perfect place. Not only is there Korean BBQ, but there are also other delicacies and staples in Korean cuisine available. Despite the luxurious setting, prices are still affordable for the food they have to offer. Great for special occasions.
Price Range: $60-80 per person.
Hyang To Gol Restaurant is at 165 Tanjong Pagar Road, Amara Hotel.
Photo: Hyang To Gol Restaurant
10. Nanta BBQ
For a traditional Korean experience with a modern twist, try Nanta Korean BBQ. Its a relatively new restaurant, opened by the same group behind K.Cook. Menu items on offer have a clear modern twist but does not lose traditional elements. One must-try dish is the Cheese Deng-galbi – spicy pork ribs with lots of mozzarella cheese on a hot plate.
Price Range: $30-40 per person.
Nanta BBQ is at #01-175 / #01-177 Goldhill Centre, 175 Thomson Road.
Photo: Facebook/Nanta BBQ
10. 2D1N Soju Bang
This restaurant is a popular choice among young Singaporeans and expatriates. It shares the same building with one outlet of Ssikkek but it offers an ala-carte menu instead of a buffet. However, like its sister restaurant, its value for money is the reason behind its popularity.
Price Range: $25-45 per person.
2D1N Soju Bang is at 46 Tanjong Pagar Rd.
Photo: Facebook/2D1N Soju Bang
11. Chang Korean BBQ
Chang Korean BBQ on Loewen Road is the place to go if you want a high-end dining experience. The premium prices mean that premium cuts are readily available such as wagyu ribeye and kurobuta belly. The staff also make sure that your BBQ is done right – that is service at its best. Weekends can be packed so it is best to reserve a seat for your group.
Price Range: $50-60 per person.
Chang Korean BBQ is at 71 Loewen Road #01-01.
Photo: Facebook/Chang Korean BBQ
12. Kim's Family Food
Authentic Korean dishes is what Kim’s Family Food Korean Restaurant is all about. The restaurant has an extensive menu that you can choose from. If you don’t want to go through all the trouble of picking the right dishes, choose any of their meat platters which you can grill to your satisfaction. Not to be missed is the Korean rice wine and the wide array of Korean side dishes of course.
Price Range: $30-40 per person.
Kim’s Family Food Korean Restaurant is at 17 Lorong Kilat, #01-06 Kilat Court.
Photo: Facebook/Kim's Family Food
13. Miss Korea by Supulae
Miss Korea is the 2nd restaurant by Supulae, a popular Korean restaurant on Korean food street of Tanjong Pagar. If you are looking for a quieter and calmer buffet dining atmosphere compared to that on Tanjong Pagar, this place is a good choice. It offers a buffet at very affordable prices as well as special offers for beers such as Hite.
Price Range: $22.90++ Weekdays; $24.90++ Weekends.
Miss Korea by Supulae is at 87 Killiney Road.
14. Gaia Korean Grill + Bar
Gaia Korean Grill + Bar was inspired by a cooking teacher and cookbook author who decided to open her own restaurant that would serve healthy, home-style Korean food. This was after Chef Chun Nam Won was diagnosed with cancer. At Gaia, she serves healthy yet well-flavored marinated meats, such as their Combination Platter at $28.
Price Range: $35-50 per person.
Gaia Korean Grill + Bar is at 17E Lorong Liput, Holland Village.
Photo: Facebook/Gaia Korean Grill + Bar
15. O.BBa BBQ
What we love: O.BBa’s stews and bibimbap (Korean mixed rice) come in less intimidating portions — and at friendlier prices, too — much unlike many Korean restaurants that aren’t single diner-friendly, with minimum orders and large serving meant for sharing.
Let this be your go-to for a hearty Korean meal on a budget.
O.BBa BBQ is at 63 Tanjong Pagar Road.
Photo: O.BBa BBQ
16. Togi Korean Restaurant
This family-run Korean restaurant is always packed — perhaps even a little too packed — but the food will more than compensate for this.
Bonus: Your meats reach your table already cooked for you, so worry not about smelling like you’ve been in a furnace all day.
Togi Korean Restaurant is at 11 Mosque Street.
Photo: Togi Korean Restaurant
This well-known South Korean chain was started by Jong Won Paik, a celebrity chef from Seoul.
We reckon his claim to fame is the restaurant’s specialty Woo Samgyup, thinly sliced beef brisket laced with decadent streaks of fat that flavour the meat when it’s cooked on the grill.
Bornga is at #02-24 The Star Vista, 1 Vista Exchange Green.
18. I'm Kim Junior Korean BBQ
I’m Kim Junior at SCAPE was opened by the same entrepreneur behind I’m Kim and Goro Goro – Elim Chew. What sets this restaurant apart from the other buffet restaurants is its Be Your Own Chef scheme. This allows customers to customise their own galbi to their liking. Apart from the usual array of marinated meats, you can choose from different ingredients for that perfect flavor. Each table at I’m Kim Junior is also equipped with an exhaust pipe so that you don’t come out of your meal smelling like cooked food.
Price Range: Weekday Lunch: $14.90++ (adult), Weekend and PH Lunch: $24.9++; Weekday Dinner (Mon – Thurs): $24.90++; Fri – Sun and PH: $25.90++
I’m Kim Junior is at 2 Orchard Link #03-01.
Photo: Facebook/I'm Kim Junior
19. Ssikkek Korean Grill BBQ Buffet
Although Ssikkek at Bras Basah did not boast a huge variety of meat, we didn’t see that as much of a problem – whatever meat available (especially the marinated pork belly) was enough to send us into a binging frenzy.
Ssikkek is at #B1-14/15/16 United Square Shopping Mall, 101 Thomson Road.
20. Superstar K
At Tanjong Pagar Road, you’ll find the superstar of Korean BBQ, Superstar K. With its interior so gorgeously furnished into an industrial setting, it actually looks like a themed restaurant. It’s located about a minute’s walk from Kko Kko Nara (or two from 2D1N Soju Bang).
Superstar K boasts authenticity in terms of dining experience and food.It has an ala-carte menu only, so the queues are usually not as long as those that offer buffets. With its exhaust suction pipes that droop from the ceiling, and the food offered in the menu, you’ll feel as though you were in Korea!
Here you can enjoy your BBQ that includes black pepper pork neck, seasoned chicken and bulgogi, after the cook staff has cooked it to perfection. So if you are not in the mood to be your own cook, this is the place for you.
Price Range: $40-50 per person
Super Star K is at 75 and 99 Tanjong Pagar Road, 45 Circular Road.
A version of this post first appeared on Shopback / Additional reporting: Atika Lim and Elizabeth Liew