The first time i patronised I'm Kim Korean BBQ, my friends noticed i bear an uncanny resemblance to the cartoonised life-sized cutout of the boss and insisted taking a picture of me beside it so that they can ask for discount!
Of course it didn't work although the buffet was memorable enough for me to return a few weeks later; bringing along my younger sister and mum.
Before you step in to the premise, do keep in mind that there is a specific duration given for diners; according to the facebook page, it's 90 minutes for a group of 3 or less. Hence, if you are a slow eater, give this a miss!
As usual, please don't take more than what you can eat as it will just exacerbate the food wastage problem in Singapore. If you don't care, wastage charge shall be at a fair S$20 per 100 grams.
The most important question for any buffet veterans, secondary to maybe the taste test - a lousy spread would have reduced the allure although my pet peeve when it comes to buffet is that i have to pay extra for drink other than plain water.
At I'm Kim, i was given free flow korean barley tea, lime juice, mango juice and water chestnut! Warm water is available on a per-request basis.
Small side dish / condiment / sauce counter - there were salad, sliced tomatoes, corn cobs but i don't pay money to be a vegetarian in a bbq buffet restaurant. Nevertheless, i enjoyed the sweetness of the watermelon for dessert. The seasoned baby octopuses were quite popular on our table too.
Section that i generally ignored except for the relatively fresh and good-sized prawns, onions and garlic! Health conscious individuals (like those who will go for salad) can go for the golden mushrooms, radish, pumpkin, kimchi and fresh lettuce.
The long stretch of food as seen above is divided into three categories (soup, cooked food and raw food) and i shall go through them shortly.
I am going to start with my least favourite - soup and there were four kinds to choose from; Korean ginseng chicken (the brain booster), seaweed (the oceanic treasure), collagen (youth elixir) and mushroom (little health giant).
Aside from the fanciful name that gives some hints on the respective soup's nutritional benefits, more information can actually be found on the mini signs.
Both mom and sister took quite a few bowls - actions of which i deduced they must be happy with the soups. I took a sip of the ginseng chicken; it was flavourful and didn't taste watered down.
Raw food with ten kinds - short beef ribs, marinated rib-eyes, beef rolls, chuck tender beef, garlic chicken, volcano chicken, pork collar, spicy pork collar, bacon and pork belly.
Mum doesn't take beef although i was happy with the signature volcano chicken and spicy pork collar! Just to add as well that in my first visit, i had already attacked the marinated beef options and were fully satisfied with them!
Cooked food section was left for the last as i was utterly impressed with what i had. If i didn't count wrongly, i think there were eight pots and they were worth a try! You don't have to take a lot; just one piece / portion just to check out the taste and come back for more if you like it.
The food was replenished frequently even though in event of a huge meal crowd, hungry diners had the tendency to grab as much as they could. However, please keep in mind the wastage charges.
Sushi is a no-no as the carbohydrates would fill up your tummy fast! Well, this didn't apply to my two family members to grab a few as they just have to eat rice. Typical Chinese! By the way, the sushi was decent.
Japanese sweet potatoes were pretty good with sprinklers of white and black sesame seed; i prefer the potatoes to have a mushier texture though.
Kimchi pancake was restaurant standard (so much kimchi) and i couldn't imagine i had to pay S$12 for a portion that could hardly feed me when i could get free flow at I'm Kim!
Tapioca delight is a must-try! Leave them to the last as a dessert since tapioca is also carbohydrate! Aim for the more expensive meat first.
The aptly-named irresistible wings were just too addictive! In my opinion, the chicken wings are the hottest in the buffet restaurant and it's common to find the tray empty as they get snapped up real quickly!
On The Table
Free tissue paper dispenser! This is one nifty thing from Korea that all Singapore's restaurants should have on every table!
Well, in case you don't know how to eat BBQ the Korean way. I am not stranger to the Korean style but i would do that only in a non-buffet Korean BBQ restaurant.
What we took from the counters / sections - these comprised of just a fraction of what we had that day. I think the above shows maybe about 10-15%? Despite the crowd, the service staff were attentive and would clear the plates so long as they were empty.
The grill - no other comment as it serves its purpose in barbecuing my food. Please be prepared for the bbq 'aroma' to be stuck on your clothes; bring extra set of top if you need to go somewhere else after the makan session.
Even though we had to adhere to the 90-minute duration given to us and was more than halfway through, this didn't stop the service staff from suggesting a change in the grill when he noticed it was getting charred. That, to me, is good service.
1 Zubir Said Drive, School of The Arts,
01-04/05/06/07, Singapore 227968
(Near Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station)
Lunch - 11.30am to 3.30pm
Dinner - 5.30pm to 10.30pm