Saturday, February 04, 2017

Goro Goro Steamboat and Korean Buffet in Orchard Gateway @ Emerald [Singapore]

Reunion dinner is by far the only way to get every member in my immediate family to sit down and eat together at one table. In the past, mum would busy herself on the last day of the lunar year to prepare for the meal but now that she is getting old, her kids (us) prefer to cut the hassle and eat out instead. 

For this year's reunion dinner, the vote was cast on Goro Goro Steamboat and Korean Buffet. We had a great time at its sister outlet, I'm Kim Korean BBQ, and thought this would be an equally good substitute since the latter was closed on the eve of lunar new year. 

We were asked to arrive at 4.40 pm for a reservation at 5.00 pm and being a sucker for instructions, our family obeyed only to find the shutter closed and a ton of people waiting at the stuffy 4th floor lift lobby with no seat for the elderly! 

I was irritated as the management could have done a lot better; i.e.  providing chairs for the elderly / needy, letting diners wait inside while they prepare the buffet, having a queue system in place etc. Nevertheless, all's forgotten when the shutter was pulled up a minute or two before 5.00 pm.

Boosting a view of orchard road for those seated next to the windows, the restaurant was actually quite spacious and comfy looking.

Given that it's the lunar new year season, the place was also decked out in new year decorations. Even though it's thoughtful to rope in the festive atmosphere, it tends to slightly reduce the "Korean" label associated with the eatery.

To the older generation, however, they were pleased to note the use of mandarin oranges and red packet (ang pow) on each table to welcome the diners. 

What's another cash cow during this period? Lou Hei and to the delight of the two brats, Goro Goro offered the Happy Smoked Salmon Lou Hei and Huat Abalone Lou Hei at S$48.80++ and S$58.80++ respectively that were good for 10 persons. Prices reflected were promotional pricing, given after you like and share their facebook page. 

Let the "lou" begin! The staff assigned to our table had a clear, booming voice and took on the role to spew out blessings most professionally! The "salad" tasted okay; was a bit on the sweet side. And, i personally dislike smoked salmon! 

Let's now continue with the rest of the food and i shall begin by showing what's available at Goro Goro Steamboat and Korean Buffet.

First and foremost, do not be greedy and take too much food! Wastage penalty would be imposed at S$20 per 100 grams! 

There's the ready-to-eat cooked food section and people familiar with I'm Kim Korean BBQ would find the variety similar; there were the sweet potatoes, tapioca delight, ddeokbokki / toppoki, jap chae etc.

More conventional (albeit boring) items like breaded scallops were also available but I was more surprised by the appearance of this supposedly Chinese dish; the mala veggie with pork skin! 

No prize for guessing what were my favourites; the crispy kimchi pancake and the sweet signature korean fried chicken! Both items can also be found at I'm Kim Korean BBQ.

With steamboat, veggies would be a must for most people even though i would go purely for meat and seafood. If i want vegetables to fill up my tummy, i would have steamboat at home.

For the benefit of those who couldn't resist vegetables, you have a wide variety comprising of and not limited to cai xin, spinach, nai bai (milk cabbage), jiu bai, iceberg lettuce, shimeji mushrooms, corn, lady fingers, almond mushroom, long cabbage, straw mushrooms, black fungus, bamboo shoot, cooked radish, fried yam, winter melon, tomato, lotus, enoki mushrooms etc. 

Love the way they categorise this as tofu and friends since friends can literally comprise of all other kind of miscellaneous items that can be thrown into steamboat! 

There were kimchi, dumplings, bittergourd, dried pork skin, button mushroom, egg tofu, luncheon meat, green chilli, tau pok, tau kwa, hotdogs and a variety of balls (fish, lobster flavoured, mushroom, squid, pork, crab etc). 

Meat madness wasn't exactly that insane about meat, in my opinion.

The range wasn't wide and limited to pig liver, squid, mussels, prawns, marinated beef, short plate, chicken breast, chicken meat, pork collar and pork belly. I would prefer thinly sliced meat to be eaten in shabu shabu style which didn't seem to be available. In this aspect, i think Sukiya offers a much better deal. 

Another item i would usually avoid for buffet would be the carbohydrates like rice, tang hoon, ee mee, mee sua and instant noodles, as shown above. 

Drinks were inclusive and aside from iced water, korean barley tea, water chestnut, mango juice and lime juice, you can also request for warm water or hot barley tea from the main counter. 

Condiments and sauces were important aspects in steamboat and for steamboat sessions at home, i would usually have a saucer of thai sweet chilli sauce although i demand a lot more in commercial entities. Compared to Hai Di Lao and even Sukiya, it's limited selection and sugar isn't included! Those who know me well would know i like my combi of sesame and peanut sauce with a spoonful of sugar, coriander and chopped spring onions! By the way, the two big plates in the above photo housed watermelons and honeydews.

Selection of up to two soup bases from the following seven types; bak kut teh, mala, tomato, collagen, ginseng chicken, korean seaweed and tom yum. Additional soup base would be chargeable at S$5 each. 

Description of soup bases for your reference. 

Mum wasn't feeling well that day and we went with tomato and ginseng chicken; latter was not too bad while the former had a tinge of burnt aftertaste which couldn't meet up to Hai Di Lao's standard. 

To be totally honest, i didn't quite enjoy the steamboat at Goro Goro; soup bases i tried were not the best even for the pricing and again, i am all for thinly sliced meat for shabu shabu (which i know is Japanese rather than Korean). If only they can add on a BBQ function as in BBQ cum steamboat buffet since i am way more impressed with I'm Kim Korean BBQ

Done with your meal and need something sweeter than the watermelon and honeydew? Pay extra for the Korean ice cream!

Despite my misgiving when it comes to the food at Goro Goro, i was happy with the service provided by the service staff (prompt to refilling soups and ability to bear with the two hyperactive kids) except for the beginning when customers were kept waiting before entering the restaurant.

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Location
218, Orchard Road, #04-01,
Orchardgateway@emerald, 
Singapore 238851

Facebook Page

Receipt (pricing for eve of lunar new year only)
As above. For normal pricing, please refer to the facebook page.

Additional Information
Lou Hei menu as appended above; likely to last until the 15th day of the lunar month which means until 11 February 2017. Contact the restaurant via the facebook page to check if it is still available. 

I actually wouldn't mind returning for the army stew / lobster stew as i can still indulge in the Korean cooked food buffet! 

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