Sunday, September 07, 2014

Bornga Korean BBQ Restaurant @ City Square Shopping Mall [Johor Bahru, Malaysia]

The very first time i heard of Bornga, it was a negative review; not so much about the food but on the terrible customer service that my colleagues faced at their Vivocity branch.

I personally don't see the point of supporting dining establishments, especially restaurants, with bad customer service and was only mildly keen when friends suggested travelling to Johor where Bornga had another branch. Of course, Johor is in Malaysia with a likely different management.

Without further ado, let's start with the side dishes that often accompanied main Korean dishes and are usually refillable (at least in many Korean restaurants). Nothing spectacular except for the spicy strips of radishes which came with a fresh crunch.

Tray of fresh vegetables; a healthy necessity for any Korean BBQ!

Nothing beats charcoal as the fuel for barbecue! Please be assured that there would be minimal smoke and even if there is, a device would help to reduce the greasy stench on your clothes!

The smoke funnel - a helpful equipment that acts like a vacuum to suck in the smoke! Although quite common nowadays, i am embarrassed to say that it was my virgin experience with it..

Woo Samgyup
Bornga's signature meat - thinly sliced beef brisket in a pool of specially concocted sauce! Given its reputation (and that we have a total of six persons), it's a must to have at least two servings! 

They might look as if there were quite a bit of the meat.

Truth was, the slices shrivelled rapidly in the presence of heat and you should have seen the aghast expressions on our faces; one serving was hardly sufficient to feed even me! 

Whatever the case, it was indeed delicious with a marination that didn't taste as heavy as expected from most barbecued meat in Korean restaurants yet addictive enough to almost entice us to call for a third serving! 

Yangnyum Dwaeji Galbi
Change of grill pan in order to prepare for the grand arrival of a pork based BBQ item. 

Pork ribs marinated in yet another special sauce! Frankly, their dark appearance gave one the impression they were beef rather than pork! 

They were more yummy than the slices of beef brisket; maybe because the texture was chewier and every bite was an automatic generation for more of that delicious meat juice!

Mansinchang Samgyupsal
Bacon is bacon; even if you sprinkle bits of parsley on it. 

I was proven right when i took a bite. The parsley did add to the fragrance but was overall pretty negligible for easygoing taste buds like mine. 

Jap Chae
This was seriously so good that i almost wanted to ask for one plate just for myself! What's amazing was the palatable yet subtle flavour released as i chewed through the noodles; coupled with sesame oil, this should honestly be the signature dish for Bornga!

Budae Jigae
Want to guess what this is?

The popular army stew which came into existence after the Korean War! Ingredients that would give this Korean-American dish away; luncheon meat, baked beans, hot dogs and a slice of cheese! 

Do keep in mind that you might have to wait for around 10 minutes for the stew to come to a boil. 

The taste wasn't as weird as i thought it would be; the broth was darn spicy although the cheese helped by mitigating the spiciness and enhancing the flavour! The Western ingredients in fact went very well with the kimchi and spicy taste! My only complaint? Can we request to add in more ramen?! 


Wait! Don't leave your table until you are given your complimentary bowl of cold vinegar-based fruit tea! Nowadays, even Ju Shin Jung serves this which was a tad too sour for me. Bring back the sweet rice tea please!!!

106-108, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, MF-23, Level 3, 
City Square Shopping Mall, Johor Bahru

Website (Korean & Chinese)


Woo Samgyup (150g) - RM42
Yangnyum Dwaeji Galbi (250g) - RM33
Mansinchang Samgyupsal (200g) - RM30
Jap Chae - RM30
Budae Jigae - RM65
[Subject to Goods and Services Tax]

Additional Information
Since our dining experience is in Malaysia, the question on many Singaporeans' mind is whether the food at Bornga is cheaper than its Singapore counterpart. 

Answer: it is! As a comparison, Woo Samgyup is S$28 a serving while Budae Jigae is S$42. Based on the current exchange rate of roughly S$1 = RM2.50, the saving to dine in Malaysia is about 39%. 


  1. Anonymous2:26 PM

    hi, do they accept reservation for the JB outlet?

    1. Hallo, i have never done that actually as seating is available whenever i was there.


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