Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Friends Tasty Korea - Korean BBQ Buffet (with Free Flow Ice Cream and Fried Chicken) along Sembawang Road (Near Yishun Chong Pang) [Singapore]

I am no stranger to the stretch of shophouses along Sembawang Road that's near Chong Pang but more often than not, you would find me at Chong Pang Nasi Lemak. Another eatery I patronized before was Seoul Kitchen, before they pivoted to Korean BBQ buffet and gained popularity. 

Korean BBQ buffet appealed to me but instead of Seoul Kitchen; I decided to cast my lot for Friends Tasty Korea, a competitor right across the narrow, two-lane street. Reason being I prefer to review dining establishments that have yet to appear in this blog. 

It has both indoor and outdoor seating but a true-blue Singaporean who dislikes the heat despite living in the little red dot for his/her entire life, would 99% choose the indoor that came with air-conditioning. p.s unless he/she can't stand having the lingering stench of barbecue after the meal. 

While ala-carte dishes were available; our group of four was focused on just one thing. The free flow Korean BBQ buffet! As you can see from the above, prices were easy on the pocket with the most expensive costing just S$20.00 (subject to service charge) per person!

Introducing the griddle which was powered using gas cans. The design was similar to the one at Chi Bing Korean Restaurant, with an oil drain. Frankly, it's quite unpleasant to see the oil accumulating in the bowl even though we should be happy that it would not be in our body. 

Tissue paper available on every table and it's free! That should be the norm in all restaurants, instead of charging customers packs of wet tissue! 

Buffet counter - side dishes (like kimchi, pickled radishes, mashed potatoes, braised eggs, lettuce) and to be barbecued items (onions, mushrooms, spicy chicken, pork belly, soy marinated pork, soy marinated chicken, bulgogi beef, spicy pork bulgogi, prawns and clams). Not that much variety but I thought it's just about right.

Given the restrictions for COVID-19, do keep in mind that self-service for the food is disallowed. You would have to wait for the staff to prepare and if there's anything you prefer / dislike; inform beforehand. 

Side dishes; most memorable would be the mashed potatoes which were delicious and this is coming from a guy who would usually request changing mashed potatoes to other sides. Do remember to refill it fast as it ran out pretty fast when we were there. Braised eggs were not bad but I prefer quail eggs, which are more the norm as side dishes in Korean restaurants. 

Drinks, unfortunately, were not covered in the buffet pricing. We decided to get a jug of cold barley tea, costing S$5.00, which was refillable. Shared among four persons, it's only S$1.25 per person. 

Our platter of meat! 

Let's the sinful meal begin! As you can see, baking papers were provided for us to lay a piece on the griddle. Two benefits; you don't need oil to grease the pan and it's also easy for the operator to clean up after our meal. 

To be honest, the meat were not fantastic (bulgogi beef was a bit dry) even though still acceptable for the price. C'mon, I can't expect much for a buffet that cost S$20.00 per person (with no GST). For plain, unmarinated pork belly, the side dishes matter as the pickled radish was the perfect companion! 

Second round, and then third round. We were still forging ahead to eat as much as we could but Alex, the weakest link in our group, had already tossed in the towel. Lousy. 

More side dishes; by this time, the mashed potatoes were "sold out" and it was only 12.24 pm! Hm.... I wonder if I could buy their mashed potatoes for meetups / potluck with friends; they will be an instant hit! 

Our final round! 

Korean fried chicken were part of the buffet deal too! Three flavours; original, soy and spicy. Personally, I prefer the grilled meat over the chicken wings even though the Great Kon and Alex did seem to enjoy the fried chicken more.

Desserts were in the form of packed ice cream and, not the plain scoop type which I don't quite enjoy as they are normally restricted to vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. So boring! 

Vanilla flavour ice cream coated with chocolate and peanut bits! So shiok! Although my tummy was already bursting, there would always be space for desserts. 

Having another one which was similar to Wall's Solero Split Lime. I would have loved to try the rest but even I had to raise the white flag. Sigh, I miss the good, old days when my stomach was a bottomless pit. 

Burp! 

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Address 
431 Sembawang Rd, 
Singapore 758396

Map
As above.

Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/Friendstastykorea/

Buffet Menu
As above.  

Pricing
BBQ Buffet Lunch - S$17.90
Drink - S$5.00 per jug (refillable)
(Subject to Service Charge, No GST)    

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