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Sunday, 7 December 2014

SYNC Korean Tapas Bar @ Serangoon Gardens

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Chomp Chomp move out of the way, there's a new kid on the block.

12 Maju Avenue recently unveiled its latest offering to the Serangoon Gardens Estate residents, with the launch of a new cosy Korean Tapas Bar under SYNC. 

You can read about their other arm, the Korean Fusion Bistro located at Westgate here.

This Tapas Bar features Korean-inspired tapas by Chefs Edwin Lau and Calista Ong, who are both renowned chefs worldwide. So you can expect mouthwatering Korean-themed seafood, meat and even beef tapas from just $9.90.

An everything-Korean fan like me just can't miss this.

At the closed media event, there were a variety of dishes that were served. I particularly liked how traditional Korean food were fused together with Singaporean preferences to produce dishes that are suitable for anyone who wants Korean food with a dash of Singaporean flavour. 

Also, the place was warm and private, perfect for hanging out with friends till late, chatting over soju and snacks. Typical Korean style.

First up, let's take a look at their $9.90 tapas menu:

Kimchi 김치 ($9.90)

In Korea, there are hardly any meals that come served without kimchi, so this is a MUST-HAVE. However, I thought it was too tangy for my liking, and the ginger taste was too strong. Oppa loved it though, you can read his review here. I think I'm too used to the "perfect kimchi" I had in Korea. Or I'm just biased, because how can Singapore match up to Korea right??

Just kidding, I love Singapore and the PAP.

Crackling of Umami Cod Chips 해물과자 ($9.90)

Okay, this is super addictive. I ordered seconds, thirds, fourths.... the taste was savoury and the chips melted in my mouth. Though $9.90 is a little expensive for crackers, I'd say give this a go because I haven't tried anything like this before and I'm not lying when I say I couldn't stop eating this.

Mandu 교자만두 ($9.90)

Crispy minced pork & mushroom dumpling. A little oily for my liking, but then again what's fried and not oily? Mushroom was cooked well and it was moist and warm inside the fried jacket.

Dak-Kangjung 닭강정 ($9.90)

Deep-fried sweet and spicy chicken bites, ricotta and chilli tempura. So-so, it wasn't bad but there wasn't anything that was unique in flavouring to make it stand out.

Next up, the $10.90 dishes:

Sogogi Jowl 소고기 깻잎쌈 ($10.90)

Char-grilled beef jowl in hoba and garlic confit. This was the winner of the night. Beef cheeks were tender and grilled to perfection. The only thing that I didn't like was the mint (?) leaves, which I carefully removed from the tiny toothpicks with little trouble. Ten plates of this over here, please!

Samgyupsal 삼겹살 ($10.90)

Char-grilled pork belly with scallion salad & chilli yuzu dressing. I felt the samgyupsal could be more grilled so that the charred taste would be more obvious. The salad and dressing was a refreshing addition to the dish - sweet yet tangy.

With my +1 Pree for the night!

Our take on the Halloween props we were supposed to play and take photos with.

Other main Korean dishes:

Chicken Paella 닭갈비 빠에야 ($38.90)

Spicy chicken paella with onions, mushrooms, cabbage, sausages and kimchi. Thought this was quite weird... the combination didn't go very well with me. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Ssam 보쌈 ($40.90)

"Tender pork ribs lettuce wrap, bun cucumber and pickles with ssam sauce." That is what is stated on the menu. No real idea what is bun cucumber, but I suppose it just cucumber + bun. Though I don't remember tasting any cucumber. Pretty damn good dish. It's a bit like "kong ba pao" style.

And now... drinks!

Soju Mojito ($9.90)

A soju with mint leaves cocktail. If you like alcohol and soju, you'll love this (because Jem did). 

Soju Peach Shot ($7.90)

I must confess I only ate the peach. Hahahaha. A great favourite with Koreans!

Misugaru 미 싲 가루 ($8.90)

Lava cake with vanilla ice-cream, strawberries and lime compote. I prefer the yam version that is served at their other branch at Westgate. But texture-wise, the inside is warm and flowy, while the outside is crispy. 

Hotteok 호떡($8.90)

Pan-fried chewy Korean pancake with banana! Super yummy, it tastes as good as it sounds. Do add $1.50 for vanilla ice-cream, to round off the dessert!

Overall, I think Sync Korean Tapas Bar is a good place to check out with friends and to chill. The dishes are unique and a refreshing change from our usual Korean fare. Slightly on the pricey side, but otherwise worth a shot. 8/10.

They're currently having promotions!

--- 3pm-6pm daily (from now till end December), you will get a FREE coffee/tea with any order of dessert. Beer goes for only $5.90 and a set of beer + tapas of the day goes for only $9.90. Did anyone say time for tea?

--- on weekends, from 3pm, get a Family Set Meal at only $63.90 with 4 tapas + 1 paella/budae jigae (army stew). U.P. $72.80, so you save close to ten bucks!

SYNC Korean Tapas Bar
12 Maju Avenue, Serangoon Gardens Estate (just opposite myVillage mall)

*opens 3pm to 11pm (Sun-Thurs), 3pm-12am (Fri, Sat, PH and eve of PH)
*tel: 62820612

Like them on Facebook and hashtag #synctapas when you dine there!


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