Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Corner Place Korean BBQ: Seoooul Good!

By Arthur

It has been a while since our last post but I finally got the time to make a new entry.  This time, I visited Corner Place Korean BBQ and as the name states, its a Korean barbecue restaurant.  The place serves ala carte orders of meat on weekday lunch hours and all you can eat buffet on weekends and weekday nights.  The Buffet also includes soft drinks and hot drinks. I went for the buffet lunch on a Saturday and I can say at this point of writing that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. 

The Restaurant is situated quite prominently in Marina Square's food court and can be seen to the right of the escalator on that floor. 

Quite a striking entrance that should be hard to miss.

Overall, the Restaurant has decent lighting with a few Korean decors here and there to make it feel more like an authentic dining experience.  The music playing was at a decent volume and they mostly played Korean songs so it kind of helps with the authenticity, not to mention a flat screen television mounted on the wall which plays only a Korean variety channel. 

A few Korean themed decors here and there.

The Restaurant is designed with a lot of room for movement which is definitely a bonus considering that you'll moving between your seat and the buffet counter area quite often.  Similarly, their seats and tables are also comfortably sized.  

Well sized tables make for comfortable dining experiences.
Food and Value:
When it comes to something like Korean Barbecue, the quality and taste of the restaurant boils down to the freshness of the ingredients they use and the quality of their marinates since the actual cooking is done by customers themselves.  In both these aspects, The Corner Place does fairly well. 

The place offers a decent spread of raw meats and Vegetables coupled with a few cooked selections like Korean glass noodles, seaweed soup and fried wings. I won't be covering the cooked stuff too much since they are not the focus here, but they were generally of decent quality. 

Korean Glass noodles, very nice

In the department of vegetables, there's not much to say.  The Restaurant offers the usual fare of lettuce, beansprouts, enoki mushrooms and so on; most were crunchy fresh, and juicy.  

Don't Judge...Onion addiction is a serious problem
In terms of the meat however, the Restaurant offers a more than decent selection of very fresh cuts.  All the non-marinated meats were sliced finely but not too thin, making it both easy to control when cooking and easy to bite into for a flavorful burst when eating them.  

Blood and Fats cooked out of the Pork. If this doesn't prove how fresh it is, I don't know what does.

Tilted design helps much of the unhealthy oils to flow down to the left during cooking making for a healthier meal.
Although slightly tough to bite through, the Pork Collar had a good balance of sweet and salty, which were brought out well by its chewy texture.  The result is a succulent and inviting taste which seems to get more and more aromatic with each bite in your mouth; the small amount of natural juices that seeps through ones taste-buds and then down one's throat is really quite delightful.  This experience cannot be had if not for the freshness and decent quality of the Pork Collar used. Also, the tilted design of the restaurants barbecue pans meant that almost of the fats would glide off to a grease collector at the side during cooking, resulting in a leaner taste and less guilt when eating pork cuts.

Under the selection of pork, there were also Bacon and Pork Belly provided.  Again both were very fresh and the bacon...well its bacon, you really cant go wrong with good bacon :)

It took some time to roll these, but it was well worth it.

Keep them away from the hottest part of the pan so that they can cook slowly for maximum flavor.
I tried wrapping the bacon strips around some enoki mushrooms and they turned out great.  As expected, the simpler and more delicate flavor of the mushrooms really complimented the smokier and heavier flavor of the bacon.  Do try this. 

A little messy.
One of the two chicken choices served came with a marinate that had a strong hint of garlic.  It had a sweetness that is similar to terriyaki. The meat was mostly tender and fatty.  It was tasty but also a little greasy.

Greens make everything better

Wrapping the Chicken in Lettuce helped to balance out the grease with a watery and crunchy taste that pairs off well.  It also rejuvenates one's appetite after so many mouthfuls of smoky, heavily flavored meats.  Each bite offers an ever so faint resistance from the lettuce followed by a crunchy texture that leads into a release of refreshing, dew like water that pairs off with a slightly greasy, sweet and fragrant bite of the garlic marinated chicken.

The only area which I felt the store did not do so well in was their beef.  It was marinated in the standard bulgoggi style expected of Korean Barbecues, but the meat was too tough and of lower quality.  Basically, you should not be expecting the natural, juicy sweetness from each bite that one would get from choice cuts.  This is expected though since it is a buffet after all and beef is not exactly the cheapest meat.

Overall, the meat that this Restaurant offers is generally fresh and well flavored, be it through the use of marinates or appropriate cut sizes, making for delicious rounds of barbecued meat with a lasting aftertaste.

In terms of Value, the Restaurant scores slightly above average.  The quality of the food used is quite good for its price range but there are some similarly priced Restaurants that provide a greater variety, which seems to be this one's only shortcoming. One thing I want to mention though is the excellent service I experienced. The staff were friendly and especially attentive.  At no point did I have to request a change in foil.  The staff would automatically change them once they noticed some char on them.  They were also very polite, responding calmly and patiently when a friend i went with had spilled over a drink by accident.

Charred foils beware, none shall escape the watchful eye of great Restaurant Staff.

Overall, The Corner Place Korean BBQ gets it right in many areas and it would be a shame for any Korean BBQ or buffet lovers in general to pass off a visit to this place.  It may not be the best one around but it certainly is great.  Amongst the better few Korean barbecues in Singapore, it can at least boast to be in a more accessible area than many others since it is situated in Marina Square Mall instead of more isolated shop houses and the like. 

Quality & Taste(75%)
Their beef pulls down the score ever so slightly but everything else is just great. Amongst the most quality meat between Korean Barbecues I've tried.
Value (15%)
Variety could have been better but still great value for money overall
Ambience & others (10%)
Decent atmosphere with some authentic decors.
Great Restaurant that is well worth a try

6 Raffles Boulevard
Marina Square #04-102
(Within Food Court)

Opening Hours: 1130-2200, Mon to Sun


1 comment :

  1. Its good to finally post again. I'm not sure how many people are actually following our blog or interested in it but just to update anyone who actually reads our site regularly, we were on hiatus as we had been busy recently and lost a bit of our drive to make posts. However, we don't intend to stop reviewing eateries so expect more regular posts soon. Anyways, we hope that our reviews are helpful to you or at least interesting to read. Thanks guys.