After a hard day of work, sometimes what you really need is not a round of drinks at a noisy pub. Instead, you would be craving for a home-style dinner with your favourite comfort food. For those of you living in the Bukit Timah area, it is time to check out Ga Ya Geum, a Korean family restaurant tucked away in the basement of Bukit Timah Shopping Centre.
Ga Ya Geum’s specialty is the Korean fried chicken that comes in 4 flavours: Sweet Soy, Garlic Soy, Spicy Soy and Sweet & Spicy. Korean fried chicken is usually quite a pricey dish, not to mention, it is often very difficult getting the authentic flavours in Singapore. However, I do feel that the prices are reasonable for the substantial portions.
There are certainly other places that sell Korean fried chicken at higher rates, but half the yummy goodness! You might be tempted to go for the Spicy Soy flavour, just like I did during my first visit. But a word of advice: hold off the spice for your first time trying the fried chicken! Trust me, Korean chilli might seem less intimidating because it tends to have a sweeter edge, but the heat will build up and in no time your tongue would be burning. Those unaccustomed to it will probably be chugging too much cold water to have a full experience of savouring the juicy and crispy flavours of the Korean fried chicken.
For those that want a healthier option, the value-for-money Ginseng Chicken Soup will be a good choice. It doesn’t have a very strong ginseng/ herby taste which would be great for folks who might not like the slightly bitter aftertaste. The Seafood Pancake, with its crispy edges and unique peppery flavour is also worth ordering. Another perennial favourite is the Kim Chi Soup, which is slightly spicier and less sour than other versions.
Fans of Korean TV shows will spot Eomukguk on the menu too – or better known as the Korean fish cake soup, a popular Korean street food. Instead of ordering it skewer by skewer like you would in a Korean street food stall, you get served a big pot of assorted Korean fish cakes on satay sticks, in a delicious anchovy broth.
Ga Ya Geum has a surprisingly wide-range and versatile menu for a cosy family-run restaurant. For adventurous eaters, try the Blood Sausage spotted on the menu. They also have Rice topped with Raw Fish and Vegetables which looks really interesting. It might not seem like a big restaurant, but larger dishes – like the Budae Chigae (also known as the ‘Army Stew’), thinly-sliced Pig Feet, Smoked Duck and even a small BBQ menu with all the essentials – make it a great place for a family meal or a dinner place with friends. There is also a lunch set menu for those who work around the area.
Be it the most familiar of Korean comfort foods, or the more uncommon Korean dishes, you will not be disappointed!
Ga Ya Geum Korean Family Restaurant
170 Upper Bukit Timah Road
#B2-14 Bukit Timah Shopping Centre
Tel: +65 6463 8011
Mon to Sat: 11.30am – 3pm, 5.30pm – 10pm
Sun: 5pm – 10pm
Nearest Station: Clementi
About the writer:
Ng Jie Yu is a final-year undergraduate student at McGill University in Montréal, Québec, Canada. She is currently studying English Lit, with a minor in History (European region). Jie Yu loves writing, fashion, food and travel; she hopes to be an author someday.