March 20, 2017

HO RANG I Korean Restaurant @ Goldhill Centre ~ Comforting Korean Food With A Homey Touch

"Horangi" means "tiger" in Korean so, is Ho Rang I Korean Restaurant the tiger's den? Hahahahaha!

Whatever it is - nothing ventured, nothing gained. We heard good things about this eatery at Goldhill Centre (1 minute walk from Novena MRT Station exit B1), so the group of us marched in for dinner with both curiosity and hunger waiting to be satiated.

But patrons of Your Woul over the last 10 years would not be unfamiliar at all as Ho Rang I is actually a recent rebrand of the establishment. While brothers Edward and Eugene Chia (who also own Dosirak at China Square Central) take care of the operations now, their Korean mum still helms the kitchen.

The restaurant is also refreshed with an updated look.

Though the dimly-lit space is rather small, it is still able to accommodate two private dining rooms. Just perfect for us who can get a little too boisterous when the company is great. Lol!

We were served by an affable ajumma who provided a homey touch to our Korean dining experience.

I must say she's quite media-savvy too. "Oh you taking pictures? Wait I arrange it more nicely first". That's what she said before quickly disappearing with our plate of Japchae ($18)! Lol!

Regretfully, when the japchae returned to the table and after we're done with the phototaking, the sweet potato glass noodles had became too clumpy and difficult to mix well with the julienned vegetables and omelette. It was very flavorsome though. I imagined how delicious it must be if we hadn't left it around for too long.

We all loved the signature Haemul Pajeon ($22) or seafood pancake. Its texture was done to exactly how a well-made traditional Korean pancake should be: Thick, soft and starchy at the center surrounded by thinner crisp at the edges.

The tasty pancake was generously filled with squids and scallions, and went very well with the chili dip. Yummy!

Other highlights includes Fried Chicken ($29 to $52), Noodles ($13 to $18) like jjampong and jiajiangmyeon, Bibimbap ($15 to $22), Stews ($15 to $62) such as soondubu jjigae and samgye tang, as well as both Grill ($25 to $38) and Non-Grill ($28 to $40) meat and seafood items.

We do see some comforting, homestyle dishes on the menu such as Gyeran Jjim - steamed egg ($9), and Odeng Guk - Korean fish cake stew ($20) too.

Their homemade Kimchi, served as part of banchan (side dishes) is worth a mention. It was lightly crunchy with a mild spiciness, fermented just right without any overwhelming sourness.

The Fried Chicken (half $29, whole, $50) uses locally-farmed chicken and comes in 3 flavors namely, original, spicy, and soy sauce.

Fortunately we all have our different preferred chicken parts so the portion of half chicken worked out just nicely for us. I went for the wing of course. Nobody objected. Lol!

Our chosen flavor was original which was okay. The meat was sufficiently tender and juicy, and the skin was the best! I can hear my friend biting into a piece as the melodious crunch of the deep-fried skin traveled across the table!

Enjoyable would be the word to describe this plate of deep-fried indulgence.

Korean army stew! The sumptuous pot of Budae Jjigae ($42) was simmering with so much goodness!

Alas we should have taken out the beef slices earlier before it turned tough, but other ingredients including the spam and ramyeon in that spicy, appetite-whetting broth was so delightful.

So delightful that we ordered another portion of ramyeon and only realized it cost $5+ when the bill came. "Huh? $5 for instant noodles?" "Haiz, overpriced but it's nice lah."

We were also keen to try Ho Rang I's Signature Gamja Tang - Pork Rib Stew ($46) but were concerned that two stews would be too much for us to handle.

In the end, we ordered the Gamja Ramyeon ($16) which features the same pork rib stew but in smaller portion and paired with instant noodles.

While the pork rib is tender, the sweetness and thick viscosity of the stew wasn't very agreeable with some of us. But another friend liked it precisely for that. Ahh... a classic example of taste is subjective.

We agree to disagree, and left with our tummies highly satisfied.

During lunch, Ho Rang I offers a special menu at wallet-friendly nett prices. Choices are limited but expect popular dishes such as Kimchi Fried Rice ($12), Stir-fried Spicy Pork ($13) and Chicken Ramyeon ($13).

Ho Rang I
Address: 165 Thomson Road, Goldhill Centre, Singapore 307618
Contact: +65 6251 0213
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11.30am-2.30pm & 5.30pm-10.30pm

Prices are stated in Singapore dollars and subject to 10% service charge (no GST) unless otherwise stated. Information is correct at point of published date.

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