We love tofu. All the more reason to love it when it's soontofu!
Essentially a soft beancurd stew in Korean cuisine, "soon" in "soontofu" means soft. It is also known as "sundubu" or "soondubu".
SBCD Korean Tofu House which opened earlier this year offers diners a chance to savor hand-made, soft and silken tofu that is freshly-prepared every morning using soybeans specially imported from Korea. It forms the basis of dishes offered at this casual dining joint, ranging from a variety of stews to even pancake.
SBCD is actually an abbreviation for Singapore's Buk Chang Dong. It is said that the neighborhood in Seoul is where soontofu first became popular.
We find SBCD's location at the new Tanjong Pagar Centre easily accessible as it is directly connected to Tanjong Pagar mrt station (EW15). Its minimalist décor with high ceiling and spacious layout ensures a comfortable dining experience even during meal time peak hours.
Dining at SBCD typically centers around set meals which consist of piping hot tofu stew served with rice and banchan (side dishes) including kimchi, seaweed, pickled green chilies, spicy squid strips and a whole fried croaker fish.
A noteworthy mention goes to the rice which is individually cooked and served in hot stone bowls. The way to enjoy it is to scoop out most of the rice into a metal bowl, while keeping the crust of scorched rice, called nurungji, remaining in the stone bowl.
Corn tea is to be added, then covered to retain heat and further cook the rice. Towards the end of the meal, the bowl of nurungji bap will be ready and we can enjoy the rice porridge to conclude .
We counted no less than 11 varieties of soontufu at SBCD!
The soup base for most of the tofu stew is prepared with pork and vegetables, no msg is added. There are 4 levels of spiciness - Mild, Medium (standard), Spicy and Crazy Hot - to choose from. Each bowl is served with an egg too.
Flavor choices include the crowd-pleasing Original Beef or Pork ($18.90), Seafood ($19.90), and Oyster ($26.90), to the unusual Intestines ($19.90), Flower Crab ($23.90) and Dumpling ($19.90), as well as the more
I suspect the Ham & Cheese ($19.90) will appeal greatly to the younger diners. The saltiness of the ham and creamy cheese paired yummiliciously with the mild-spicy broth. Kind of reminds us of Korean army stew.
PinkyPiggu and I liked it. We are young!
As both of us can take spicy food very well, the spicy-level Assorted Soontofu ($19.90) with beef, clam, shrimp and squid suited our palate ideally. While slices of chili padi made a strange appearance as Korean gochu chili peppers is not used due to supply availability, it really imparted a fieriness which further oomphed up the already intense broth.
One word to describe it in local context: Shiok!
We can feel the smooth texture of the beancurd in the spicy soontofu, but for a true appreciation of the beancurd's flavor, go for the Sesame Soontofu ($17.90)
As the soup is non-spicy, it highlights the lovely, delicate flavors and freshness of ooh-so-silky "tau-huay-like" tofu. The fragrance of soybean was unmistakable. We were told that the Paju soybeans used for the tofu are specially imported from Korea, and highly regarded for their premium taste. Ahh... no wonder so nice...
This no-meat option of sesame, broccoli, mushroom and zucchini would be most suitable for days when I want to eat lighter and feel healthier.
It helps that the soft tofu is low in cholesterol and carb content while being a good source of protein and calcium. Even OLs like PinkyPiggu who sit in the office whole day and have been gaining weight can eat more. Lol!
Besides soontofu, the other tofu dish to try would be the Prawn Tofu Pancake ($19.90) where prawn and tofu are mixed and shaped into patties before being pan-fried. Though the pancake's outer could do with a bit more crisp, it was nevertheless enjoyable as a whole.
SBCD's menu also offers mains such as Hot Stone Bibimbap ($19.90), Spicy Grilled Chicken ($25.90), Sliced Ribeye Bulgogi ($25.90), as well as the Spicy Raw Flower Crab ($29.90).
Yes, you read it right: Cold, raw whole flower crabs drenched in a spicy sauce. Once the thought of raw flower crabs is overcome, its sweet taste with that strangely-addictive hot and spicy sauce was really a wonderful treat.
For the brave, this dish is definitely worth trying.
Another dish which we enjoyed tremendously was the LA Galbi ($35.90) or Korean-style BBQ beef short ribs.
Short ribs are notoriously hard to prepare due to its large amount of tough chewy connective tissues. However, when prepared fittingly through marination and tenderization, the tough cut transforms into meat that is robusting with rich flavors.
The pieces of short ribs we had at SBCD scored well on all fronts, from the superbly tasty, deeply-marinated flavors to the satisfying bite which is neither too soft nor tough.
Service was fast and efficient even when we visited on a crowded Friday evening, but for you who have no time for a sit-down meal and need a quick grab-and-go, SBCD's Soontofu Dosirak ($14 to $16) or Korean lunchbox would be the perfect answer.
For instance, the conveniently-packed Spicy Pork Dosirak ($14) is already a sumptuous treat in itself with pan-fried spicy sliced pork, seafood soontofu, tofu pancake, kimchi and rice.
SBCD Korean Tofu House, being strategically located within the CBD area, offers busy working executives a fuss-free yet satisfying dining experience which indeed reflects its kitchen philosophy - To serve uplifting and complete meals.
SBCD Korean Tofu House
Address: 7 Wallich Street, Tanjong Pagar Centre #B1-01/02, Singapore 078884
Contact: +65 6386 6441 / Reservations can be made via Quandoo
Opening Hours: Daily 11.30am-10pm
Prices are stated in Singapore dollars and subject to 10% service charge & 7% GST. Information is correct at point of published date.
* Written by BFF, a guy who is desperately trying to find a balance while lost in the world of sights, sound and taste.
* Edited with additional inputs by PinkyPiggu
* Photos by PinkyPiggu
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