Mon - Sat: 11:30 - 15:00
Mon - Sat: 17:30 - 22:00
Sun: 13:00 - 22:00
Closed on 1st and 3rd week of Tuesday
Open on all public holiday even it’s on 1st and 3rd week of Tuesday
it was a little out of pure coindence and luck I found this restaurant. I was looking for a change in the cuisines I eat with my friend and settled on Korean food. GaYaGeum offers traditional Korean food with a homely feel to it. According to my companion who eats more korean food than me, it's pretty good. I'm not a fan of Korean food but I felt that dining here made me willing to try more Korean food thereafter. Service is another point which I felt was good.
To get a more indepth description of the food experience and photos please visit http://bluntandfussyeater.blogspot.sg/2016/04/ga-ya-geum-korean-family-restaurant.html
To view the full post and pictures visit: http://www.outsideninetofive.com/2015/01/gayageum-korean-restaurant-bukit-timah-shopping-centre/
Gayageum is a hidden gem in the basement level 2 of Bukit Timah Shopping Centre. I don't think many will think of stepping into this shopping centre unless they were looking for maids - there were so many maid agencies here. I can't fathom anyone who would simply waltz in Bukit Timah Shopping Centre looking for food.Opened by Koreans, this restaurant exudes a cozy family restaurant feel.
Ginseng Chicken Soup (Large serving) - $28. This was a refreshing light chicken broth with a slight ginseng flavour to it. Very delicious, the chicken was soft and fall-off the bone. I could even chew the bones and eat them - it was that well boiled. As with all traditional Korean Ginseng Chicken soups, it came stuffed with glutinous chicken rice, adding a little starchiness to the soup.
Korean Fried Chicken - $18 for 6 to 7 chicken wings. We ordered 2 servings - one with Spicy Soy, and another with Sweet sauce. The sauce wonderfully flavoured the crispy chicken. The chicken was double fried, and well we couldn't finish this because there was so much food we ordered. The chicken maintained its crispy exterior even when we packed it home! I prefer the spicy soy flavour but warning - it is really very spicy. I kept sniffing while eating it.
The Pork Rib & Vegetable soup (Small Serving) - $30. Look at the steamy goodness. Once again the pork rib meat fell off the bone so easily. The soup had a punch of spiciness to it and the vegetables added that sweet flavour to the broth. ohh my gawdd, I thoroughly enjoyed the potatoes that were cooked in it absorbing the flavour.
Seafood Pancake - $15. Probably one of the best seafood pancakes I've eaten in Singapore. It has the right amount of flour to ingredient proportions. Tonnes of spring onions and seafood were thrown in and I could also still taste the flavour of the pancake mixture. I do appreciate good flour flavours hahah. The crispy golden pancake came with a special sweet soy sauce which went so well together.
Grilled Spicy Pork (with rice included) - oops forgot how much this was. This is pork belly grilled in a spicy korean sauce like those you'd find in dalgabi. If you thought the dish looked simple, it tasted 10 times better than that :).
Bibimbap in Hotstone - $14. A staple for anyone who loves carbo. You'd find a raw egg atop on rice with an assortment of vegetables like black fungus, carrot, spinach. I threw in the Kimchi from the banchan myself and mixed it with the Bibimbap sauce they provided us with.
Summary: overly salty, one-dimensional Korean food, side dishes were pathetic, stale and too oily; beef bulgogi soup with 3 tiny slices of putrid beef and bits of canned mushrooms; kimchi soup was a bland and weak watery mess.
Feeling adventurous, we decided to give Gayageum a try. Not crowded for dinner. Thought if the lady boss looks Korean, should not be a problem. Hell no! Our food, drinks and sides did not reach the table even after a long wait. Had to remind the staff of our orders even though we were the last customers of the day. We were served food without utensils and the waiter promptly disappeared.
Problems continued with the food. Beef bulgogi soup was underwhelming and fetid. For a dish whose protaganist is the beef, there were only 3 miserable slices of beef each the size of a 50 cent coin. Beef was not washed and treated well, retaining its strong unpleasant rotten odour. The cheapest grade of beef. Tough to chew. Mushrooms are the canned type and in tiny bits. There is a dearth of stuff in the soup apart from lots of onions. No wonder the soup was so sweet and tasted like onion soup. This Beef bulgogi soup should be called onion soup instead. $15 for Korean onion soup? We must be crazy.
Then came the Kimchi soup. It was so one-dimensional that it makes you realise what happens to the water used to wash kimchi. It becomes your kimchi soup. There is little body to the soup that kimchi soup from anywhere else, even food court, can easily trump this. We must be mad to drink this for $12.
Aside from that, the sides caused our appetite to further subside. The most disgusting was the radish slices with uneven red colouring. Kimchi was stale and unremarkable - I wonder how many months the kimchi sat there soaked. The saving grace was the oily potato chunks and seaweed - both could do with much less oil. Of all the Korean places we have tried for that price and setting, it has the most cheapskate, most uninspiring and most pathetic sides. Not even anchovies or bean sprouts or other Korean basics. Even cheaper outlets serve up better quality sides.
Thank goodness we held back on the drinks and more food first. How much worse can it not get in spite the rave reviews (but generic and hence suspicious) here?
Understaffed. Only 1 waiter. Be prepared to keep waving and have no one come to your aid. And it charges you 10% service charge without indicating this in the menu. Waiter was a nice guy though, but nonetheless constrained by how cheapskate, cost-cutting and terrible the Korean eatery is.
Seats are filthy with food bits, stains and smell. A projector plays reruns of Running Man on the wall, no sound. No Korean music.
Does it deserve to charge ~$15-18 prices per dish for dirt-cheap ingredients, cost-cutting practices, dreadful ambience and underwhelming food? Only a fool will return for its food. Proximity and seats, maybe.
1. Free flow side dishes
2. Free water (there is an undisclosed service charge)
3. Seaweed side dish is nice.