I eaten at many Korean restaurants and cafes, and many use the sauces from a bottle or packet. You can taste that the sauces used in Goryeo are specially prepared and tasty. Try it. This new joint started about 2 months ago and invited us to give an opinion on their food.
Ambience: We expected to find a restaurant, but it is a cafe within a cafe concept at Food Republic. Tucked into the left corner, there are many tables and a bit of solitude from the masses that throng Food Republic. Cool and comfortable.
Food: We started with drinks, I wanted to try a Korean beer, but they haven't got their licence yet. I settled for a sweet rice based drink, a little like sweet rice wine but without the alcohol. I also tasted the pomegranate drink made by Lotte, prefer the sweet rice drink.
We had their signature chicken stew, spicey and non-spicey. Before you read my comments, you must know that I don't really like chicken because of my tryst with stale chicken when I served my NS. The soup stock for the non-spicey chicken was ordinary, tasting a little like chicken stew but thankfully the spicey version was uniquely Korean, a bit of ginseng taste and lots of spice. Chicken pieces however were a bit overdone.
I mentioned that their sauces were unique - the salad dressing came with a apple vinegar sauce which was tasty and freshly prepared, the kimchi soup was prepared with tasty soup stock, probably chicken, and their special kimchi spice, and the bibimba had their unique soypaste-chili taste, fresh and unique. Last time I ate good bibimba was in Seoul, not in Singapore.
We had the bulgogi but it was a little too sweet for my liking, and it was served on a base of shreded cabbage not lettuce.
\We ended with a citron drink probably made from the Uzu orange/pomelo.
Value: Chicken stew was $20 for a large bowl, individual servings are $8 per small bowl. Prices were reasonable and portions large.
Service: They serve at your table, that is already an improvement over Food republic where you have to queue for your food.
For the price, this is very good Korean food. Tucked at a corner of Food Republic at Causeway Point (Woodlands), it's not difficult to miss as you can always see a crowd during lunch and dinner times. So far having tried most dishes on the menu, I would say that their food can be on par with many other more expensive Korean restaurants elsewhere. So... why pay more to get similar quality?
We headed North for a food tasting yesterday at the Goryeo restaurant, which is a restaurant set in the Food Republic food court. It has a separate seating area set aside for their customers.
We were warmly welcomed by the owner who is in a Korean fan and also the Korean lady chef. If you think you're looking at Korean actress, you're right, she looks familar.
7 of us shared some pretty large servings of food. We were served the signature chicken soup dishes, Andong chicken in two preparations, one with a soy sauce base, and the other in a spicey soup. My favourite is the spicey soup version as it is gives it the unique Korean flavour. The soy sauce soup base is a bit ordinary. I could not taste any ginseng at all, and perhaps that is the unique part of this dish, without the overwhelming ginseng flavour ruining the delicate taste of the chicken.
We had interesting Korean drinks to accompany our meals: a canned pomegrenate drink from Lotte, and a sweet rice based drink. Refreshing after a long drive up North.
We then had a salad with their in house apple vinegar dressing followed by spicey kimchi soup that was really tasty and not overly killed by the chilli.
The bibimba with a raw egg on the top, served in a stone bowl was delicious, better than most I've eaten, with fresh vegetables but could have been better with more meat. We had beef and pork bulgogi, a tad sweet, followed by Korean rice cakes in a kimchi sauce. We finished it with a citron drink, usually served hot, but our host added ice. It tasted like the Japanese "uzu" drink.
It was a interesting meal with good Kimchi soup, Bibimba and drinks, good service, and comfortable surroundings.