Published on Monday, 27 February 2017 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
Soft and silky tofu freshly curdled everyday, submerged in a spicy broth that is served bubbling along with a host of delightful ingredients makes for the perfect meal to warm yourself on a rainy day that is both delicious and healthy.
SBCD Korean Tofu House, a new addition to the wide array of eateries in Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD), stands out as a establishment that prides itself on serving uplifting and nourishing meals to the dynamic office crowd that will satisfy their appetites and enrich their souls.
Conveniently located near the Tanjong Pagar MRT exit that leads into Tanjong Pagar Centre, the spacious air-conditioned Korean restaurant boasts over 25 dishes on the menu. Its specialty? Korean soontofu (soft tofu) soup.
Sine the 1970s, Korean soontofu soup has been regarded as a comforting daily staple that provide a rich source of protein and calcium to Korean households and other nationalities worldwide that have come to appreciate the simple yet delicious dish.
Each soontofu dish in SBCD Korean Tofu House is created with soft and silken tofu hand-made in-house fresh daily with mature white soybeans that are boiled, curdled and pressed. Be spoilt for choice with the wide variety of soontofu soups from the Original with a choice of beef or pork to Ham & Cheese, all of which are served with an egg poached in the soup.
The soontofu soup base is made with pork and vegetables except for the Sesame Soontofu. Choose from four different levels of spiciness for the broth – mild, medium, spicy and crazy hot. For those who can’t handle spice, the Sesame Soontofu soup will be an ideal option.
Besides soontofu, SBCD Korean Tofu House offers a kaleidoscope of delectable Korean dishes served in huge hearty portions such as the L.A. Galbi, Spicy Grilled Chicken and Spicy Baby Octopus.
Assorted Soontofu, $19.90
Beef, clam, shrimp and squid are featured in the Assorted Soontofu. I went for the Crazy Hot level of spiciness, and as soon as I sipped the soup, the delicious prickly burn started at the tip of the tongue, continued burning in the back of the throat and mellowed into a comforting warmth in the stomach. Cut chilli padi was scattered like confetti throughout the soup, which further set my mouth aflame when I bit into one. It was raining with an apocalyptic vengeance outside and the fiery broth brought much needed relief, warming me from inside out. The tofu was so incredibly soft it almost melted in my mouth like butter. Each spoonful of the tofu slightly muted the spiciness of the soup, so if you are a fellow chilihead, I suggest you go one level up from what you usually take. I was more than contented with the generous serving of beef, clams, shrimps and squid dredged up with every spoonful of soup but the broth was not as robust in flavor and richness as I expected it to be.
Individual mini rice cookers
The soontofu soup comes along with a big pile of fluffy rice served in a hot stone bowl that has been cooked in an individual mini rice cooker for precisely 15 minutes 20 seconds, not a second more or less.
We were taught to transfer the rice into a metal bowl, leaving ¼ in the hot stone bowl along with the thick crust of scorched rice, called nurungji, that has stuck fast to the bottom of the stone bowl. Sweet corn tea served in a flask and situated on every table for consumption is then poured into the stone bowl along with the remaining rice and the wooden lid is replaced over the stone bowl to retain the heat and to further cook the leftover rice. This is then saved to be eaten after the meal to cleanse the palette. Called nurungji bap, the rice porridge dish is not only nutritious, but also aids in with disgestion.
Each order of soontofu soup will also include a mini banchan feast consisting of pickled green chilies, a whole fried croaker fish, seaweed, spicy squid strips and kimchi. My favorites are the kimchi, spicy and tangy with a lovely crunch, and the sweet tender squid strips. The croaker fish was delicious too, it had an oily, fatty flesh with a delicious savory taste. However it was too much of a hassle to eat the entire fish as it was rife with tiny bones. If you are one of the rare old souls who knows how to appreciate the bony ikan kuning in nasi lemak, the croaker fish will make a big fan out of you.
SBCD Korean Tofu House’s sweet potato noodles is served in a portion that will definitely quench your appetite without overwhelming you due to the light texture of the noodles coated in a flavorful sesame oil that makes slurping it down a lot easier. The sliced beef, egg and mixed vegetables give more flavor and textural depth to the silky noodles.
L.A. Galbi, $35.90
Right off the bat, these BBQ short ribs were extremely delicious and fragrant thanks to the masterfully concocted marinate that it was inundated in prior to grilling. The BBQ beef had an umami flavor profile with a sweet smokiness from the slightly charred areas. It was tasty, sweet and beefy however it was really chewy and will give your jaw quite the work-out. I would feel really conflicted with ordering it again though, because while it is undeniably mouthwatering, I am not a fan of the jerky-like texture.
Spicy Grilled Chicken, $25.90
Tender chicken thighs were grilled to the ultimate perfection – it had hit that golden mark where it is wonderfully charred with a sweet smokiness and grilled just right to liquify its fats and cover the chicken in all its heavenly juices. The sauce that drenched the meat was the impeccable balance of sweet and spicy, beautifully complementing the naturally sweet chicken strips.
Spicy Baby Octopus, $29.90
Tangled up on a hot plate, the bite size baby octopuses is stir-fried in a harmonious spicy and sweet marinate. The tentacles of the baby octopus was crunchy and springy, while its head was tender and soft. Given its petite size, the octopus easily popped in my mouth, its crunchy and tender textures wonderfully juxtaposed with each bite.
Address: 7 Wallich Street, Tanjong Pagar Centre, #B1-01/02, Singapore 078884
Hours: Daily 11:30am – 10pm
Tel.: +65 6386 6441