Joo Bar @ Tan Quee Lan Street (Media Tasting)

After seeing yummy photos of Joo Bar on Instagram, I was pretty excited to try the food out for myself and see if they were truly as Instagram-worthy and as delicious as what the other foodies had said

The restaurant is just a stone’s throw away from Bugis MRT Station Exit D. Having the Downtown Line extension has made finding this street so much easier. In fact, you can spot their classy and mysterious black glass facade as you step out of the exit.

The restaurant is located within a three-storey shophouse and each floor is as sleek and inviting as the next! ‘Joo’ means alcohol in Korean. Other than their creative drink menu, they also serve modern Korean bites.

We were served complimentary House-Made Potato Chips and banchan (small side dishes), while waiting for the rest to arrive. The chips are highly addictive, which is really fortunate because there is free refill.

The banchan of the day, from left: Radish in Vinegar, Mac & Cheese and Anchovies & Almonds. According to the staff, banchan will change according to the ingredients they have and other than the complimentary first serving, each refill per dish costs $2.

Next up is the Makgeolli Sampler ($35 for five), from front: Original, Yucha, Peach, Strawberry and Lychee. Joo is the first in Singapore to brew their own makgeolli. This house-brewed roughly filtered rice wine is made every two days, using purified water and organic rice, with no preservatives (which stops the fermentation process).

Next up are the anju, which means food that goes well with drinks.

Tofu Chips with Guacamole & Kimchi Salsa ($14). House-made ‘hexagon’ tofu chips, avocado, kimchi and cucumber. The chef mushes tofu with flour which used as a binding agent.

Baby Eel Paper ($14). Deep fried baby eel, chilli salt and lime zest. These are imported from Korea and remind me a lot of ikan billis.

After that, the day got darker and we had to bring the food out to shoot to make the most out of the natural lighting.

Front: Slow Roasted Mangalitsa Belly ($32). Thick cut Mangalitsa pork belly brined with salt, pepper, soju and makgeolli, then steam-roasted for 2 hours and 45 minutes. This dish is served with onion, garlic, Dijon mustard and spring onion salad.

Mangalitsa is a type of Hungarian pork and it is really something special! It is a hairy pig that looks like a sheep!

Taken from Neatorama.

Joo Bossam ($28). The Mangalitsa pork belly is boiled with doenjang (fermented bean paste), and served with spicy radish salad and white yucha kimchi.

Warm Kimchi with Tofu & Spam ($16). House-made kimchi, Mangalitsa pork belly, tofu, onion and scallion. This was overshadowed by the other two prime pork dishes.

The dish above got everyone’s approval! Hand-chopped Korean Minced Rib Steak ($20). US prime minced rib meat, garlic flakes, soy and chopped nuts. The beef is lightly marinated and then hand-shaped and flame-grilled, giving it a nice smokey taste.

Kimchi Chicken Potpie ($14). The moment you crack the pastry, you can savour the aroma of chicken tenderloin, vegetables and kimchi bechamel.

The last dish we had was the Seafood Gochujang Risotto ($24), which is prepared the traditional way, by gradually adding stock and finishing with cream and parmesan cheese.

To end the night, we had Sojurita ($24), which is good for two to four persons. It is a huge glass of frozen soju yucha Cointreau lemon juice mix, with an additional overturned 330ml bottle of Hite beer.

Not featured here, but was equally delightful was the Grape Soju Mojito ($14/ glass, $24/ small jug and $40/ large jug). The refreshing drink is made with fresh grape juice.

Joo Bar
5 Tan Quee Lan Street
Singapore 188094
Tel: 8138 1628
Opening Hours:
Opens daily from 1730-0000hrs.

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