The little street along Tanjong Pagar can be considered our Namdaemun Market 남대문시장, with Korean eateries and supermarkets lining both side of the streets. Among the Korean BBQ and Ginseng chicken shops is this Korean fried chicken called Kko Kko Na Ra, a very popular shop among the younger set.
Kko Kko Na Ra is one of the first Korean fried chicken restaurant in Singapore to introduce first Chi-Mek (Korean Fried Chicken & Beer) supper culture to food-crazy, well-travelled Singaporeans in 2008.
Kko Kko Na Ra serves Korean fried chicken with a twist of its own (Mala flavour anyone?), along with many other Korean favourites. Most of the restaurant’s recipes are from the owner, Ms Eon Lee’s mother who lived in Jeollanam-do. Just as Italians say that you haven’t eaten real Italian food until you’ve gone to Sicily, Koreans will tell you that for the best Korean food, you must visit South Jeolla Province, or Jeollanam-do
What I love about Korean meals are the banchan (side dishes) that came before the main courses. They are excellent to snack on, and to eat with steamed rice. Before you know it, you are already filled with banchan that you have little room for the main course.
Ganjang Gejang or Soy Marinated Raw Crab is the rice killer dish. Deliciously tender, raw crab flesh that oozes out with ease, accompanied by a beautiful balance of spicy, sweet and salty character. A fair warning though, the aromatic and flavoursome Ganjang Gejang meat can get a little too overpowering when had on its own, so a bowl of fluffy white rice (or three) is its best companion.
When this small hot stone bowl of Soondubu Jjigae or Spicy Tofu Stew came out, we were shocked by the “sharing” size. So when we asked for additional bowls for the soup, the waitress was also perplexed.
Then the actual one came, hot pot, gas stove and all, she realised the mixed up. It was a real generous stew at $35, enough for sharing among 8 of us.
Dolsot Bibimbap or Hot Stone Mixed Rice (Beef) was alright, and being a lunch special came with the refillable banchan and a small seaweed soup.
My colleague ordered the Galbi Tang or Beef Rib Soup. I was surprised by the amount of scum on the beef broth.
This was what the younger ones in the office came for – Korean fried chicken. 16 pieces in two flavours – Original and Yangyum (sweet and spicy). Korean fried chicken is different from the American version. The batter used for the American bird is thicker and resulting in a thicker crust and an oilier mouth-feel. Korean version has a light batter and is juicier.
And before you leave, you can pick up a bar of ice cream from the freezer at the door.
Good, wholesome Korean food with reasonable set lunches for the office set in the area. Will come back for other dishes, and definitely for the Ganjang Gejang.
Kko Kko Na Ra
68 Tanjong Pagar Road Singapore 088489
Tel : +65 6224 8186
Visited on May 2022