Chingu @ The Opal Review : Korea BBQ Fine Dining?


Korea BBQ Fine Dining, anyone?

Chingu @ The Opal is a new contemporary Korean cuisine restaurant offering tabletop Korean BBQ.

Located at the trendy Seletar Aerospace Park, a hidden dining oasis offering decadent eats amidst lush greenery, Chingu offers Korea BBQ with a twist. Combining premium dry-aged and wet-aged meat selection with a personal 'chef' makes it almost like Korean BBQ with a Fine Dining vibe.

Chingu

Housed in a single-storey colonial bungalow. The interior is minimalist, with concrete and wooden hues. 

Chingu interior

Clues to Korean links are a wall with a Korean Hanok rooftop, and door knobs hung as paintings. The light and airy atmosphere are great for a first date.

Korean Vibes

Unlike typical Korean BBQ restaurants, you do not see or smell smoke from the tabletop BBQ. This is because each tabletop uses a suction at the side of the BBQ area to suck out the smoke efficiently. This makes it a lot more pleasant when dining at Chingu.

Almost smokeless BBQ

Another difference is that the staff will prepare the food, including grilling the meat for you. As the meat is premium graded, this will ensure that the meat is cooked to perfection. This experience is akin to fine dining with personalised service and good food.

Starters

Banchan

Our meals started with the Banchan. These are small side dishes that are usually served in Korean restaurants. The portions are decent, and the dishes open the palate for the main course.

Pajeon

We also tried the Korea Seafood Pancake (Pajeon). The pancake was crisp, light and tasty. It will make a good start to complement the main courses.

Korean Seafood Pancake

The BBQ

Fine Meat

We had the opportunity to try a few of their best selections. The meat selection is imported from well-known regions such as Hokkaido and Australia. They are usually wet-aged or dry-aged to add a more intense flavour to the meat.

USDA-Prime Rib Eye Steak 150g  ($52++)

USDA Prime Rib Eye

We started with the USDA Prime Rib Eye cooked to medium by the chef. Soft and tender, and with each bite, we could feel the rich and flavourful taste of the beef. This should be one of the main samplers for BBQ if you are there.

USDA Prime Rib Eye

Boneless Beef Short Rib 150g ($36++)

Boneless Beef Short Rib 

The aged boneless beef short rib drew a mixed response. While the meat has a strong aftertaste, it may not cater to everyone's taste buds.

Boneless Beef Short Rib 

We do like the combination of the Beef short ribs with the minted leaves provided. It gives out a mixture of flavours that pops in your mouth.

Pork Jowl 150g ($32++)

Pork Jowl

The Spanish Iberico Pork Jowl is wet-aged.  Cooked to a chewy texture that melts in your mouth, it is tender, sweet and juicy with every bite. 

Pork Jowl

Marinated Chicken Thigh 180g ($20++)

Marinated Chicken Thigh

While chicken is not the usual staple for BBQ in Korea ( Most restaurants in Korea serve only Pork and Beef for BBQ), this marinated chicken thigh is a must-try. It is marinated to perfection, providing a robust taste at every bite. The texture and the rich marination are incomparable to the usual Korean BBQ fare.  

Marinated Chicken Thigh

Marinated Pork Ribs 150g ($36++)

Marinated Pork Ribs

Our last meat was the marinated Pork Ribs. This was by far the best one for the night. The meat was cooked crisp and offered a flavourful taste. In terms of taste and texture, it is meaty and fatty. The succulent taste mixed with the charred aftertaste was simple and heavenly.

Marinated Pork Ribs

Verdict

Chingu @ The Oval

This is by far the best Korean BBQ we had in terms of flavour and preparation. While it may be pricier compared to the standard Korean BBQ fare, the experience was worth every penny. If you want to taste the best of Korean BBQ, Chingu is the best to go. 

That said, having a meal could be a pricely affair. A decent spread for 4 could easily cost upwards of $200. It is not your everyday Korean BBQ treat, but one for special occasions!


You could also opt for the sets instead of the individual dishes. The restaurant is new and is still tinkering with the menu for the best mix. Check out the latest Chingu menu here.

Chingu means good friends in Korean, so bring your friend along!


Ranking Disclaimer
The views on this post are based on personal experiences and opinions. The ranking is based on 5 stars. Rankings are based on personal experience and may not reflect the same as what others may have experienced.TWD is not liable for any experiences by the reader at the establishment. 


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