Since travelling to Korea is not possible now, we’ve been trying to find places in Singapore that remind us of Korea. One memory that comes to mind is having Korean-styled sashimi in Busan while looking at the Gwangalli Bridge. While the latter might not be possible, the former is! A stone’s throw away from Koryo Mart in Tanjong Pagar is Badam 바담, a restaurant serving Korean-styled sashimi and seafood in Singapore.
BADAM: Korean Sashimi in Singapore
When it comes to sashimi, Singaporeans usually turn to Japanese cuisines, salmon, and tuna slices. Well, unknown to many, Korea also has its fair share of sashimi (or 회hwe in Korean) places especially in cities near the ocean, such as Busan, Pohang and Yeosu.
Badam makes it easier for anyone who wants to experience Korean sashimi in Singapore by directly importing them from Korea weekly.
You can expect fresh dishes such as Sannakji (Live Octopus), Sea Squirts, Abalones and even Gaebul!
To enjoy a bit of everything, we opted for the Modeum Set (2 pax: $130, 3 pax: $180, 4 pax: $240) which comes with side dishes, Korean sashimi and fresh seafood.
Korean Sashimi Set at BADAM
The meal started off with various side dishes before the actual main arrived. There were so many dishes, the table was packed with food.
Every week, up to 2 side dishes may change. Here were some of the dishes that came with our set.
- Sweet Potato Chips
- Seaweed Soup with Beef
- Spicy Braised Radish
- Soy Braised Potatoes
- Steamed Egg
- Scallion Pancakes (Pajeon)
- Grilled Mackerel Pike
- Grilled Chicken Skewers
Not long after, the beautifully plated slices of fish arrived. It contained 3 different cuts of fish – 도다리 (Flounder), 광어 (Flatfish) and 참돔 (Red Snapper).
You can eat them directly, dip them in various sauces or make a ssam (wrap). Sauces include soy sauce with wasabi, chojang (gochujang with vinegar) and ssamjang.
광어 Flatfish Sashimi
One of the most common hwe in Korea is 광어 (pronounced gwang-eo). The best season for flatfish is typically in autumn.
Unlike salmon or tuna, flatfish sashimi does not really stand out in taste, because it doesn’t really taste like anything. What’s unique about the fish is its texture, extremely taut and chewy.
It goes really well with chojang, wrapped in perilla leaves and a few pieces of white kimchi.
참돔 Red Snapper Sashimi
In Korea, 참돔 (pronounced cham-dom) is especially in season from Apr to Jun. The texture of red snapper isn’t as chewy as flatfish, but it does have some bite to it.
Taste-wise, it’s sort of mild and non-greasy. As you continue to chew, you’ll be able to experience a delicate sweetness.
도다리 Flounder Sashimi
Out of the three kinds of fish on the plate, the texture of 도다리 (pronounced do-da-ri) might throw people off the most.
When you bite into the fish, it feels as though you’re eating it with a mix of cartilage and bones. There’s a nice crunch which is something you probably won’t expect from sliced fish.
The set also came with fresh seafood such as Abalone, Sea Cucumber, Octopus and Sea Squirts.
Our favourite was the abalone, which had a nice crisp texture when we first bite into it. For seafood beginners, the bright orange sea squirt might be a bit challenging because of its slimy texture and slightly marine taste. You literally taste the ocean.
Near the end of our meal, they served 3 more dishes (yes, more!) along with the 매운탕 (pronounced Mae-un-tang).
The 3 dishes were:
- Corn Cheese
- Grilled Prawns
All 3 dishes had a certain sweetness to them, as they had condensed milk and cheese incorporated into them. The grilled prawn was one of our favourite dishes for the night!
Like most sashimi and seafood places in Korea, 매운탕 Maeuntang is served to signal the end of the meal, by washing down everything with a clean and spicy broth.
Authentic Korean Sashimi Restaurant in Singapore
While you might not be able to visit Noryangjin Market or Jagalchi Market for the time being, BADAM offers a quick look into the seafood offerings available in Korea.
If you want to experience authentic Korean sashimi in Singapore, BADAM is one of the places to check out and perhaps challenge your friends to a plate of live octopus. The restaurant also has happy hour from 3pm to 5pm where you can get 10% off your bill.
Badam: Korean Sashimi & Seafood Restaurant
22 Tanjong Pagar Rd, Singapore 088445
Mon-Sat, 3pm-11pm, Last Order at 9.30pm
*This is an independent review by MiddleClass.sg