Unlike one of our colleagues who has a most unhealthy obsession with everything Korean, we’re of the more neutral camp when it comes to Korea, although we wouldn’t say no to food (when do we ever?). So when Sarang relocated from the Singapore Science Park to Orchard Central, we decided it warranted a visit.
Set on the seventh floor, their new digs include an alfresco bar area (which we imagine could be quite nice on a cool, breezy evening as it affords a decent view of town), as well as an indoor restaurant. On our visit, a boisterous party was in full swing, so we opted for a more tame environment indoors.
The combined effect of grey tables, Granny Smith green chairs, exposed piping, a very red wall studded with photos of their chefs and a giant heart-shaped photo collage homage to Korea and pumping K-pop proved to be a little disconcerting for us non-fanatics.
We officially opened our meal with the Sarang Japchae, a colorful and delicious medley of julienned carrots, red and green peppers, sliced mushrooms and springy glass noodles. The Hottie, pan-fried kimchi pancakes, were good but did not quite live up to the name—they lacked the spicy and sour elements we were hoping for, and were on the greasy side of things. As if on cue, the Volcano—chicken chunks on a hot plate—arrived. The tender hunks of flesh sizzled with sweet leeks in a fiery sauce, topped with slivers of toasted almonds—certainly the night’s winner. To cool our tongues, we were tempted to shovel down a few scoops of Gusttimo gelato (the Korean owners also operate the Italian establishment and gelateria), but went instead with Cute Fingers. The “fingers” turned out to be deep fried rice cakes drizzled with a yuzu citron sauce (much like the jam used to make yuzu tea), an interesting twist on the popular savory option that we’re fans of.
We’d come back just for their hot sauce, just don’t come expecting home-style cooking.