Monday, May 13, 2013

Pink Candy: Korean Snack Bar Café

  The end of a literature paper calls for a celebration...a feast, to be exact. Thus, with only one intention in mind: to eat and eat and eat, Sang Ah, Jamie and I set off happily from school, to the secluded Beauty World Plaza to dine at Pink Candy, a Korean restaurant that Sang Ah has been raving about since for ever. If a Korean highly recommends a certain Korean restaurant, you know that you have to visit it.

  Thankfully, I live very near Beauty World and am familiar with navigating around the area. If not, we would have been lost for hours and hours and our hungry tummies would never be sated. Beauty World is almost a ghost-town, with hardly any life in it. I expect that it will undergo a renovation soon, when the new Beauty World MRT Station is ready and draws crowds to this quiet area.

  Pink Candy is located on the top floor of Beauty World, alongside the hawker centre there, and beside Oishii Bakery. It does not look much, and would be easily overlooked by many, who will be instead drawn towards the heady smells of homely hawker fare wafting in the air. However, we were on a mission, and no delicious-smelling local food would deter us from our pursuit for what is dubbed (by the dear Sang Ah) the most authentic Korean food in Singapore.

  Stepping into the restaurant, there was only another couple who were finishing up with their meal. The kindly waitress led us to a table surrounded by (fake) wooden panels with our own privacy screen! Seeing a fellow Korean, she started chatting animatedly to Sang Ah in Korean, and as Sang Ah and the waitress conversed in fluent Korean, Jamie and I exchanged confused smiles and left the big boss to order the dishes that were on her Must-Try list.

  We did not have to wait long for our food to arrive, alongside a small serving dish of cabbage kimchi.

Looks unappetizing, tastes amazing. Also, kimchi is a great weight-loss food, though I can't envision myself eating this every day. The saltiness would be too painful to bear, as Koreans love their food salty.

Korean rice cake in spicy sauce ($8)
떡볶이: Ddeokbokki
I was quite apprehensive at first, as my first encounter with Korean rice cakes was at a stall selling Korean snacks in Bugis Junction. Saying that it was unsatisfying would be an understatement. However, Pink Candy's rice cakes blew me away. The thick strips of rice cakes swimming in the spicy sauce was amazing! The sauce was delicious, not your average chilli or tomato sauce. There were also slices of fishcakes swimming in the sauce. I thoroughly enjoyed this, but only ate about two or three fat sausages of rice cakes as they are incredibly starchy and will fill you up quickly. (They remind me so much of chicken sausages!)

Jajangmyeon ($10)
This was another wonderful dish. Although you probably can't see it, the noodles were thick and yet not too thick, and were very springy. It was even better than instant noodles (duh) or Japanese ramen! I loved the salty black soy-bean paste as well, though it tasted rather sweet to me. The cubes of potato and slices of onion only increased its appeal to me. I would gladly have a bowl of these lovely Korean noodles any day as a meal, but the sauce is laden with calories that I dare not think about. One queer thing about this is that on the menu, it is called K-Pop Noodles. Jamie suggested that perhaps they named it K-Pop Noodles so that K-Pop fans a.k.a teenagers would buy their noodles. Any other clever suggestions, anyone?

Pork cutlet ($12)
I don't know what the Korean name for this dish is, so I'll just stick to its English translation. The pork was, though deep-fried, very delicious. I enjoyed the robust taste of the meat, lathered with the brown gravy which was suspiciously like Japanese curry, but which Sang Ah insisted was not. The rice was a different kind of rice - sticky and shorter-grained. Jamie absolutely adored this! I, on the other hand, loved its accompanying salad of lettuce strips, mayonnaise and cherry tomato. The mayonnaise looks like the ordinary mayonnaise from a Kraft bottle but its taste belongs to a whole different realm of fat-laden sauces. I am ashamed to say that I loved it and ate about half of it. No regrets, though!

  I enjoyed spending time with my friends and talking over food, each of us in a happy Korean-food-induced daze. I enjoy visiting different places to try different kinds of food and this whole experience was further enhanced by the fact that we had Sang Ah with us, adding to the cosmopolitan-cy (?) of our group. I suppose the waitress served us a little more cheerily because we had a fellow Korean among our little party. Having friends from different cultures does, indeed, have its perks!

  I may visit Pink Candy again with my family and see how it fares against the popular Kim's Family Restaurant just a few roads down. I must say it is the ddeokbokki that left the greatest impact on me, and I am thinking of the soft, juicy white rice cakes as I type this...oh man.

Pink Candy Korean Snack Bar Café
144 Upper Bukit Timah Road
#04-03 Beauty World Centre
Tel: 82823950

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