A relative newcomer to the Serangoon Gardens food scene, Pa Bul Lo has quickly made a name for itself and never ceases to be packed on a weekend. Fortunately, the wait was not too long and we were quickly seated after just 15 minutes.
Banchan was just okay
The side dishes (banchan) quickly arrived once we sat down. Sadly, these were unimpressive as I am probably too used to being spoilt for choice in other Korean establishments. The Kimchi was too sour for my liking and I was disappointed to not see favourites like Korean fishcakes, tofu or marinated spinach. Oh well!
The seafood pancake ($22) was not bad; thin, crispy and not overly oily. It was a bit pricey though, and nothing quite beats my favourite crispy seafood pancake of all time from Wang Dae Bak ($21).
Grilled to perfection
Thankfully, the barbecue dishes all hit the mark. Pa Bul Lo prides itself on using the “Chobeolgu-i” method of grilling meats, where meat is charcoal-grilled by a chef in the kitchen, before being brought out for a final char on the table. An attentive staff member also cooks the meat for you, ensuring nothing gets overcooked or burnt. Much appreciated so we could focus on eating! 🙂
Just look at that awesome crispy Pork Belly ($39)! We also got the Pork Collar ($40) as part of set A. The prices are steep but the portions are large as well; two pork dishes (720g total) was enough for our family of 6.
Hearty soups & stews
As part of the set we also got a Steamed Egg ($8) and a Sundubu Jjigae ($13). The steamed egg was deliciously fluffy and really affordable. Also, the sundubu that came with the set was huge! It was enough for 2-3 people to share. It was thick, hearty and comforting.
The Army Stew ($38) was pretty standard, with a heap of sausages, luncheon meat, rice cakes and assorted veggies in tomato-y broth. I’m not a huge fan of army stew, so not in the best place to comment but my dining companions enjoyed it.
Sets not worth it?
Now, if you’ve been keeping track, you’d notice that 4 items together (2 meats + steamed egg + sundubu) costs $99, whereas when we got them in Set A, we were charged $109. That’s $10 more than getting all the items a la carte! I am not entirely sure why this is the case, and will check with the restaurant the next time I’m there. Perhaps the difference comes from the family-sized portion of Sundubu? What a mystery.
That aside, although the BBQ was not bad, we felt that the side dishes and stews quality could be better considering how pricey it was ($40 per person). For now, we will probably be sticking to our long-standing favourite, Hansik Korean Restaurant in Kovan’s Heartland Mall.
Pa Bul Lo Korean BBQ
Address: 63 Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555959
Opening Hours: 11:30am–3pm, 5:30–10pm (Closed on Mondays)