Saturday, March 28, 2015

Joo Bar and Restaurant @ Tan Quee Lan Street (Bugis)

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Joo is a new makegeolli bar and restaurant setting a whole new trend in Singapore food and beverage scene with inspiring modern Korean fare and tipples. Joo which means alcohol in Korean, is located in a three storey heritage shophouses along Tan Quee Lan Street, spotting a sleek, casual and inviting venue.

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Hong Dae Tripping 4/5

Makegeolli cocktail could be the next trendsetting drinks using the oldest alcoholic beverage native to Korea. I had the Hong Dae Tripping ($24) which is made from Joo's house brew organic makegeolli (also known as Joo Brew). The cocktail is a mixture of Joo Brew, Grey Goose, Apricot Brandy, Cherry Blossom, Lemon and Rosemary. A light, refreshing and zesty drink.

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A trio of Korean banchan welcomes diners as being our diner experience at Joo.

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Tofu Chips with Guacamole & Kimchi Salsa 4.2/5

Kick starting the evening we started with the Anju which is similar to bar food that goes well with alcohol. First is the Tofu Chips with Guacamole & Kimchi Salsa ($14). The house made tofu chips is so what like the nachos. I preferred the kimchi salsa but both is as well. It's really addictive and I could not stop going back for more.

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Baby Eel Paper 3/5

The Deep Fried Baby Eel Paper ($14) imported from Korean is an interesting snack bite but I don't quite know how to appreciate it.

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Warm Kimchi with Tofu & Spam 4.5/5

Many bars have introduced spam fries as a trend for bar snack however I find it too salty to have it on its own. The Warm Kimchi with Tofu & Spam ($16) was an excellent idea to pair house made kimichi, mangalitsa pork belly, tofu, onion and scallion with the luncheon meat. It may sounds complex but the flavours actually work harmoniously.

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Makgeolli Sampler 4/5

Being a makegeolli specialized bar and restaurant, I am sure it can be a bit overwhelming with the different selections not knowing where to start with. Worry not as Joo offers a Makgeolli Sampler ($35 for 5). Among the samplers, my favourite is the Yuzu infused makegeolli which is sweet and easy to drink.

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Kimchi Chicken Pot Pie 4/5

A nice twist is the Kimchi Chicken Pot Pie ($14) covered by a golden flaky pastry dome. Inside it is a rosy kimchi bechamel gravy studded with chicken tenderloin, celery, carrot, mushrooms, onion and corn. The additional of kimchi gave it good lift in flavour from the somewhat boring traditional taste.

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Joo Bossam 4.5/5

Joo uses Mangalitsa for it's pork dishes which is a domestic breed developed in the 19th century by cross breeding the traditional Hungarian Bakonyi an Szalontal breeds with imported Sumadia pigs from Serbia. I thought the Joo Bossam ($28) showcases the sweetness the flavour of the mangalitsa pork belly excellent. Take a piece of the boiled mangalitsa pork belly, white yucha kimchi and a bit of the spicy radish salad and eat it all together.

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Slow Roasted Mangalitsa Pork Belly  4.2/5

Another version showcasing the mangalitsa pork is the Slow Roasted Mangalitsa Pork Belly ($32). The thick cut mangalitsa pork belly is eaten together with spring onion salad and Dijon mustard. Have a bit of everything together to get a nice concoction of flavours in the mouth.

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Hand Chopped Korean Minced Rib Steak 4.2/5

Beautifully marinated, the Hand Chopped Korean Minced Rib Steak ($20) literally melted in the mouth. Topped with garlic flakes, chopped nuts and spring onions to give it another layer of texture and flavour, lifting the whole enjoyment.

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Sojurita 4.2/5

Perfect for chilling out with friends is the Sojurita ($28) which a good for 2 to 4 pax. The easy to drink alcohol, making up of soju and beer will be tough to just stop at one.

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Seafood Gochujang Risotto 4.5/5

Last but not least, if you need something substantial then a must try is the Seaffod Gochujang Risotto ($24). The red pepper paste cream sauce risotto comes with an Asian influenced flavour served with shrimp, black mussel, clam and squid. Korean can cook their risotto too!

I left Joo Bar and Restaurant having a better appreciation of makegeolli, especially their preservative free makegeolli with organic rice and purified water which is brew in Singapore locally. The modern take of Korean fare also impressed me a lot. It modernizes the way we appreciate classic Korean cuisine while retaining the traditional flavours.


Joo Bar and Restaurant
5 Tan Quee Lan Street
Singapore 188094
Tel: +65 81381628
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joobarsg
Website: http://www.joo-bar.com/
Nearest MRT: Bugis (DT Line, EW Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 530pm - 12midnight

Direction: 
1) Alight at Bugis MRT station. Take Exit D. Walk straight to Tan Quee Lan Street. Turn left and walk to destination. [Map]

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