Tuesday, March 24, 2015


New kid on the block of shophouses on Tan Quee Lan Street is Joo. One step into Joo and you'll pretty much be able to decipher what cuisine they serve, with k-pop music in the background. The 3-storey restaurant takes its name from the word 'alcohol' in Korean - Joo.

And of course the highlight of the restaurant/bar is none other than house-brewed alcohol, with an array of makgeolli (rice wine) flavours on the menu to choose from such as Yucha, Lychee, Peach and Strawberry. What to do if you're spoilt for choice? Order the Makgeolli Sampler that showcases all 5 flavours, including the original. Our pick of the lot was the Yucha, which is a Korean term for yuzu (a citrus fruit). The citrusy taste of the Yucha married the rice wine nicely, leaving a refreshing after-taste. 

Another drink that's worth the mention is the Yucha Sojurita (and in case you haven't realised by now, we are huge fans of anything Yucha). The innovative drink boasts a frozen soju-yucha-Cointreau-lemon juice mix with an added slug of an overturned beer. In our opinion, the perfect drink for sharing while chilling out with great company. 

From the food menu, be sure to head for the Baby Paper Eel which pairs perfectly with the drinks. These chips are highly addictive and the added lime zest adds an extra dimension to it. However, we thought that the lime zest made it a little soggy, so if you're ordering it we suggest trying it on its own before squeezing the lime.

On to the real food, the Warm Kimchi with Tofu & Spam won us over with our first piece. The house-made kimchi, stacked with a slice of tender mangalitsa pork belly topped with tofu, onion and scallion was a burst of flavours in the mouth - somewhat like a party of fragrant, savoury and a tinge of spiciness from the kimchi. If you like your beef, we highly recommend the Hand-chopped Korean Minced Rib Steak which is basically hand-chopped prime US meat, seasoned with a special sauce and topped with crispy golden brown garlic flakes. 

For something heavier on the palette, the Seafood Gochujang Risotto is a good choice - risotto in red pepper cream sauce with a selection of fresh seafood such as squid, shrimps, mussels and clams. The risotto was cooked perfectly and the freshness of the seafood complimented every aspect of the dish. 

Will we be back for Joo? The answer is most definitely. We think Joo is the perfect place for hanging with a couple of friends as the food portions bend more towards communal dining than individual portions. But of course if you happen to be on your own - trust us, a carafe of Yucha Makgeolli and a plate of delectable Seafood Guchujang Risotto will do the trick as well. 

5 Tan Quee Lan Street
Singapore 188094
+65 8138 1628

This was an invited media tasting.

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