Ph.Ds of FOOD

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Big Mama

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A small casual Korean eatery located at Tiong Bahru, though Big Mama does not draw as much fanfare as Togi Koren Restaurant at Mosque Street, its own appeal lies in its authenticity, earnest home-cooked fare and enthusiastic owner Big Mama.

Korean Banchan

Korean Banchan

The Banchan consisted of kimchi, sigeumchi namul (spinach), myeolchi bokkeum (spicy anchovies), nokdumuk (mung bean starch jelly), japchae (glass noodles) and yeongeun jorim (lotus roots). We liked the nokdumuk for its refreshing taste and smooth, chewy, jelly-like texture.

Dakgalbi (before frying)

Dakgalbi (before frying)

Dakgalbi (after frying)

Dakgalbi (after frying)

We ordered the Dakgalbi ($15 per pax, min 2 pax), as it was highly recommended by Big Mama as their signature dish. The Dakgalbi is a popular South Korean dish made by pan-frying seasoned chicken with vegetables, sweet potato, rice cake in a spicy gochujang based sauce, together on a hot plate. The Dakgalbi was prepared on the spot, from the raw ingredients. The waitress would push her cart over to your table, set up the stove and fry the dish by the table side. No doubt that we would reek of the oil and smoke during and after the dinner, watching your food prepared table side was appetizing and ensured that the food was served fresh and piping hot.

The chicken pieces were very tender and thoroughly marinated. The waitress had grasp the cooking time and heat well as the chicken wasn’t overly cooked, still moist and retaining its natural juices; the rice cake was neither too soft nor hard and had an adequate bite to it; the sweet potatoes weren’t too mushy as well. Together with the spicy sauce, the entire dish was flavourful and well-executed.

Dakgalbi + Fried Rice

Dakgalbi + Fried Rice

Before we totally wiped out the Dakgalbi, we ordered a serving of fried rice ($3 per pax). The waitress would then come over with her cart, add in a bowl of white rice to the Dakgalbi remnants and topped up with sesame seeds, kimchi, laver (seaweed) and sesame oil. She then began the frying procedure again. The end result – fried rice Dakgalbi, with the rice thoroughly coated with the spicy sauce. And if you allowed the rice to cook a little longer, you’ll get those burnt crunchy “claypot rice” like bits stuck to the pan.

For simple and unpretentious food, served by earnest and enthusiastic waitresses, in a cosy and quiet eatery, do give Big Mama a try. Reservations are highly recommended due to the limited seating space.

Big Mama
2 Kim Tian Road


Written by foodphd

September 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

Posted in Korean

Tagged with , ,

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