Review: SBCD Korean Tofu House

Review: SBCD Korean Tofu House

Silky soft house made tofu pairs with spicy soup, but that’s not all SBCD in Millenia Walk Singapore has to offer

Tofu is an ingredient that’s quite miraculous. Made from soybeans, it’s high in protein, contains all nine essential amino acids and more. Think about Korean cuisine, and one of the dishes that comes to mind will undoubtedly be soondubu jjigae, Korean tofu stew. This dish has plenty of permutations; you have seafood, pork, beef, chicken and more, but the tofu will always be the one constant ingredient that you find in the dish.

SBCD Korean Tofu House specialises in the dish, but takes it one step further by importing soybeans from Yeongju city in South Korea. The beans are soaked for 12 hours overnight, then stirred by hand for 2 hours starting at 8am. They then undergo the boiling and grinding processes to turn into blocks of tofu.

Bori-gulbi Combo. Photo: Cheryl Tan

We decided to go for two sets so we could try more items. While the portions are smaller, each item can be purchased individually on the menu. First is the Bori-gulbi Combo, which comes with a Korean pine mushroom hot stone rice bowl, bori-gulbifish and a choiceof tofu stew from the menu.

Gulbi is dried and salted yellow corvina fish that is typically only processed in coastal cities, because it’s traditionally dried by sea wind. It’s supposed to be served with a bowl of iced green tea on the side, that’s meant to “wash” the fish and temper the saltiness. Personally, I found that the fish was rather similar to salted fish that we’re used to here in Singapore, but less salty. Do be wary of bones though, there were plenty of big and small bones that had to be removed.

Korean Pine Mushroom Hot Stone Rice Bowl. Photo: Cheryl Tan

It was definitely interesting to dunk the chunks of dried fish meat in the cold green tea and I found that by washing the meat, some oil was also leached out, resulting in a lighter mouthfeel and taste. In addition to that, it’s also served with a Korean Pine Mushroom Hot Stone Rice Bowl ($10 ala carte) with wild Korean pine mushrooms that’s actually imported from North Korea. This is where it starts to slightly resemble lei cha.

In Korea, people take a spoonful of rice and mushrooms, and scoop up the fish soaking in the green tea and have it all together. I gave it a go, and to my surprise, it’s absolutely delicious. The mushroom slices are a bit too pungent on their own, but paired with the rice and fish, it mellows out and adds a beautifully earthy flavour to the bite. The rice was a bit too wet at first, but it dried out after the cover was removed and ended up with a nice chewy bite to it with a slight perfume of the mushrooms.

Original Pork. Photo: Cheryl Tan

We went with the Original Pork for the included bowl of soondubuand finally had our first taste of the tofu. It was absolutely sublime, with a silky and light texture that felt almost as if eating a cloud. As someone who never quite liked soft tofu from the start, I had a bit of a revelation. Bits of pork added flavour as well as bulked up the soup and prevented it from being too thin.

Served in a hot bowl that keeps the soup piping hot, we were able to have it alongside the pine mushroom hot stone rice bowl without it getting cold too quickly. What’s more, the bowls had three generous chunks of tofu each, ensuring you’ll definitely have enough tofu goodness.

 Kimchi Biji. Photo: Cheryl Tan

Moving onto the Kimchi Biji ($21.90 on set menu), it’s something that we very rarely see in Singapore. Usually made with the soy pulp leftover from making tofu, this is something that’s more commonly consumed in South Korea.

Indeed, I was told that it’s considered something of a comfort food over there, and Korean diners here have actually remarked nostalgically when they see this on the menu. Unlike the Original Pork soondubu, this has a thicker mouthfeel with a meatier, “grainy” texture.

The bits of kimchi included inside add a nice bit of crunch, alongside slices of onions and bits of pork. We had both soups on the Standard spice level, but found that the Kimchi Biji felt slightly spicier than the Original Pork soondubu, for some reason.

We paired this with the bibimbap, another hot stone rice bowl, but one filled with vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, onions, cucumbers and more. Topped with a fried egg, the yolk is runny and when punctured, coats the rice underneath with that gooey goodness. You get that slight crust of rice right at the bottom too, so mix it all together with some gochujang sauce and you’ve got a healthy bowl of rice thathas a slight kick of spice.

For something that’s healthy yet big on flavour, SBCD Korean Tofu House is definitely a place to consider for the absolutely delicious tofu.

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