17 years ago, the introduction of iPod gave rise to i-everything. Similarly, the rising popularity of Korean culture has resulted in K-everything.
Drama? Best to be K-drama. Knick-knacks? Add a Korean face to ensure sales. Food? Just add kimchi and it will be Korean-something.
In Singapore, everything affiliated with Korean culture has infiltrated our daily lives; even our favourite steamboat has now taken a Korean twist.
Located on level 4 of Orchard Gateway, GoroGoro Steamboat And Korean Buffet is not meant to be discovered by a casual shopper; you have to be told it existed, and look for it purposefully, as it is not just another store set amongst the shops in a shopping mall. Think of its location as more like a tuition centre.
To cut a long story short, this is your typical JPot / Hai Di Lao / Ma La Tang Guo, but instead of serving Chinese or Japanese sauces, you have kimchi, Korean-themed broth, Korean fried chicken etc. However, most of the food they provide are not much different from their competitors.
After all, steamboat is about poaching raw food, and how different can raw food be?
My review therefore is not on the food, but rather, on its location.
As mentioned, it is not a place you chance upon; you will have to make it to the restaurant with visiting it in your mind. However, the restaurant is just beside the elevator, so it’s very hard to miss once you find the lift.
If possible, visit the restaurant before it gets dark. The restaurant has a very premium view of Orchard Road, and it gets rather therapeutic to watch the people and cars going on their tiny lives below, while you stir your hotpot. This is not to say the night view of Orchard Road is to be avoided. It’s just that when night falls, the LED facade of Orchard Central overpowers the whole view. And of course, it gets to crowded after dinner time, the noise within is irritating.
I also liked the mascot.
Yes, a bit trivial (and considering that the mascot does not add value to the quality of the food itself), but the mascot is cute. I don’t really know its relation, though given my knowledge of Korean culture, this is supposed to be a spirit transformed from a type of food.
OK, I think I should also mention something about the food.
If anything, the first and only food to try would be their signature fried chicken. Yes, the cooked food, rather than the raw food meant for the steamboat (I already mentioned that raw food are the same, and when you dump them into the steamboat, whatever sauce you marinate onto the meat will be washed off).
The chicken is coated with that sweet and spicy sauce very typical of Korean cuisine, which will also help stimulate your appetite for the meal to come (even though it spurred me to eat more of the chicken). The chicken was also fried with a good balance of crispy skin and tender meat, which is very unlike what you usually get from buffet restaurants.
I won’t say this is a place to die for, but if you are looking for a good place to hang out with your friends, come to GoroGoro Steamboat. They even have booths for large groups!
However, if you like Korean food, a classic favourite Wonderful Bap Sang 원더풀밥상 can be found in Suntec City.
Till then, stay hungry!
How to Get There
GoroGoro Steamboat and Korean Buffet
218 Orchard Road
Take the lift inside Crate&Barrel