Plaza Singapura is one of my most regular haunts. On my most recent visit, I noticed a new Korean restaurant in the basement, and quickly found out that it was Pocha!’s newest outlet, which opened on 14 Nov 2022.
Man, let me tell you— I’m beyond stoked that this pojangmacha-inspired Korean restaurant has finally expanded to a more central location! I was lucky enough to have visited its first outlet in Northpoint City which opened on 5 Jun 2022, and its authentic Korean food blew me away to the point that I had dreamed of its sundubu in my sleep. Not kidding.
P.S. Flash the photo at the end of this article for a free plate of Tteokbokki (worth S$10.90)!
I’ve walked past this exact pair of escalators so much that it shocked me to see one of my favourite Korean restaurants here.
You definitely can’t miss Pocha!’s newest outlet. Apart from it being the closest pair of escalators from the MRT that’ll lead you to the upper floors of Plaza Singapura, Pocha!’s bright red decor and neon-lit signages will certainly catch your eye.
Pocha! is inspired by Korea’s pojangmacha scene, and if you’ve ever been to Korea or watched enough Korean dramas, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
It’s those small tentages along the street that sell a variety of street food such as jjajangmyeon, tteokbokki or gimbap, and it’s often the place where your favourite oppa, hyung or eonni head to on a rainy evening to drown their sorrows with multiple bottles of soju. Behind the folds of the plastic tarp is an ajumma, bustling around a steaming stove.
Pocha!’s ambience is inspired by that, and you can definitely see elements of the typical pojangmacha through its decor— fairylights streaming across the ceiling, neon-lit signages, tent-like structures with “wheels”, and a handful of murals depicting scenes from a pojangmacha.
What I tried at Pocha!
The first dish I started out with was Pocha!’s Tteokbokki (S$10.90).
Also known as Korean rice cakes, this is a traditional Korean street food item, and is a must-have whenever you’re visiting a pojangmacha. Pocha!’s rendition features a house-made spicy sauce, which is doused over rice cakes, fish cakes and half a boiled egg.
Saucy and spicy, each mouthful was paired with deliciously chewy rice cakes which reminded me of mochi. I could taste the thickness of the gochujang paste, which added a sweet pepperiness.
This was such an indulgent side dish that I’d gladly order again, especially when sharing with a group of friends.
Pocha! also offers Chunky Tteok (S$18.90), which is essentially zhng-ed tteokbokki, as it includes the addition of large chunks of boneless fried chicken and torched mozzarella cheese.
Though the cheese pull effect wasn’t there, as a fried chicken kind of girl, I’ve got to say that the inclusion of these thick, huge square chunks of fried meat added such a substantial meaty bite to the entire dish. Not to mention, the mozzarella cheese gave a tinge of milky creaminess to the thick sauce, cutting through its richness.
One of Pocha!’s signature dishes is its Bulgogi, aka Korean stir-fried meat. These delectable slices of meat are available in three types: Chicken (S$9.90), Pork (S$11.90) and Beef (S$12.90), with flavour options ranging from Kimchi, Spicy Jeyuk, Bulgogi Sauce to Hangari.
We tried the Pork Bulgogi in Spicy Jeyuk sauce.
Marinated in a mixture of gochugaru, gochujang and plenty of garlic, this turned out to be one of our favourite items of the day because of how succulent each slice of pork was. It had been stir-fried over an open flame with onions and leek, creating a mix of mildly spicy and salty flavours.
Another flavour option you should definitely try is the Hangari. Hangari is a traditional Korean earthenware jar that’s commonly used for preserving fermented or pickled foods and sauces.
In this particular pork stir-fry dish, Pocha! used its house-made hangari soy sauce to create tantalisingly sweet yet savoury slices of tender pork. It reminded me of roasted soy sauce or teriyaki, and went fantastically well with a bowl of white rice.
Similar to Pocha!’s Northpoint City outlet, its newest location at Plaza Singapura also offers a wide range of soups and stews, ranging from the all-time favourite Samgyetang (S$18.90) to my personal favourite, the spicy Sundubu (S$14.90).
I enjoyed the Sundubu’s rich, full-bodied and spicy flavours, which warmed my belly instantly. I also loved how there was a wide variety of ingredients in the stew, ranging from minced pork, clams, zucchini, enoki, and thick and super satisfying chunks of soft tofu (my personal favourite).
If you’ve watched Extraordinary Attorney Woo (specifically Episode 14), you might recall that our favourite attorneys had embarked on a mission in Jeju to find the original chef behind a bowl of noodles.
Well, the folks behind Pocha! (who are clearly avid K-drama fans too) were inspired by the bowl of noodles in that episode and decided to come up with their own version: Jeju Gogi Guksu (S$17.90), aka black pork noodle soup with pork belly.
This dish uses pork bones to create a broth that’s amazingly light, milky and mildly sweet. I could taste hints of ginger, which helped to add an appetising fragrance to each sip.
It reminded me of broth at the start of a steamboat session— clean and light, yet slightly sweet. This is definitely more suited towards folks who prefer milkier soups that aren’t so rich or flavourful.
Because of the broth’s intensive cooking methods, do note that this dish is available in limited quantities per day.
To satisfy all your carb cravings, Pocha! offers two types of rice dishes: Bibimbap (Korean mixed rice) and Bokkeumbab (Korean fried rice).
We decided to try the Hangari Bokkeumbab (S$9.90), and went with Chicken (+S$3) for our choice of protein.
This plate of Korean fried rice came with Pocha!’s signature hangari soy sauce, and had been stir-fried over a wok to bring out familiar smoky wokhei flavours in each bite. No wonder this tasted similar to XO fried rice from zi char stalls! I loved the inclusion of seaweed, which added a sweet umami touch, as well as the generous amount of silky beaten egg.
The last dish that we got to try was a Korean street food favourite: Corndog (S$6.90), which features a deep-fried Korean corndog stuffed with cheese and sausage.
This was such an interesting dish. The top of the corndog was stuffed with cheese while the bottom was filled with a chicken sausage, so there was a potential for something new with every bite. The thick and crunchy corndog batter was a real wonder, and made for a super satisfying mouthfeel.
What’s a Korean meal without some soju?
Pocha! offers two types of soju: Jinro Chamisul (S$18.90) and Jinro Green Grape (S$18.90), but if you’re up for it, they also offer the all-time favourite Make Your Own Soju Bomb (S$28.90), which comes with a bottle of Jinro Chamisul and two bottles of Terra Beer.
With a simple knock of a glass, the shots of soju fell over and landed in the glasses of beer! This was a real crowd-pleaser, and you can bet that I whipped out my phone to capture the moment on Instagram.
I especially loved that Pocha! had used somaek glasses which indicated the correct levels of soju and beer, such that we could top up our glasses later on our own.
As a thank you to SethLui.com readers, the folks at Pocha! will be giving out a free plate of Tteokbokki (aka Korean rice cakes, U.P. S$10.90). All you have to do is flash the above digital voucher to the staff, and voila!
Note that this promotion requires a minimum spend of S$20 and is limited to 1 plate per table. This promotion will be available at both Pocha!’s Plaza Singapura and Northpoint City outlets till 15 Dec 2022.
If you’re looking for authentic Korean street food, be sure to pop by Pocha!’s newest outlet at Plaza Singapura. Seriously, I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am that this fabulous Korean street food dining restaurant has finally expanded to somewhere more centrally located. This way, I don’t need to travel to Yishun anymore to satisfy my tteokbokki or bulgogi cravings.
Out of all the dishes I tried at Pocha!’s Plaza Singapura outlet, the ones that impressed me the most were its Chunky Tteok and Pork Bulgogi. All that’s left is to pair it with yet another bottle of soju, and that just about fulfils the conditions for a perfectly good time.
Expected damage: S$14 – S$25 per pax
* This article was brought to you in partnership with Pocha!.
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