7 Korean-inspired flavours for Christmas

Here's an ice-breaker: Have you ever wondered what Christmas would taste like? I've always known how Christmas looks (think beautiful gems of lights twinkling across malls and streets of Singapore) and sounds (melodic hymns and carols permeating the air). It would be interesting to see how a chef encapsulates the wonders of Christmas in a dish. I was back at SYNC to try their ingenious Christmas selection of tapas and mains. In South Korea, Christmas is a real big deal — they even tried building a huge Christmas tree made of steel near the border with the North to spread the joy of the Gospel! (Festive menu will be served from 12 Dec 2014 to 2 Jan 2015)

* denotes my recommendations.

1. Sweet Potato Croquettes* — S$10.90

sweet potato croquettes

Have you heard of the unique Korean sweet potato diet? These fanciful little crusty bits are made with traditional Korean sweet potatoes and a European twist of cheese and chorizo. Topped with apple salsa, these delightful tapas are sure to perk up your festive season! It's that sort of addictive food you would subconsciously pop into your mouth one after another, leaving you craving more.

2. Christmas Citrus Salad — S$9.90

christmas citrus salad
A colourful salad with pomegranate, orange and mesclun, topped with citrus dressing
Do you like spicy salad? I was overwhelmed with surprise when I realized the salad dressing had a spicy kick to it. The orange slices and mesclun leaves were a little too chunky and I would have preferred a greater variety of ingredients such as nuts in this salad bowl. The pomegranate was a tasteful and visually pleasing addition. The flavour profile of this dish gears strongly towards spiciness and sweetness, while I prefer something more neutral (think Caesar salad).

3. Kimchi Cheese Fries — S$9.90

Kimchi cheese fries

I previously reviewed the Gamja Tuikim (Kimchi Cheese Fries) at SYNC Korean Fusion Bistro. Although not part of the original menu at the Tapas Bar, this dish has been introduced here due to its overwhelming popularity over at the Fusion Bistro. The differences in portion, price and taste are obvious though. Too sour for my liking, I would recommend that avid lovers of this particular dish stick to the Westgate outlet.

4. Clay Duck Ssam — S$10.90

Clay Duck Ssam

SYNC Korean Tapas Bar scores high on visual presentation — doesn't this look very zen? It's pretty easy to gobble each piece in one mouthful. I could make out the multitude of distinct tastes exploding in my mouth, such as the initial taste of the fresh and slightly minty perilla leaf, followed by the savoury duck meat and a hint of sweetness and crunch from the Korean daikon. 

Clay Duck Ssam

Which tastes better — Sogogi Jowl or Clay Duck Ssam? If you are going for a more robust meaty taste, I would say go for the Sogogi Jowl. 

5. Turkey Risotto* — S$26.90

Turkey Risotto

What is Christmas without turkey on the table? A unique twist to the traditional Italian risotto lies in the use of Korean pearl barley, which is topped with succulent turkey roulade, sautéed mushrooms and cranberries. It took me a while to get used to the unconventional combination before falling in love with it!  The thick slices of turkey were indeed the star of the show, being exceptionally flavourful, tender and juicy.

Turkey Risotto
Turkey Risotto with its glistening appearance and tantalising aroma

6. Kalbi Jim* — S$26.90

Korean short ribs
The Kalbi Jim (Korean-style braised short ribs) is another dish to be added to your must-try list. These beef short ribs are braised for 48 hours with special Korean sauce and served on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes. Sprinklings of pickled daikon add a welcome crunch. Comparable to the standards at top hotel restaurants, the meat melts delicately in your mouth like snow in late winter. A larger portion of this would be most welcome!

7. Chestnut Crunchy Bar — S$10.90

Chestnut Crunchy Bar

Hmm... is this a slice of cake in disguise? While the plating looks pretty awkward, the beauty is hidden within. The chestnut mousse is wrapped in a chocolate tart shell and topped with chocolate pearls and orange gel, making the texture both soft and crunchy at the same time. It has a slight citrus taste with an iconic slice of citron sprouting at the tip of the bar. 

De rigueur gingerbread men :)

Soju Mojito* — S$9.90

Soju Mojito served in a shot glass
SYNC Korean Tapas Bar has made a huge improvement to the Soju Mojito! It is now much more refreshing as they have switched to a different brand of ingredients.

These are the two separate festive menus available at the respective outlets. The ones reviewed above are available at SYNC Korean Tapas Bar (Serangoon Gardens outlet).
SYNC Korean Fusion Bistro (Westgate)
SYNC Korean Tapas Bar (Serangoon Gardens)
SYNC Korean Tapas Bar
12 Maju Avenue, Serangoon Gardens Estate
Singapore 556690
Tel: 6282 0612
Opening Hours: Mon, Wed, Thu: 11am - 11pm
Fri - Sun: 11am - 12am
Closed on Tuesdays

7 Korean-inspired flavours for Christmas 7 Korean-inspired flavours for Christmas Reviewed by Littletinysun on 1:54:00 PM Rating: 5

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