Korea's Famous Um Yong Baek's Pork Soup Rice (엄용백 돼지국밥): Is it worth the visit?

Korea's Famous Um Yong Baek's Pork Soup Rice (엄용백 돼지국밥): Is it worth the visit?

With origins from Busan, South Korea, Um Yong Baek (엄용백) is no stranger to foodies of that land. Famous for their traditional Dwaeji-gukbap (돼지국밥), which is also literally pork-rice soup. 

Since May 2022 when it opened its first store in Singapore along the Telok Ayer stretch, the queues have not waned. I'm not one to rush to a new eatery when it opens, I bid my time and if the queue doesn't wane after months, I know I'll usually be in for a treat. Usually.

Well, just like their South Korean eateries, their pork rice soup and boiled pork (suyuk 돼지수육) is also recommended. But so is the salted pollack roe (명란젓) for those who know how to enjoy it, which I do see on their menus here. This is also a delicacy when you have it with their signature soup. Sounds pricey at SGD$9, but if you want the full experience, hey, go for it. 

While queueing

Here's a warning for you though - queues snake during lunch and it is almost impossible to get a last minute dinner slot for BBQ, which is a popular dining choice among Singaporeans. Also, I note that their dinner menu does not serve their famous pork rice soup, which means that it is usually wiped out by voracious foodies who visit during lunch hours. This also means that if you go for dinner, you will likely miss out on their signature soup. One solution - come back during lunch hours. Also because Um Yong Baek shares on their website that they only serve 80 bowls of soup a day to keep quality top notch - so yes, it's limited edition. 

When you reach the restaurant, scan the QR code on the menu outside the restaurant to earn yourself a queue number. Their queue system is not bad, to be honest. 

During peak hours (which is like, always, amirite?), I heard that there is a dining time limit of 40 minutes. But then again, they are pretty efficient in serving your orders so you don't have to worry about that. However, when I went there earlier today, I did not encounter anyone telling me about the dine-in time limit. Blessed. :)

Well, here, you'll have a choice of 2 styles of soup to choose from: Busan (부산식) style or the Milyang (밀양식) style (both SGD$21). 

Well, simply put, if you like a clearer broth with lean meat, go for Busan style. If you'll like a thicker, milkier broth, go for the Milyang style. 

The soup comes with rice already immersed within the soup bowl, served with generous servings of 3 different cuts of pork, including slices of the pork stomach. The sea of green are chopped chives, which boost flavors of the soup. The table condiments include salt and salted shrimp (Saeu-jeot 새우젓). 

Salt and Salted shrimp (Saeu-jeot 새우젓)

Some of you who have been following me for quite sometime know that I'm pretty used to having OG Korean food. This includes the Busan style of pork rice soup (something I've tried from traditional famous restaurants in Busan), so today, I decided to go for Um Yong Baek's Milyang style. 

Their banchan (side dishes 반찬) is simple, but are dishes which will all enhance and go well with their signature dishes. 

Also, may I make a note that their kimchi was good, which is also my indicator for whether their main dishes will disappoint (or not). Because if your Korean chef can't choose their kimchi well... you know what I mean.

So I've heard people saying how porky the Milyang style pork soup tastes, also, some said the soup was 'bland'. Yes, I know it looks milky. But just know that this soup isn't ramen soup, guys. To have it the authentic way, instead of seasoning it with salt, hey, use the salted shrimp (새우젓) instead. 

Mix it in your soup (pls don't put too much at one go - adjust as you go along as salted shrimp can be strong). You will be surprised how this will bring out more umami in the broth, and also you will want to have it with leek kimchi for the added oomph the dish needs. 

I know that in Korea's Um Yong Baek, if you don't have enough side dishes or even soup, you can ask the staff to top it up for you - yes, free. However in Singapore, I have yet to try it. (If any of you do, let me know)

In fact, I shared this bowl with a friend because we also ordered their signature boiled pork (SGD$45) as well. Their boiled pork (돼지수육) is not for those who don't like pork belly - over here, their pork belly is FAT - in fact, it's what makes it all the more awesome. 

Not just any pork belly, this is Ohgyeopsal pork belly - which means literally "five-layer-flesh". Yes. FIVE LAYERS and therefore, not only a higher price point but also a higher meat-to-fat ratio. :) 

Boiled pork (돼지수육)

Back to the Suyuk, it translates to “water meat” in Korean, which is the way it's being cooked. The only way to enjoy this is with salted shrimp or go with soy sauce, or directly dip it in salt. 

This Suyuk platter was served with tofu as well, so I made my friend try something I call the Suyuk sandwich - which I built for her - simple base layer of tofu, spread with salted shrimp, a boiled pork slice lightly dipped in salt topped with leek kimchi. Stuff the whole thing in your mouth and let the savoury flavours run wild with your palette. 

If you try to build this Suyuk sandwich, let me know how how you like it. :)

Suyuk Sandwich (I would rather you go with the toppings of leek kimchi instead)

My verdict: I rarely find authentic Korean food in Singapore, but Um Yong Baek truly does not disappoint. I will return.

She's very pleased with her meal

Um Yong Baek Singapore (엄용백 돼지국밥 싱가폴)

Location: 27 Boon Tat St, #01, Singapore 069623

Hours: Opens daily 11am–3pm, 5:30–10pm, closes on Sunday

View their menu here before you go. 



No comments

Copyright © JANEL.K 고혜령CREATED BY ThemeShine