For me, hanging out at Holland Village after Sunday bible classes used to be a regular routine. Since then, the place has changed so much with new restaurants and cafes. Adding on to its list is 88 Pocha, a hip and casual Korean joint which had its grand opening on 28 Mar 2023.
Rachel and I arrived there on a blazing hot Wednesday afternoon, and the place reminded me of a hip joint for yuppies (like Rachel), not me obviously. The cool space had plastic tables and chairs decked out in blue and red with catchy K-pop songs blasting through its speakers.
Even though the space was an open concept, it still felt cool and airy inside despite the insane temperatures outside.
I’m not a fan of tteokbokki, but the Tteokkochi (S$11.88) converted me. The tteokbokki sticks (10 of them) were lightly battered and deep fried, and then skewered. A spicy and sweet sauce was then artfully drizzled on them.
We also tried the Corn Cheese Spice Ramyeon (S$11.88). This was my favourite dish of the afternoon.
It was a bowl of spicy instant noodles with the perfect texture (the kind that you’re dying to achieve with regular brands) topped with corn kernels, mozzarella cheese, and sprinkled with seaweed strips and sesame seeds.
My tongue started to burn gently but by the third mouthful, I was already accustomed to the heat. The creamy and stretchy mozzarella helped mellow the spiciness, while the golden kernels of corn provided mini bursts of sweetness.
The Sausage Gimbap (S$11.88), the Korean version of a Japanese sushi, had a juicy and tasty sausage encased in rice, cheese and seaweed. When I popped them in my mouth, the gentle aroma of sesame oil permeated my taste buds. I didn’t expect to like it, but I did.
On first glance, the La Galbi (Beef Ribs) (S$18.88 for 8 pieces) looked like it had been lying on the desert for a couple of hours. But forgive me, I judged way too soon. It was tender and extremely flavourful, and was a match made in heaven together with the juicy sauteed onions.
You can also order the Potato Pancake (S$15.88) and Red Bean Bingsu (S$12.88) when you’re here. The former tasted like a denser version of a rösti topped with luxurious pizza cheese.
The latter was an interesting mix of red bean, fruit loops, rainbow sprinkles, and a whole melon potong ice cream shoved into it.
Come check out 88 Pocha for a taste of elevated Korean street food.
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