Food Review: Onmi Korean Restaurant At Amoy Street | Contemporary Korean Cuisine In An Elegant Dining Ambience
The Place The Korean food scene in Singapore has definitely evolved from mere Korean barbecue cuisine in the past few years. Think Meta, Naeum, Anju and now we also have Onmi, a newly opened contemporary Korean restaurant along Amoy Street. The space of Onmi is elegant and minimalist, designed with cosy booth seats along with good spacing between tables. The dining ambience is made up of soft lighting and neutral colour tones from the walls to the concrete-looking dining tables.
The restaurant is helmed by Head Chef Young Cheol Par, where the cuisine is a contemporary take on Korean food such that it still retains its Korean authenticity. Before joining Onmi, Chef Park was the Sous Chef of Thevar, a two Michelin-starred restaurant in Singapore. Prior to Thevar, he worked at Corner House, where he honed his skills in contemporary cuisine.
The Food The menu evolves frequently to showcase flavors of Korea, with a focus on fresh Korean ingredients air-freighted on a weekly basis to Singapore. This includes herbs and vegetables like parsnip, horseradish herb and fatsia sprout sourced directly from a dedicated farm in Gapyeong, as well as fresh Korean seafood like abalone, red scallop, octopus, red sea bream and an array of flatfish.
There is only dinner service at the moment, and it only serves a tasting menu priced at S$135++ per person. The tasting menu is split into various categories and here is what to expect:
A trio of Small Bites to start the dinner, I had the Sundubu, a petite size of soft tofu with Dalrae; Mandu, pork with Tofu and Pickled Cucumber; and Tangpyeongchae, one of the royal palace dishes which is a refreshing salad with five colours along with seaweed.
Next up is a series of Seasonal Bites. The Fatsia Shoot & Prawn is delicious which features the first shoot of Angelica tree. This is a Spring vegetable wrapped with prawn paste which spots a crispy texture akin to tempura for me.
Have the Pork with Kimchi on Rice Cracker next in one bite, which is very satisfying.
A contemporary take on Chicken & Japchae, the tender honey glazed wings here are stuffed with no surprise, Korean japchae. This is my first time having japchae this way and I find it quite an interesting one.
Next up is a series of Seafood dishes:
Gwana (Scallop / Fish Cracker / XO topped with spring onion)
Domi (Red Snapper / Minari / Makjang)
Jeonbok (Abalone / Chives / Yuja)
Gabojingeo (Cuttlefish / Pollack Roe)
It sounds like there are quite a couple of dishes at this point, but the portions are really bite sizes which works well for me.
Chef’s Off Menu
This course is a daily special by Chef which changes almost every other day. I had an al dente cold pasta with scallop and seaweed, which is an intermission course before the next part of the meal where it starts to get meatier.
The last savoury part of the meal is probably my favourite part since I get to have both beef and chicken.
Galbi-Sal (Prime Short Ribs / Ganjang)
Delicious and well-marinated, tender beef.
Dak-Kkochi (Chicken / Leek / Gochugaru)
I enjoyed the chicken thigh with gochujang sauce and spring onion even though it is quite spicy.
Gondeule Bab (Thistle / Rice), Sogogi Muguk (Beef / Radish)
A trio of refillable banchan where I had the Pear / Chives; Doenjang / Potato / Achobak; and Dried Radish Leaves.
Susu- Bukkumi (Millet / Red Bean / Ice Cream / Crumble) is served which features milk ice-cream.
Rants Quite a couple of Korean ingredients on the menu which are not all familiar to me. Hopefully, the staff gets to explain it well when the dishes are served to each table.
Will I Return Again? I like the concept of Onmi which tries to present Korean cuisine in their own modern take. It is not exactly a fine-dining restaurant, yet it is not too casual either. The price point is relatively reasonable for what I had on the menu where you get a good variety, without going through the mental pain of deciding what to eat (#FirstWorldProblem). If you love Korean food with a twist, this is one restaurant to check out.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
107 Amoy Street
Tel. +65 8188 1452 / +65 6612 5531
Tuesday to Saturday: 6pm to 10:30pm
Closed on Mondays and Sundays
Ranted by The Ranter