(THE NEW PAPER) - This year marks Seoul Yummy's 10th anniversary and the Korean chain restaurant has taken the opportunity to refresh its menu and appearance.
There is also a new logo.
The menu now features 30 new items.
While the chain may not have the recognition or popularity like some of its trendier peers, the food is decent and the prices are friendly to the wallet.
Thank goodness the new dishes do not take the tired fusion route and instead feel more like enhancements to a known flavour.
Of the new dishes, it seems like the Hyeong Cheese Pot ($69.90) is the hit. It is a showstopper and a complete meal in itself.
A pan of mozzarella and cheddar cheese, meat and sides, this dish is good for four. You will also get two surprisingly tender ribs (either soya garlic or sweet and spicy) and sides of shoestring, twister, sweet potato and tteokbokki fries, and steamed egg with spring onion.
There are limited quantities of this available daily though and it looked as if every table at the Ion Orchard outlet (where I ate) had one in the middle, like a centrepiece. So good luck getting one.
If you are seeking comfort on a rainy day, Odeng Guk ($14.90) should do it.
It is an umami pot of bonito broth with skewers, served like it is on the streets of Seoul. I am especially fond of the fish cakes and beancurd skin.
One of my favourite Korean dishes is the army stew and Seoul Yummy usually does a decent one, but this version did not conquer my stomach.
The Return of Wagyu ($22.90) is part of Seoul Yummy's selection of mini budae jjigae (army stew) pots. You can also order it with pork ribs or beef ribs. The kimchi soup lacked punch and the other ingredients did not seem to gel.
My favourite new item is the Spam Rice Balls ($7.90). You can choose between white and brown rice, then you pick a stuffing.
The luncheon meat version is a great balance of salty and nutty. There is a kimchi and tuna version ($7.90), but I found the Spam version more comforting.
Another winner is an item from the old menu.
Fried Chikin ($8.90) comprises six pieces of almost-crunchy fried boneless chicken with a garlicky honey butter sauce. The crunch with the sweet sauce make the chicken very addictive.