Hwa Sin Korea Garden, Tanjong Pagar
Consciously or not, I'd been hitting up nearly all the Korean places in the Tanjong Pagar area recently, with the exception of this one (34 Tanjong Pagar Road, 6221-7153). I had actually been to this place years ago, but didn't have a great experience, and hence never really had any huge desire to come back. I guess today I felt like rounding out the "tour" and hoping that maybe things would be different this time.
They weren't. I didn't realize it until immediately afterwards, but for some reason, I ordered the exact same thing that I got last time, and I more or less went through the same order of emotions too: disappointment at the boring selection of kimchi, disappointment at the cold service, and disappointment at the excessive sweetness of the bulgogi. The meat wasn't of the best quality today either. And despite the portable gas grills at each table, they cooked the bulgogi in the back for you.
Prior to this, I was gonna say that most of these places in the area really seemed to blend in together to me, and were generally all rather unremarkable. But after today, I can pretty confidently say that this is the place that I liked the least. Well, I haven't exactly tried a spread of dishes at each of these guys either, so I'm not the best qualified here, but if I had to pick a favorite of the group, then it would probably be New Seoul on Peck Seah. (But like I said, maybe that was just because of what I ordered.) A colleague told me afterwards that a new Korean place has apparently opened on the second floor of the Amara Hotel near Thanying and Santaro; maybe that will be a new contender, although I'm not getting my hopes up.