Charm Bibimbab & Gimbab, Icon Village
At long last...one of the two Korean shops at Icon Village (12 Gopeng Street #01-26) has finally opened. Actually, they did have a bit of a soft launch last week, when they gave away a limited number of free sets of food (something I didn't even realize until the guy refused my money). But surely enough, word spread quickly, and by the end of the week, the line wrapped practically all the way around the corner. Today, they were back to charging money (albeit giving away tons of coupons), and I was able to go right to the front of the line.
I finally grabbed the thing that I wanted to get last week but did not have the patience to wait in line for: the cheese gimbab, which was pretty much a Korean version of futomaki. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a letdown. When I heard the word "cheese," for some reason, I immediately thought of a tasty cheese browned on a hotplate and shoved inside. So I was a bit bummed when I saw them taking one of those individually wrapped Kraft Singles-like things and rolling it up, as-is. Without jumping to conclusions, I hoped that maybe there were other pieces in here that could save this, be it some rockin' form of kimchi, or maybe even the use of some of that salty heavily sesame oil-drenched Korean seaweed on the outside. But in the end, this was rather mild, and not necessarily anything to really excite me.
Still, it was healthy, and I guess that was their angle from the beginning; they were billed as Korean Traditional Welbing Food ("welbing" being Korean for "well-being"). Indeed, the mild taste kinda reminded me of that Thunder Tea Rice stuff, which I actually rather like. So despite the cheese-letdown today, I'm still coming back to try the beef and tuna options. It's pretty darned cheap with all of those coupons that they are handing out too.