Smokin’ good woodfired meats at OMMA Korean Charcoal BBQ in Bukit Timah
Korean BBQ, or KBBQ as we affectionately call it, isn’t a very new concept in Singapore.
But at OMMA Korean Charcoal BBQ, you get something different – they are Singapore’s first wood-fire KBBQ, with a selection of five different types of firewood.
Not to be mistaken for the well-established O.Bba Jjajang (they’re actually right next door), this new KBBQ joint at Bukit Timah opts for smokeless charcoal rather than the usual gas fire.
Choose from wood chips such as applewood, cherry, pecan, hickory and jarrah ($3 per 30g) for your grill.
Each batch of wood chips can last for about an hour, so you’d probably only go through one or two types during your dining period. We tried hickory wood chips, which didn’t really impart all that much fragrance to the meats beyond the usual smokiness. On my next visit, I’d opt for the slightly sweeter and more fragrant applewood or cherry – I’m a sucker for applewood smoked bacon.
You can find over 60 a la carte options on the menu from $8.80 at OMMA, and they have set menus from $49 as well.
We started with the customary ban chan, or side dishes – here at OMMA, there’s an endless supply of kimchi, fish cake, black fungus and more.
Diving into the meats from the Special Beef and Pork Set ($105), we quickly grilled them to smoky perfection. The set comes with Iberico Pork Collar (180g), Pork Belly (180g), Beef Ribs (180g) and Beef Striploin (180g).
I found that the Iberico Pork Collar was my favourite cut, with a good balance of fats and lean meat.
I was actually looking forward to the Pork Belly – because that’s one of the staple meats you’d order at a KBBQ – which managed to satisfy that carnivorous side of me. I’d also recommend wrapping it in lettuce before eating, to cut the jelak feeling.
For the beef, I felt that we might have grilled it for too long, which made the meat a little tougher than I’d prefer. It can be hard to gauge the optimal cooking time, so I’d recommend sticking to pork.
Aside from the meats, the set also came with Steamed Egg and Kimchi Soup. Fluffy, light egg was served piping hot, so if you're an egg lover like me, you'd be delighted.
I didn’t find the Kimchi Soup too spicy, but my dining companion who doesn’t really take spice well mentioned that the spice level really builds up as you continue to sip the soup. It all depends on your usual spice tolerance, I suppose.
If you feel like splurging on the meal, go for the Japan A4 Grade Beef Ribeye ($81 for 180g). Deliciously marbled, even sharing the whole slab felt quite indulgent. Each piece melted in my mouth – it was almost like butter.
Definitely not something I’d have every day, but good for the occasional indulgence.
Now that restrictions have lifted and larger groups are allowed, I can’t wait to visit OMMA again with a larger group of friends. Easier to share dishes with more friends!
OMMA Charcoal Korean BBQ
20 Cheong Chin Nam Road, Singapore 599744
11.30am – 11.30pm daily
21 Lor Mambong, Singapore 277680
11am – 11pm daily