CHARIM Korean BBQ: A Surprising BBQ Experience in Tanjong Pagar

Written by Katherine

June 21, 2023
Last Updated on February 29, 2024

It has been a while since we had Korean BBQ. Since we were visiting the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, we decided to walk down to Tanjong Pagar Road to check out this place called CHARIM Korean BBQ. Join me as I share with you the little surprises that we had at this restaurant. Let’s go~! ☆ミ(o*・ω・)ノ

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Why We Chose CHARIM Korean BBQ

I was today years old when I realised that many Korean BBQ restaurants take a break between lunch and dinner. I thought it is usually a Chinese restaurant thing so we were kind of caught by surprise by this fact. (O.O) Hubs ended up Googling and found CHARIM Korean BBQ. Not only is the restaurant open after 3 PM, but it also came with raving reviews on Google. Without hesitation, hubs and I decided to check out this restaurant for our lunch! (´• ω •`)

The exterior and interior of CHARIM Korean BBQ

Interesting Fact about the Restaurant

I was preparing my notes for this blog post and decided to do a quick Google search for more information on the restaurant. And I stumbled upon a fascinating article from Mothership that talked about how this place came to be. Apparently, Ms. Ryu Jiah, the young owner of CHARIM Korean BBQ, quit her job at Apple to make her mother’s dream of opening a restaurant come true! (´ ω `♡) And we had no clue about this incredible backstory when we visited the restaurant. The love and passion poured into this place were felt through the amazing food and service that we received that day. ( ´ ω ` )

What Are the Amazing Food We Ordered?

Since it is a Korean BBQ restaurant, we obviously have to order meat for the grill! Instead of the usual pork belly, we decided to go with the special Salted Pork Neck since it was our first time seeing this on the menu. As with most if not all Korean BBQ restaurants, we would need to order 2 portions of meat for ala carte BBQ so we got the Beef Brisket as our second choice of meat. Besides the meat, we also got a bowl of Spicy Cold Noodle and two Korean Barley Tea.

The restaurant has a unique item called DIY Sushi Rice. Instead of eating your grilled meat with a bowl of rice, you can instead make your own sushi by putting the grilled meat on top of the rice ball! Hubs and I were intrigued by this idea but knowing the size of our tummies, we did not order it. Gonna be leaving this for the next time we visit, I guess! (´ ∀ ` *)

Good Quality Side Dishes with Something Unique!

The side dishes here at CHARIM Korean BBQ were amazing. We were served a total of 5 side dishes and of the lot, my favourites are the japchae and marinated squid. You heard that right! We had marinated squid as one of the side dishes! We didn’t know what it was when we tried it. Hubs and I were guessing that it might be some kind of seafood but decided to check with the staff to find out what it is. This is our first time having marinated squid and boy was the texture interesting. It felt slightly chewy, slimy and soft. I personally think it would go better with rice as eating it by itself tasted a bit salty to us.

The side dishes that we were served that day at CHARIM Korean BBQ, which includes steamed egg, spring onion salad, marinated squid and japchae (and more!)

As I mentioned, my other favourite of mine was the japchae. I think I could have a whole plate of that and easily finish it. It was THAT GOOD. Interestingly, we were also served steamed eggs, which is usually an ala carte item (cost $5 on the menu!). It is amazing that the side dishes themselves were already so amazing. It made us wonder how good the meat and noodles would be when we were digging into the side dishes. (o˘◡˘o)

Delicious Meat and Interesting Dip Options

There were no surprises with the beef brisket as it tasted just as expected. The highlight was the salted pork neck, which is one of the recommended meats on the menu. My first bite into it, the meat tasted soft and tender. Since it was already salted, the meat can be eaten by itself without any additional sauce. (b ᵔ▽ᵔ)b

The grilled salted pork neck and the cooking process when the staff at CHARIM Korean BBQ cooked for us at our grill

But if you want to have the meat in a wrap, the restaurant also provided us with lettuce and dips. As with all Korean BBQ restaurants, ssamjang is provided as one of the dips. But what is unique here at CHARIM Korean BBQ is the other two dips that they have provided. Instead of sesame oil, which is my personal favourite for Korean BBQ, the restaurant had minced garlic in oil instead as one of the options. The other one looks pinkish so I am assuming it is Himalayan pink salt.

The dips provided at CHARIM Korean BBQ for our grilled meat or to use inside our wrap with the meat, which includes ssamjang, minced garlic with oil and Himalayan pink salt (?)

I put a bit of the salt on the meat and have it in the wrap. And that one mouthful went BOOMZ in my mouth. ヽ(°〇°)ノ I was totally blown away by the flavour. We also like to have raw garlic slices in our wraps so having the minced garlic in oil was a good alternative for me. But definitely go for the Himalayan salt for a flavour explosion in your mouth. (っ˘ڡ˘ς)

Delish Spicy Cold Noodles that Hit the Spot

I love noodles and it seems like we always end up ordering Spicy Cold Noodles whenever we eat at a Korean BBQ restaurant. The spicy cold noodles here at CHARIM Korean BBQ are on point. Once again, I am today years old when I finally realised what the two bottles of condiments were when they served spicy cold noodles. One is mustard and another is vinegar, which I assumed is used to adjust the spiciness and sourness of the noodles. No one has actually told us what condiments they were at other restaurants so I am happy to learn something new here. Haha!

Our spicy cold noodle and the two condiments that came with it to adjust to your taste, one is mustard and another is vinegar

Anyway, the noodles were just nice and we did need to adjust the flavour. It was so good that we finished the whole bowl with ease. Not forgetting it went so well with the meat that it was easy for us to slurp down the noodles. (o^▽^o)

Things Worth Mentioning

Complimentary Bottled Water instead of Tea

We were given a bottle of complimentary water instead of the usual pitcher of iced water or barley tea that is seen in many Korean BBQ restaurants. I don’t know if the bottled water is refillable as we decided to get a cup of Iced Barley Tea for each of us. So the bottle of water was enough to last us for the whole meal.

Price of Dining at CHARIM vs The Quality of Service & Food

Dining at CHARIM Korean BBQ is not the cheapest but for what it’s worth, the service and food were impeccable. The staff were all really friendly and they also helped to cook our meat to perfection. The other female boss, who is also Ms Ryu’s mum, was lovely. She even served complimentary Korean iced coffee to each table. I should have asked them what coffee they used because it was REALLY GOOD. The coffee was slightly bitter and not too sweet. I would pay to have a full cup of coffee. Haha! Thank you ajumeoni! (´ ε ` )♡

An overlook of our table when the staff at CHARIM Korean BBQ was cooking for us and when the beef brisket and salted pork neck were cooking on our grill

Also, the meat came with a full side of side ingredients such as kimchi, beansprouts, oyster mushrooms, onion and potatoes. It is not often that we see such a spread being served with our meat so it was definitely worth the price that we paid. I was actually surprised to see potatoes as one of the side ingredients that went on the grill ‘cos I am a sucker for anything potatoes. (´・ᴗ・ ` ) Everything was cut and put on the grill. It was as if we ordered an extra platter to pair with the meat. (o^ ^o)/

Come Earlier to Avoid the Crowd

We reached the restaurant after 3 PM and the restaurant was about 1/3 full. Considering that it was off-peak hours, that was quite some people to have in a restaurant. When we left the restaurant around 5 PM, the restaurant was already almost full as big groups of people were coming in for an early dinner. Chairs were also placed outside the restaurant to prepare for the peak hour. Since they do not take reservations, to avoid the crowd, it would probably be better to drop by earlier or during off-peak hours! ( ´ ω ` )

Overall Experience at CHARIM Korean BBQ

If you have read through everything in this post, you will know that I totally enjoyed our meal at this lovely restaurant. Even though the price might not be the cheapest in comparison to a lot of Korean BBQ restaurants lining the street, the quality of its food and service definitely is unbeatable. I highly recommend coming to this lovely restaurant to have a meal, be it a gathering with your friends and family or just a date with your partner. I promise you that you will not regret it. (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ

If you have any Korean restaurants that serve delicious non-BBQ dishes, especially ganjang gejang (marinated raw crabs), please send me your recommendations! Let me know in the comments section or just reach out to me through the contact form. Thank you~! ٩(♡ε♡)۶

Information about CHARIM Korean BBQ

CHARIM KOREAN BBQ

⏰ Opening Hours: 11.30 AM – 1.00 AM (Tues – Sat), 11.30 AM – 12.00 AM (Sun), Closed on Mondays
📒 Menu: Link HERE

You can find out more about CHARIM Korean BBQ here:
🔎 Facebook: Link HERE | Instagram: Link HERE

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If you’re craving some delicious Korean BBQ, you’re in for a treat! Dive into my post, where I share my adventures at various Korean BBQ restaurants in Singapore. And if you’re on the hunt for tasty options in Tanjong Pagar, don’t miss my extensive list of over 25 fantastic places to dine in the area! Alternatively, I’ve got some more Singapore food-related posts that you might find appealing. (´ ε ` )

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