After being away from my homeland for almost two years, I missed my local hawker center dishes deeply. The chicken rice, the char kway teow, the prata, and more. It was tough for me to find ingredients in my area, and buying them online was a little too expensive for my liking. That was when I found out about Kitchen SHIOK, a Singaporean restaurant based in Seoul that was serving these hawker center dishes.
By the way, “Shiok” in Singapore means very enjoyable or pleasing. If we’re talking about food, it means it’s really delicious and tasty. After hearing about this, I had to go and visit. Time to satisfy my cravings!
Settled in a quaint area in Jung-gu, Seoul, Kitchen SHIOK stands out majestically with its clean and minimalistic decor. It wasn’t hard to spot the huge white house along the quiet street. They even had a Merlion outside, a proud symbol of my homeland. Sadly, I was too excited about the food to take a photo of it.
The minimalistic design carried on inside as we took our seats at a table in the middle of the restaurant. The little sharing plates were adorable, I couldn’t resist taking a photo of them. When the waiter arrived with our menu, I was delighted to see such familiar foods after a long time. After ordering our dishes, we patiently waited for them.
And then, they came.
Kitchen SHIOK Kaya Toast
The first dish that arrived was the Kaya Toast. I was surprised to see that they did the eggs the way we did it back home. It was comforting to see in a place that wasn’t my hometown. Now, I don’t really fancy Kaya Toast all that much, but being away from your homeland for too long can do things to you.
I dipped the toast into the eggs and shoved it in my mouth. It was gold, pure gold! The bread was crisp, the butter was soft, and they melded nicely together with the kaya jam. The eggs were cooked and seasoned just like they were at home, and it brought a comforting wave of nostalgia over me. My husband and I wolfed it all up within seconds, our stomachs growling for more.
Kitchen SHIOK Chicken Rice
In Singapore, one of the most famous dishes we have is Chicken rice. Chicken rice is a dish that consists of steamed chicken and seasoned rice served with a special chili sauce, soy sauce, and cucumber. It was also one of the dishes that I would eat regularly while I was in Singapore. So, we had to order this.
I was amazed by the presentation of the dish, but I was also skeptical as to how close, or how far, the taste of it was to the original. The verdict? I nearly cried after I put a spoonful of it in my mouth. Everything was the same, and it made me reminisce about my homeland. The rice was fluffy and fragrant. The chicken was soft and succulent. The sauces gave it the kick it needed to be as great as the original.
10 out of 10!
Kitchen SHIOK Beef Char Kway Teow
Char Kway Teow is basically noodles fried in sweet soy sauce, garlic, and lard. It was a first for me to try beef char kway teow as I’ve always had the ones with shrimp and cockles. So, yet again, I was skeptical. However, I didn’t need to be.
The beef literally melted in my mouth, and the savory yet sweet sauce coated my tongue. The noodles were soft and the crunch of the vegetables tied it all together. If I had to describe how this dish was, I would have to say; mouth-watering. Everything about it screamed perfection. A single tear was definitely shed after that first mouthful.
The Verdict: 1000% Would Recommend
Kitchen SHIOK brought back many fond memories and definitely satisfied my cravings for my hometown’s cooking. It was a lot pricier, compared to Singapore. However, to me, it was worth it. If there are any of my fellow Singaporeans living here in South Korea that miss any of these foods, please be sure to give Kitchen SHIOK a visit! I Definitely will be going back for more!
Kitchen SHOIK (키친 시옥) Address: Seoul, Jung-gu, Dasan-ro 20-gil, 33 Korean Address: 서울 중구 다산로20길 33 1층 Operating Hours: 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM Mondays: Closed Break Time: 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM (Only Drinks Served)
Want to try more authentic South-East Asian food in Seoul? Click Here to read about the best Thai food in Seoul, at Krap Pom!