Riding on the Hallyu wave, but disrupting it is SYNC, a Korean restaurant that puts a modern spin to their dishes.
They recently opened their second outlet at Serangoon Gardens (where Chomp Chomp is). Their formula for success, as their name suggests, is the syncing of Korean, Italian and Spanish cuisine. With Consultant Chef, Edwin Lau (previously from Oca Group), lending his expertise to the Korean-inspired tapas treats, the deft execution by Head Chef, Calista Ong left us rubbing our bellies in glee.
Highlights of our night include the Sogogi Jowl ($10.90) – piercing through the layers of lightly-torched beef and minty sesame leaf is a toothpick that held all the succulence together.
The Crackling ($9.90) came to us as looking like an unassuming bowl of chips. But no, it was flavoured with unami cod, and the crisp fluffiness of the chips definitely put the nacho cheese chips served in movie theatres to shame. Of course, leaving aside the modern tapas dishes, Korean staples such as Kimchi and Haemul Pajeon (seafood pancake) are still dished out in this establishment and served as great background dishes.
For cheese lovers, the Toppoki ($9.90) at SYNC would definitely satisfy your craving as their version of baked rice cakes is drenched with 3-cheeses and doused in sweet & spicy sauce.
On to our mains. The Dak Gar Bi (Chicken Paella – $38.90) is a gorgeously done rice dish is served in a pan, Spanish style, but with a unique Korean touch that mixes in cabbage, kimchi and chicken. The result is a smooth, well-marinated pan of carb goodness, that will feed 2.
The desserts were a bit unexpected – for instance, a lava cake that wasn’t filled with sweet, sugary goodness, but a savoury Misugaru cream that was paired with citrusy strawberries and lime compote. Not really our kind of thing, as we are traditionalists when it comes to dessert, and would have preferred something that tickled our sweet tooth. The closest dish they had to that, would be the Yuja (all desserts at $8.90) – which comprises of salted caramel drizzled over the sizzling pan-fried sweet Korean pancake, wedged between two slices of melted banana. Quite like an Asian version of the banana split.
You won’t go thirsty here, with a selection of coffees and alcoholic beverages. Topping our list is the refreshing Soju Mojito ($9.90) – who knew soju could go that well with mint leaves! For the inquisitive, there’s also a Popcorn Mak Gul Li ($9.90), that uses traditional Korean rice wine as a base, but infuses it with popcorn caramel milk. Yes, all the better to wash all that food down.
SYNC is open from 3pm to 12 am daily, and is located at 12 Maju Avenue. Make a reservation here.
This was an invited tasting.