安东찜닭 Andong Zzimdak: Tastes Just Like Mom’s
I have never heard of Andong jjimdak until my sister-in-law suggested having it for a family dinner one weekend.
Andong jjimdak literally means “steamed chicken of Andong”. Origininating from Andong (a city in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, South Korea) the dish consists of steamed chicken marinated in a ganjang (Korean soy sauce) based sauce. Many types of vegetables and sweet potato noodles are added to the marinate to complete the dish.
After looking up online what Andong Zzimdak (AZ) sells, I must admit I wasn’t too keen at first. Steamed chicken isn’t what I like to eat personally. I didn’t have high hopes for it when the dish arrived on our table, especially when I realised it was pretty monotonous and dull-looking.
My initial opinion of Andong jjimdak changed as soon as I took my first bite of the chicken. It reminded me of my mom’s specialty, chicken braised in Chinese dark soy sauce! We ordered the boneless chicken in original sauce. Surprisingly, the chicken was tender and savoury. Coupled with the meat, the dish made for a nutritious main with its abundance of vegetables: carrots, onions, cucumbers, scallions, dried chillis, potatoes and ginger. Below all these ingredients were sweet potato noodles that were fully soaked in the sauce. Overall, the dish was great for eating on its own or with rice. Note that the Andong jjimdak serving was large. It was good for sharing even among the five of us!
Besides the signature, we checked out some other items on the menu as well.
Hubby wanted to try out naengmyeon (cold noodles) after he saw it in one of the K-dramas I was watching the other day.
Enjoyed by Koreans in the hot summer, the naengmyeon consisted of thin, chewy potato noodles that were served in a cold broth. Common toppings for the noodles were cucumbers, Korean pear and boiled egg. A red spicy sauce sauce was added in AZ’s version to give an extra kick to the dish. The noodles were light and refreshing. Just the ideal meal to have when you need something to chill in our all year round hot weather!
The seafood pancakes, unfortunately, were a disappointment. Tasting more like fish cake, there were plenty of starch, some vegetables and only a meagre amount of seafood. The saving grace was probably the honey mustard which I thought was an interesting condiment different from the usual chilli in Korean soy sauce dip for Korean pancakes.
Another dish we tried was the steamed egg. Hubby commented it was passable, within his expectations. Actually I felt the dish would be better if the egg texture was smooth like bean curd. Perhaps this was how Koreans like their steamed eggs.
Just to add, unlike most Korean restaurants, the banchan (side dish) here were limited to only two types, kimchi and pickled radish. Although I would be happier if there were more varieties, the kimchi here suited my palate which made up for the lack. More often than not, the kimchi I had at Korean restaurants tended to be too sour. AZ’s version leaned towards spicy and even had a tinge of sweetness in it.
Overall, considering the large serving size of the signature dish, AZ is a suitable place for families and friends. If you have not heard of Andong jjimdak before this post, do check out this first Andong jjimdak restaurant in Singapore!
Address: Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road, #B1-44F Singapore 179103
Access: City Hall Station on the North-South Line/ East-West Line
Website: Andong Zzimdak facebook page