1. Na Oh
    Photograph: Na Oh
  2. Na Oh
    Photograph: Na Oh
  3. Na Oh
    Photograph: Daniel Iskandar
  4. Na Oh
    Photograph; Na Oh
  5. Na Oh
    Photograph: Na Oh
  • Restaurants | Korean
  • Jurong West

Na Oh

Adira Chow

Time Out says

The last thing you’d expect to see wedged between floors of a car manufacturing facility is probably a restaurant helmed by a three-Michelin-starred chef. Na Oh, the new Korean joint on the third storey of the futuristic Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre Singapore (HMGICS), has caused quite a stir as one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of late. The brainchild of Corey Lee – the man behind the acclaimed Benu in San Francisco – and the Korean automotive giant Hyundai, Na Oh’s presence brings a touch of tradition and culture to the tech-heavy compound. 

The restaurant is airy and capacious, with tables set further apart compared to what we’re used to. This is the west after all, and space doesn’t come with a premium as compared to downtown Singapore. Forget the clutter and commotion of a usual restaurant – what you get is a mostly calm and tranquil environment, barring the jarring sight of construction work outside, which can’t be helped. Props to the design as well, because the restaurant is elegantly accented with traditional Korean elements, from the use of hanji (Korean paper) as decor down to beautifully handcrafted tableware.

Expect a four-course prix fixe menu where items are switched up according to the seasons. Now running its summer menu ($78 per person), the restaurant highlights Korean dishes regarded to be effective for combating the summer heat and nourishing the body. 

As a prelude, you’ll first be served a light starter of homemade tofu with naturally aged soy sauce to whet the palate. And next, our favourite from the meal: the buckwheat and mugunji jeon. It’s a spin on the usual kimchi pancake, made instead with buckwheat which gives an earthy flavour, and mugunji, which is fermented non-spicy kimchi. Wrap these slices with freshly harvested greens from the facility’s in-house smart farm, and dip them in a delightful vinegary dip. The mulhwe that follows features refreshing white fish sashimi and sea cucumber swimming in a savoury, ice-cold kimchi broth.

As for the main course or jinjitsang (a Korean meal served with accompaniments), diners are presented with three options of classic Korean summer dishes. For something warm and hearty, opt for the samgyetang, a hearty ginseng chicken soup packed with nutrients. Na Oh’s version features fall-off-the-bone tender young chicken stuffed with glutinous rice, with a whole ginseng root swimming in the rich broth. We recommend dipping the chicken in a bit of sesame salt and scallion sauce, and enjoying it with the accompanying condiments like radish kimchi, mustard leaves and potatoes.

Other options include the Pyongyang naengmyeon – a North Korean specialty dish of cold buckwheat noodles in a clear beef and dongchimi (radish water kimchi) broth, topped with shaved raw beef loin. The dish features the same beef used in Lee’s San Francisco restaurant. Expect clean and milder flavours with this one, as Pyongyang naengmyeon is markedly different from the typical mul naengmyeon with mustard and white vinegar that you’d find across Korean restaurants in Singapore. And for a splash of theatrics, opt for the golden queen rice – a rendition of stone pot rice topped with buttery-soft fish. Make sure to scrape and savour the remaining nurungji (scorched rice) from the bottom of the pot for the complete experience. 

The meal concludes with a spin on the popular summer dessert bingsu, featuring makgeolli shaved ice, strawberries, and a rice cracker on the side. As for beverages, Lee keeps the alcohol list quite condensed, but there are still plenty of interesting drinks to try. Sip on a soju-based Omija highball cocktail ($16) featuring the Korean omija berry superfruit; the gowoon dar ($30) – an aged soju digestif that tastes similar to whisky; or two kinds of makgeolli (Korean rice wine) (from $36) that are stirred for five minutes in the kitchen before being brought out, to prevent sedimentation. 


Level 3
Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre Singapore
2 Bulim Link
Opening hours:
Wed-Sun noon-9pm
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