With the current travel restrictions globally, most of us wanderlust folks are unable to travel leisurely to countries for some of their favourite dishes. For me, I have been craving badly for Korean soy crabs and it is not commonly found in Korean restaurants here. When my friend brought up a restaurant that serves this dish, I immediately made plans to visit.
Located along Amoy street which is full of Korean barbeque restaurants, the Dal In Korean restaurant is quite discreet as you could hardly even spot their signboard behind the awning outside the shop. Inside, the restaurant is pretty small which is similar to many Korean restaurants found in popular alleys. There are a total of 7 tables but with the safe distancing rules, the restaurant could seat even lesser customers at one time. There are also outdoor seats and seats at the 2nd level.
The menu can be found by scanning a QR code on each table to reduce contact. The menu is broken down into a few categories; lunch, a la carte and dinner. You can find the menu here. In terms of pricing, they are on par with most of the Korean restaurants in Singapore. For us, the main star was the soy crab which we called and ordered in advance.
We were first served iced water and a variety of side dishes like fried anchovies, cucumber and cabbage kimchi, bean sprouts and salted cucumbers. To our surprise, every table was also given a pot of complimentary steam egg.
With limited quantities made, we are glad we called to order this in advance. When it was served, we were slightly disappointed as it looked like more of the lower quality soy crab I had tasted at Myeongdong “nameless” restaurant. Still, we decided to horse our thought until we taste them. The first bite was the immediate comment from me and my friend that the sauce was lacking. While the crabs were fresh as there was no bad smell, the taste was just flat with soy sauce. The crab was also not as meaty. The ones we had in Seoul were fat and meaty with roe and also the flavours were deep and flavourful with the taste of sweetness from the crab, kick from the garlic and spiciness from the chilli. I was greatly disappointed.
We also ordered the Dalin jeon ( pancake ) which is not exactly found at other places as they use sliced seafood with vegetables and egg to make the pancake. This was different from the Haemul ( seafood ) pancake which they also had on the menu. The pancake was quite well made although it is not the crispy kind I like, it was authentic as it was similar to those found in Korean street stalls and has a slight crisp on the outside with a soft and moist inside. The pancake was also packed with sliced seafood.
We also ordered the doenjang jigae which is the soybean paste stew. It came bubbling in the hot pot and was extremely thick with lots of vegetables. I like the consistency of the soup and the strong taste of the bean paste.
After falling in love with barbequed hangjeongsal ( pork jowl ) meat, I decided to order 1 portion to supplement the disappointment from the crabs. They were served to us on this small little gas stove and not barbequed in front of us. I’m not sure if there is no barbeque because we only ordered 1 portion or because of the COVID situation, regardless, the meat was well barbequed with the light charred on the edges of the meat. The meat was good and well barbequed so there was nothing to complain about it.
Overall, Dal In served very hearty authentic Korean dishes, including their barbeque which has good cuts. The price range is also similar to others in the vicinity. The main reason for visiting was for the ganjang gejang (soy crab) which was a disappointment for me since I could compare to the ones I had in Korea.
Address: 21 Amoy St, Singapore 069856
Operating hours: 11.30 am to 12 am ( Fri till 1 am, Sat till 11.30 pm, Sun till 11 pm and Tuesdays till 10 pm)