Gu:um Review: New Modern Korean Grill Restaurant Concept Offers Bold and Vibrant Flavours

GU:UM, the new Korean-touched contemporary grill restaurant by NAE:UM Group, lives up to its name – meaning “to grill” or “to cook over fire” – by offering a vibrant and exciting take on Korean cuisine.

This new establishment, helmed by Chef Louis Han, offers a modern interpretation of Korean grill, reflecting Chef Han’s international experiences and deep-rooted traditions. Here, the focus is on sharing plates cooked over a modern charcoal grill, resulting in smoky, succulent dishes that are a feast for the senses.

Ambience and Service

guum dining room
Dining room | Credit: John Heng, Da Photographer

Housed in a heritage shophouse, GU:UM’s interior combines warm browns, sandy beiges, and ash greys with teak wood accents, creating a chic yet welcoming atmosphere.

guum kitchen
Open kitchen | Credit: John Heng, Da Photographer

The open kitchen allows diners to witness the culinary magic up close, enhancing the overall dining experience. The attentive and knowledgeable staff further elevate the meal, ensuring each dish served is memorable.

Food Review at GU:UM

Yukhwae Jeon
Yukhwae Jeon

My culinary journey began with the Yukhwae Jeon (S$32), an innovative starter blends two classic Korean street foods, Yukhwae (beef tartare) and Jeon (pancakes), with a touch of Western influence reminiscent of loaded waffles.

The potato pancake serves as a delightful base for the finely hand-chopped beef tartare, seasoned meticulously with soy sauce, sesame oil, and house-pickled garlic shoots.

The addition of Korean pear and chives brings a refreshing crunch, while the pickled onions and egg yolk jam provide a perfect finish. Each bite offers a harmonious balance of sweet, savoury, and tangy notes.

Nacho Dakgalbi
Nacho Dakgalbi

The Nacho Dakgalbi (S$26) is a must-try. A playful fusion of Korean and Mexican cuisines, this toasted sourdough sandwich packs a punch with its marinated stir-fried chicken and gooey nacho cheese.

The house-made gochujang sauce infuses the chicken with a rich, spicy-sweet flavour, complemented by the crunch of perilla leaves and the creaminess of melted mozzarella. The sourdough’s crisp exterior and soft interior make it an excellent vessel for the flavorful filling, creating a satisfying and unique sandwich experience.

korean fried cauliflower
KFC, Korean Fried Cauliflower

The KFC (or Korean Fried Cauliflower, S$26) is GU:UM’s vegetarian take on Korean fried chicken. Instead of chicken, it uses cauliflower and rice cakes, coated in a sticky, sweet, and spicy yangnyeom sauce.

The cauliflower’s crispy exterior gives way to a tender inside, perfectly paired with the chewy rice cakes. The cashew snow garnish adds a nutty, crunchy element that elevates this dish from a simple appetiser to an addictive treat, ideal for sharing.

square salad
Square Salad

For a refreshing dish, consider the Square Salad (S$24), a colourful salad that features smashed Japanese cucumber, cubed Halloumi cheese, watermelon, onions, tomatoes, and hard-boiled egg.

The unique bean paste, chili paste, and black vinegar dressing tie the components together, offering a blend of sweet, savoury, and tangy flavours. Inspired by the classic Cobb salad, this dish stands out with its innovative use of ingredients and textures.

guum wagyu and iberico
Tajima Wagyu Ribeye MBS 8 and Iberico Pluma

The stars of the show, however, were undoubtedly the grilled meats. I tried the Tajima Wagyu Ribeye MBS 8 (S$188 per 280g) and the Iberico Pluma (S$118 per 300g) and both were delectable.

The melt-in-your-mouth Wagyu beef, simply grilled and seasoned with salt, was the epitome of culinary luxury. Each bite delivered a burst of rich, buttery flavour, perfectly complemented by the accompanying ssam (vegetables for wrapping) and house-made kimchi. The variety of dipping sauces, including ssamjang and fresh wasabi, allowed for further customisation.

The Iberico Pluma, on the other hand, is marinated in fermented fish sauce, and grilled to a juicy and tender perfection. The fermented fish sauce marinade imparts a deep umami flavor, enhancing the succulent meat without overpowering it.

cinderella noodles 2
Cinderella Noodles

The intriguingly named Cinderella Noodles (S$24) brings a refreshing end to the savoury dishes. These cold glass noodles tossed with perilla leaves in a gochujang and sesame oil dressing are aptly named by Chef Louis for their peak flavour upon arrival. The dish’s umami and slightly acidic profile make it a light and satisfying palate cleanser.

Leave room for desserts as the offerings are as creative as their mains.


Try the Hotteok (S$18++), a warm, pan-fried rice flour pancake filled with cinnamon and brown sugar, served with burnt honey ice cream and mixed nuts. This dish combines contrasting textures and temperatures, creating a delightful end to the meal.


I also enjoyed the Koguma (S$16) – roasted sweet potato with smoked vanilla ice cream – that offers a creamy, sweet finish, and the palate-cleansing Yuzu Makgeolli (S$16), which refreshes with its tart house-made yuzu sorbet and tender grilled pear, rounding up the meal in a delightful way.

Yuzu Makgeolli
Yuzu Makgeolli


GU:UM succeeds in redefining the contemporary grill experience, offering dishes that are both innovative and deeply rooted in tradition. With its creative menu and warm and vibrant ambience, I recommend it as a great spot to chill out with colleagues after work or to round up friends for some fun and chatter.

GU:UM is located at 29 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089136. It is open from 11.30am to 2.30pm on Friday and Saturday, and from 5.30pm to 10.30pm from Tuesday to Thursday. Make reservations here or email [email protected].