After our awesome Korean BBQ meal at Little Korea, I noticed another Korean restaurant called Uncle Jang that has a rather weird sign – a smiling bald uncle. The sign and restaurant name do not explain much but we found out later that they actually serve Dak Galbi – a popular South Korean dish especially for students who are on a low meal budget. Well, I think that applies only for Korean students.
Now if you are wondering what Dak Galbi is, let me explain after researching with my leet Google skills. This dish originates from the city of Chuncheon in Korea and is made by stir-frying diced-chicken, cabbage, scallions, onions and rice cake on huge pan in a chili-pepper based sauce. Since this dish is pretty much Kimchi free (unless you add it in yourself) we thought it should suit us and decided to give it a try.
A huge gas-powered pan heater sits on every table.
A big frying pan being set up for preparing the Dak Galbi, now you could now see the relative size with the staff behind it.
Free ice water and tissues – these will come handy later.
There is a minimum order of 2 pax and you could choose either the non-spicy or spicy portions. For starters I suggest going for the 1:1 ratio (1 part spicy @ RM22, 1 part non-spicy @ RM19) first to gauge your tolerance towards the spiciness. Although I could handle spicy food very well I would still prefer to play safe, rather than having something too spicy to enjoy.
Besides, you need to consider for your dining partners’ comfort too because they will be eating from the same pan you see. And, as it turns out, 1:1 is just the right ratio, as anything beyond that would not be too pleasant for most people. Extra toppings like mushroom, egg, cheese etc are available too.
I might have finally found a Korean restaurant that is able to convince me that Korean BBQ is nice. My previous dining experiences at various Korean BBQ restaurants just to name a few like Daorae and Go-Gung had been mediocre and borderline forgettable.
Little Korea at Solaris Mon’t Kiara has become the turning point for me and it was a blessing in disguise really. How so? Because we actually planned to have chicken rice at Segambut for lunch. But the plan took a drastic turn from having chicken rice to Korean BBQ because the restaurant was closed.
However, Little Korea is not a surprise stumble as a friend actually mentioned about this place before. He commented that the BBQ pork tastes like char siew and that comment of his stuck in my mind ever since. Korean BBQ that tastes like char siew? That’s new and worth trying alright. Somehow, we knew we won’t go wrong at Little Korea as it was full of Korean customers, which you won’t see of course because this photo was taken just before we left.
In the journey of discovering Korean cuisine I found myself at Hong Park Sa, a restaurant that specializes in Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup (Samgyetang) in Ampang. In Malaysia when one mentions about Korean food it is usually related to their barbecue, owing to the popularity of BBQ restaurants like Daorae. But you should know that having Korean barbecue is not an authentic experience of Korean cuisine, simply because it is not a Korean traditional food, just popular.
Samgyetang on the other hand, is a traditional dish that is usually consumed during summer to replenish the lost energy and nutrients through the hot weather. The recipe dictates that only young chicken is used because it contains more nutrients – just what the dish requires. And to mention the more delicate meat too. Although Hong Park Sa uses mostly local ingredients to prepare the soup, quality Ginseng is still sourced from Korea.
Firstly just let me say that I am not a fan of Korean food whatsoever. The last time I had Korean food was at Daorae and it was not an experience I would like to remember nor looking forward to repeat.
I am very very sure I am not the only person who finds Korean cuisine to be an acquired taste, may I even say weird? This holds especially true for me when it comes to the extremely sourish and spicy kimchi. Maybe because I went to the wrong restaurant for Korean food, or maybe it was the chef’s problem for not being able to churn out the same authentic taste that everyone loves back in Korea. I don’t know and who am I to comment anyway?
Recently I had lunch at Go-Gung Korean Restaurant at Mid Vally The Gardens hoping it would change my perception towards Korean food. I had this expectation because from the info I gather from friends and blogs, it is said to be one of the good ones albeit pricey.
For a normal working day lunch I am not prepared to fork out fifty to hundreds for a main course so I simply had their set lunch, priced in the region of RM18-RM25. Most of them come with soup, unlimited side dishes, and Pajeon (Korean scallion pancake) Honestly speaking only a few side dishes tasted acceptable for me like salad and that vege thingy with anchovies, the rest was nothing great.