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.
I scanned through the main course available for the set lunch and found most of them to be kimchi-based, which was simply bad news for me. I remembered having Bibimbap before and found it to be quite OK so I chose the Dolsot Bibimbap (mixed rice in hot stone pot), said to be one of the tastiest dishes in Korean cuisine.
I wouldn’t use the word ‘tasty’ to describe the Bibimbap I had.. maybe ‘weird’. The flavor was complicated too. It wasn’t sweet, wasn’t sour, wasn’t spicy nor bitter. You could say I was very confused with this dish. And that would be my kindest comment I could give.
Luckily, really lucky there were some other dishes that we had like the Pajeon and Bulgogi (marinated barbecued beef) that were more suited to my tastebuds. The pancake had to be eaten while it’s still warm and crispy before it turns into an oily, soggy pizza like thing. And the sweet-tasting Bulgogi is typically enjoyed with a lettuce wrap.
While I did not enjoy the food too much (just a personal preference) the decor and ambiance of Go-gung is commendable. They really spent a lot of effort to recreate a Korean Palace kind of feeling here, which I think was pretty successful.
However, the same couldn’t be said for the service. The best way to sum up my feeling in the most Malaysian way possible is “eating here is like I owe you money like that”. It really wouldn’t hurt just to smile a little, or be a bit more courteous towards your customers.
After this meal my perception towards Korean food remains the same. If I am loaded, maybe I wouldn’t mind visiting more Korean restaurants in future. Sadly I am not so I think I will just skip any Korean food in future, they are not cheap you know?
But! If you were a non-Korean food eater but managed to convert to a Korean food lover now, I would like to hear your story and perhaps share with me which restaurant in Malaysia changed your mind. I believe there is a turning point when it comes to food – just like how I learnt to appreciate sashimi and how it became my favorite dish in Japanese cuisine after dining at Kin Shui Tei.
Lot 212, Level 3,
The Gardens, Mid Valley City
GPS Coordinates: N3 07.145 E101 40.538
Tel: 03 2287 2981