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When we think about wine pairing, Korean food isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, the only type of alcohol that’s associated with Korean cuisine, in most Malaysian’s mind, is soju and nothing else, not even beer.

So you could say that I was a little bit intrigued by what’s in store for us when I was invited to a wine/cocktail pairing dinner at Bulgogi Brothers.

Bulgogi Brothers at Paradigm Mall
Bulgogi Brothers at Paradigm Mall

Bulgogi Brothers is a pretty big chain of Korean restaurants that has its presence in Korea, the Philippines, Canada, and Malaysia. There are currently four branches located at Paradigm Mall (this review), Pavilion KL, Mid Valley Megamall, and e@Curve.

The one key difference between Bulgogi Brothers and most other Korean restaurants is that they are pork free.

banchan, including kimchi, lotus roots and even kangkung
banchan, including kimchi, lotus roots and even kangkung

Like pretty much all Korean dinners, we were served several dishes of banchan, or small Korean dishes to start.

The variety isn’t fantastic, there’s a bowl of corn, sweet potato & edamame, then there’s kimchi, lotus roots, and a few types of vegetables. They tastes alright, but if you expect to have a dozen different types of banchan like it is often served at other Korean places, you will be disappointed.

makguli goes well with haemul pajeon (Korean pancake), spicy chicken maekjeok
makguli goes well with haemul pajeon (Korean pancake), spicy chicken maekjeok

Our first real dish of the night was haemul pajeon, or Korean seafood pancake (RM 27.90). The pancake is packed with ingredients such as prawns, mussels, squid, and green onions. It wasn’t too thick nor soggy, and I thought it was done very nicely.

We had makguli cocktail, the milky Korean rice wine with strawberry puree to go with it. The wine is unfiltered and made from fermented rice, wheat, and water. I would describe it to be like a powered up vitagen, tasty!

The makguli is priced at RM 25 per bottle, and a jug of makguli cocktail at RM 27.90.

soju needs no introduction, the corn soup was creamy and delicious
soju needs no introduction, the corn soup was creamy and delicious

Next up was soju and paired with spicy chicken maekjeok (RM 20.90). The chicken on skewer is not entirely unlike our satey but carries a slight tangy, sweet, and spicy taste to it. The dark meat is soft and juicy, and the stronger taste of meat goes well with the clean and natural taste of soju.

The soju is served chilled, RM 19.90 per bottle (Chum Churum brand), or if you prefer, in a sort of Korean mojitocalled soji-to at RM 14.90 per glass.

Bulgogi Brothers also served us a bowl of thick and creamy corn soup that was beautiful.

galbi kkotsal - boneless marinated beef short ribs
galbi kkotsal – boneless marinated beef short ribs

No Korean meal is complete without some good old fashion Korean BBQ.

Our galbi kkotsal (RM 72.90), or boneless beef short ribs marinated in special bulgogi sauce, came with a bit over a dozen pieces of meat, garlic, onion, and mushroom. In comparison with other places, the price is on the high side, and according to our host, this is due to the better cut of beef chosen.

I thought it was perhaps just a bit too sanitized and didn’t taste quite as flavorful as other places. It was decent nonetheless, but at over RM 70, one might think twice choosing this from the menu. It went well with soju, however.

bulgogi brothers special with black raspberry wine
bulgogi brothers special with black raspberry wine

Next up was Bulgogi Brothers Special (RM 81.90), a combination of Unyang and Gwangyang-style bulgogi. In another word, beef patties and thinly sliced beef, with the latter fried in combination with green onion and garlic.

The beef were pretty juicy and not lacking in flavor, portion wise this dish isn’t too bad either. The pairing was a bottle of wine made from black raspberries and plums, very sweet and absolutely delightful, the type of wine that is perhaps more appropriate for dessert, but I’m not complaining. It was delightful.

The wine was Bokbunjajoo and priced at RM 58.50 per bottle.

chicken bibimbap, KY, Haze, Hitomi, Marcus
chicken bibimbap, KY, Haze, Hitomi, Marcus

Our last item in the tasting menu was chicken bibimbap (RM 26.90), a popular Korean dish with meat, vegetable, and a raw egg all mixed together in a stone bowl. I never quite find a taste for bibimbap and this experience did not change my mind. Others said it was perhaps a tad too dry, I’m not qualified to comment though, I didn’t like it.

In conclusion, I think the ambiance and dining experience in Bulgogi Brothers is certainly on par with some of the nicer restaurants, food wise it isn’t exactly top notch, but if you have a taste for some Korean alcohol experience or if you’re looking for a decent pork-free Korean restaurant, this chain isn’t a bad place to start.

map to Paradigm Mall, Petaling Jaya

Address:
Bulgogi Brothers
The Boulevard, Paradigm Mall
Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya
Selangor
GPS3.108806, 101.59564
Tel03-7886 3543

Discuss : KY eats – Bulgogi Brothers Korean Restaurant with Cocktails & Wine

  1. Pork free but serves alcohol isn’t halal. So this doesn’t qualify as a halal restaurant.

    • WD: you are right, it is pork free but not halal. The “halal” category should really mean pork free, but it’ll mess up all my links if I change that. my apology

  2. maybe they just want to eat, but not drink.

    As long as is pork free, technically, they can enter, i would suppose. Its self regulatory, isnt it? I wont stop someone from drinking if i owned a diner unless they already had too much.

  3. PandanKia

    To delve into the subject of “pork free”. I was wondering if the taste of the entire menu affected by using halal ingredients, sans pork lard, rice wine etc?

    • PandanKia: well, it’s similar to pork free Chinese foods in hotels, or pork free Italian food everywhere, it’s not exactly the same, but it’s pretty close.

  4. ooo, we have opposite opinions about bibimbap. it’s my favorite korean dish! reminds me of comfort food like paella and risotto, heheh. but i think we’re in agreement that we should all drink more soju and makguli :D

  5. not top notch but still one of the upper notches eh :D.. heard about this spot, was supposed to go last week or so. Sounds like a good spot from the way you describe here.. nom nom goodness :D

    Latest: Ploy @ Clearwater Damansara Heights

  6. Rice wine “transform” into vitagen, that’s really interesting!

  7. ohh.. food boh mik eh ki ah..

    then wont try d .. :D

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