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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / bulgogi

With huge influx of international students each year taking advantage of some of the region’s best education system, Melbourne CBD is a place that is heavily influenced by what these students demand. When it comes to food, you can find almost as many Japanese, Korean, and Chinese food as you can with Western/Australian establishments.

Oriental Spoon Korean Cuisine at Melbourne
Oriental Spoon, Korean Cuisine

Oriental Spoon, located just right across Melbourne Central on La Trobe, is one such places. Though labeled Korean Cuisine, like many Asian restaurants around the city, this place has assimilated to the demands of Australian and Asian alike.

What you get is not exactly authentic Korean food, the portions are huge, the kimchi less strong tasting, lesser variety of banchan, and generally tastes that are more “mainstream”. This isn’t something you’ll ever find in Korea, or even the little Korea in Ampang.

banchan, beef casserole, spicy pork bulgogi
banchan, beef casserole, spicy pork bulgogi

While the purists might argue that it is a waste of time visiting a place that served heavily localized (some might even go to the extend of using the word bastardized) food, I prefer to leave the verdict after tasting the food. If Mellissa and friends like this place, it should mean something.

Even though it was a weekday night, Oriental Spoon was already packed when we got there. Customers consist of probably 60% Asian at this place. We waited for some 15 minutes before securing a table.

Korean food at Oriental Spoon, Melbourne
a big pot of boiling beef casserole, best for winter weather

Like most Korean restaurants, they offer a variety of grilled meats such as a few choices of beef, pork belly, and even seafood. There’s also your standard bulgogi, kimchi soup, bibimbap (mixed meal) and so forth.

Even though there was only two of us, we ordered a beef casserole ($30+) and a spicy pork bulgogi ($18 or so) to go with some steamed rice.

There were four types of banchan served, and seriously speaking, none of them worth a mention. The kimchi was especially disappointing.

beef casserole and pork bulgogi
best served with Korean steamed rice

The spicy pork bulgogi though, was absolutely marvelous. Generous portion of fatty stripes of pork soaked in spicy oil with some sesame, onion, and other seasoning makes the dish very rich and succulent but also come with a kick. It was very sinful yet irresistible. The pork went very well with rice.

The beef casserole is a rather huge pot of raw beef, mushroom, vegetable, glass noodle, and other ingredients stewed in a broth right on the table. The soup gets better and better with time and at the tail end of the dinner we had a very sweet and rather tasty broth to go with plenty of beef. It was very good, but it was also a bit too much especially for only 2 person.

Map to Oriental Spoon
Oriental Spoon is located right across Melbourne Central

We ended up having to bag some of the leftovers despite getting ourselves stuffed silly. It was a good meal and decently priced too. However, I think this place is best for a group of 4 and above.

Oriental Spoon is also not for you if you’re interested in really authentic Korean food, but if you want something different but yet still within most people’s comfort zone. This place is worth visiting.

Address:
Oriental Spoon
254 La Trobe St,
Melbourne VIC 3000,
Australia

GPS: -37.810017,144.961467
Tel: 03-9654 9930

Seoul Garden at Sunrise Tower is probably one of the very first Korean restaurants in Penang. I remember the restaurant being there as far back as my memory could remember.

In the back of my mind, I had always thought that dining at this type of place would be rather expensive, and at the time, something that my RM 2.20/hr McDonald’s job would never allow me to afford. I was just look at people going in and out while I was flipping burger in the same building.

Seoul Garden, banchan
plenty of banchan (side dishes) as usual

I made it a point that I would visit this place eventually, but little did I know that it actually took over one and a half decade before that happened. Together with Mellissa and my family last weekend, we had dinner at Seoul Garden.

As it turned out, Seoul Garden is just like most of the Korean restaurants I’ve visited in KL. A stove in the middle for grilling meat, a menu that includes all the usual suspects like beef bulgogi, kalbi, sam gye tang (ginseng chicken soup), kimchi soup, pork belly, and so on.

ox tongue, pork belly, and pork bulgogi
ox tongue, pork belly, and pork bulgogi

My brother and sister are both pretty adventurous when it comes to food, but tragically, my mom is a bit too conservative in the same department. Since this is the first time mom stepped into a Korean restaurant, I ordered something that would be a bit more familiar for her, sam giap sal (pork belly, RM 22), pork bulgogi (RM 25), and sam gye tang (ginseng chicken soup). I also ordered so hyeo gui (ox tongue RM 35) for good measure.

sam gye tang korean ginseng chicken soup
Korean ginseng chicken soup

There were about 6-7 types of banchan (side dishes) served with the main dishes we ordered. There was the customary kimchi which was rather potent and tasted pretty good, bean sprouts, vegetable, jelly thingy, green chili, and radish. I thought the banchan tasted just alright, nothing spectacular, but not bad either.

Our first grilled item was the ox tongue. Thinly sliced (about a dozen slices) without any marinate, the grilled ox tasted wonderful. The slight springy texture and the unaltered taste goes very well with just a touch of oil and salt. The pork belly was not overly fatty and came in 5 big slices, I think we had slightly overcooked it as it was a bit too dry by the time we hauled the pieces out of the grilled. Could have been tastier otherwise.

mom, brother, sister, niece, mellissa, and KY
mom, brother, KY, Mell, sister, niece (Ryan, you have a challenger)

Pork bulgogi was pretty good, flavorful though a little salty. However, it does go very well with steamed rice. I always love Korean rice with it’s stickier texture and stronger aroma. The ginseng chicken soup too was a very good dish, the soup had a very strong ginseng taste and the chicken meat cooked to a very soft and tender texture. Mom liked the soup quite a bit.

map to seoul garden at gurney drive

Total bill came to about RM 160. Pretty good deal for 5 adults and a little girl (whom is cute enough to steal some lime light from suan‘s nephew – Ryan), say hello to Taasha! The same meal in KL would easily cost twice as much, though the portion might be 30-40% bigger.

Address:
Seoul Garden
1st Floor, Sunrise Tower,
Gurney Drive
Penang, Malaysia

GPS: 5.439805,100.30815
Tel: 04-229 8705

I read about Haeun Khon restaurant on wAntAn productions a little while back and thought it’d be a place worth trying out. Despite staying relatively close to Amcorp Mall, I have only been to that place a couple times, one of which was for watching Ju On, they have the best cinemas for that sort of movie (atmosphere wise), but that’s another story for another day.

Haeun Khon Korean Restaurant at Amcorp Mall
simple deco, nice illustrated menu

The restaurant is rather smallish and has a simplistic no-frill decoration of some korean flags, out-of-date posters, and some fake plan cherry plants to give you an impression that they tried to care about creating an atmosphere, but not quite entirely impressive. Then again, it is in line with the whole old school look of Amcorp Mall, and I really do care alot more about the food rather than the deco, which is why I was there anyway.

We ordered the recommended beef bulgogi set and the Samkyeh Tang (gingseng chicken soup) set for dinner. The sets came with four sides, including kimchi, tofu, some marinated mango, and some vege. The beef bulgogi came with rice and soup, too.

Haeun Khon Korean Restaurant at Amcorp Mall
Samkyeh Tang and beef bulgogi

Both the meals were very good, the beef was marinated to perfection and not over cooked, leaving it tender and full of juicy flavor. The half a small-size chicken in samkyeh tang was very soft and the soap taste strongly of Korean ginseng. I devoured the half a ginseng completely, too (didn’t seem to help my stimana on the Hantu Bola futsal yet, however).

The side dishes were very good too, I am usually not a kimchi person, but the kimchi served was not too overly sour or spicy, I finished it, and throughly enjoyed. The dinner only cost RM 34.44 with the two set dinners and drinks. Bulgogi was RM 13.90 and Samkyeh Tang RM 14.90. There’s a 5% government tax, as usual, but to my delight, no 10% service charge.

Haeun Khon Korean Restaurant at Amcorp Mall
leave no prisoner!

Amcorp Mall is pretty accessible, located next to the Taman Jaya lake, you can get there either via the LRT or well, you could drive. The parking is RM 2 per entry after 6pm on weekday, pretty reasonable. Give it a try, I myself will definately go there again.

map to Amcorp Mall, Petaling Jaya
map to Amcorp mall, neat huh?

Address:
Lot 336 & 363, Amcorp Mall,
No. 18, Persiaran Barat,
Off Jalan Timur
46050 Petaling Jaya

GPS: 3.104778, 101.647117
Tel: 03-79572181