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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / Korean

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

Dae Jang Gum Korean restaurant was actually one of the first Korean BBQ restaurants that I visited some 7-8 years ago. It was always under my impression that I’ve already written a review on it, but that was obviously not the case. Better late than never, so here goes.

Dae Jang Gum Korean BBQ at Seksyen 14, Petaling Jaya
Dae Jang Gum Korean BBQ at Seksyen 14, Petaling Jaya

Situated at the other end of the same building that includes Digital Mall in Petaling Jaya, Dae Jang Gum is a pretty old establishment. I suspect that the restaurant probably looked the same when it first opened for business years ago.

The decoration is dated, tables and chairs are old, but at least those BBQ vents still works very well. Then again, we’re here for food, right?

good variety of banchan, and their kimchi jiggae is one of the best
good variety of banchan, and their kimchi jiggae is one of the best

Like most Korean BBQ restaurants, there’s quite a selection of different types and cuts of meat available to choose from (minimum order of 2 servings per table to start the grill).

We chose Dae Ji Mok Sal (grilled pork neck, RM 28) and Bul Galbi (marinated beef spare ribs, RM 62) for the grill, and 2 bowls of kimchi jiggae (kimchi soup) for the four of us.

Service is pretty decent right here, and we were served about a dozen different types of banchan (small Korean dishes) within minutes.

grilled pork belly, fresh and unseasoned
grilled pork neck, fresh and unseasoned

The kimchi soup is really the reason we come here for. They are the thickest and most flavorful kimchi soup that I’ve had in a restaurant (the only thicker version is when we cook it at home). The spicy broth goes very well with the steamed rice provided, and that thick, almost-overpowering aroma and taste, superb!

Grilled pork neck doesn’t taste too different from pork belly, the dipping “sauce” is basically sesame oil with salt and goes well with the meat. Optionally, you can wrap it in a piece of lettuce before chewing em down. Flavor isn’t exactly intense, so if you want something stronger, other marinated versions might be more suitable.

galbi - marinated beef ribs, always rich and delicious
galbi – marinated beef ribs, always rich and delicious

Marinated short ribs, or Galbi, is is one of my favorite Korean BBQ dishes, and the version at Dae Jang Gum did not disappoint. The beef is grilled to perfection and then cut into smaller pieces for your enjoyment. I like to wrap it in a piece of lettuce with some sauce and a piece of garlic to complete the flavor experience. Good stuff.

Yuki, Horng, & Haze
Yuki, Horng, & Haze

We usually spend about RM 30+ per person for a wholesome dinner here. Expect to pay a bit more if soju is involved, and alternatively you can order single dishes or go without BBQ meat to stay within a more limited budget. Whatever your decision, don’t forget to order the kimchi jiggae.

map to Dae Jang Gum at Seksyen 14, Petaling Jaya

Address:
Dae Jang Gum Korean Restaurant
20B-2 & 20B-3,
Section 14/20,
46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.110188, 101.635439
Tel: 03-7957 2613

Dae Jang Gum Korean restaurant

Daorae Korean BBQ Restaurant is probably no stranger to most who loves Korean food. My first visit to this chain was the USJ Taipan main branch at least 4-5 years ago. I went  there again last week when the worms in my gut was starving for some Galbi.

Daorae Korean BBQ Garden at USJ Taipan
Daorae Korean BBQ Garden at USJ Taipan

I’m not quite sure if this is the very first branch of Daorae, they have branches now at Hartamas, Penang Bayan Point, Kota Damansara, Kepong, Puchong Bandar Puteri, and another new one in PJ (the NZX branch has since closed). When we were there, there was an friendly old Korean guy who looked very much like the owner, and he explained that “Daorae” means many people, which translate to good business.

I must say they chose the right name. Daorae for Korean food is much like the Superdining chains for Japanese food (Rakuzen, Sushi Zanmai, Pasta Zanmai, Kura)

banchan - kimchi and more!
banchan – kimchi, salad, chives, cockles and more!

The one thing I always love about korean food is all the banchan (small dishes). Other than the standard kimchi,  you almost always get something different on each visit. On this trip there were cockles, steamed egg in hot pot, salad, chives, fish cake, and more. I think we had some 10 different varieties. You can usually ask for refill too.

galbi (marinated beef), 3 layer pork
galbi (marinated beef), 3 layer pork

For the two of us, I ordered a portion of galbi (marinated beef short ribs) and 3 layer pork for the grill.

As usual, the expertly trained servers did the whole grilling right in front of us. Galbi’s best served with the ssamjang sauce (fermented bean paste & pepper) and wrapped in fresh lettuce. I like to add a piece of grilled garlic too.

The samgyeopsal (three layer pork) was lovely too. Grilled and usually goes either with the same ssamjang or gireumjang sauce (sesame oil and salt). Nothing like some pork to fill the stomach.

kimchi jiggae, Haze
kimchi jiggae, Haze

Other than the two grilled meat and those free banchan, I also ordered a portion of kimchi jiggae – a stew with kimchi, tofu, pork, scallion, onion and such. This is typically served with a bowl of fragrant Korean rice, which I like.

It was as usual, a satisfying meal at Daorae, though one that isn’t exactly economical (RM 140) for the two of us, otherwise I’d do it more often. Galllbiiiiiiiii

map to Daorae Korean Restaurant at USJ Taipan

Address:
Daorae Korean BBQ Restuarant
No.8C, Top Speed Business Center,
Jalan USJ 10/1J,
47620 UEP Subang Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.048045, 101.585987
Tel: 03-8024-2616

A couple of weeks ago a couple friends and I were in Mid Valley Gardens looking for a quick dinner. We stopped by Canton-i, Sushi Zanmai, and Fong Lye Taiwanese restaurant, they were all absolutely full inside, and with people waiting outside as well.

Time was of essence, so we stepped into this GoGung Korean Restaurant at third floor.

Gogung Korean Restaurant
GoGung Korean Restaurant

Normally I love to have my grilled meat at Korean places, but since time is of the essence (Mell was waiting and it was the day before she’s was to fly off to Melbourne), we decided to forgo that luxury and go for something faster.

Unlike most other places, they serve no dinner sets, we ordered two Kimchi Jigge (kimchi soup) and a Kimchi Bo Kum Bab (kimchi fried rice) for RM 25 each, and 3 hot green tea. The food didn’t take too long to arrive, and to be frank, they taste ok. Not great, but not particularly bad either.

After hastily finished off our food, we asked for the bill. It came to RM 108.90. It kinda got me curious, I thought RM 75 plus whatever taxes and maybe a minimal amount for the tea bagged green tea we ordered shouldn’t amount to more than RM 100.

Gogung Korean Restaurant
3 green tea for RM 24, what do you think?

Then, on closer inspection, I saw what they charged us for the drinks. RM 8 per tea bag of green tea (well you do get unlimited hot water refill!). Frankly speaking I find that very excessive for something most Japanese and some Korean restaurants serve for free.

I will never go back to this GoGung Korean restaurant again. If you plan to head there, I suggest you might want to check if plain water is free.

P/S: I’ve been questioned on why almost all food places written on this blog are good, the reason is that for those I usually don’t write about food I deem not worthy of recommendation (even if it was an invited review). But here is one of the few bad reviews, cheers! :D

For whatever reason, it has taken me this long to write about Kangsane Korean Restaurant in Ampang despite having been there numerous times since more than a year ago. In fact, this is the Korean restaurant I most frequent in recent times, and there is a reason for it: simply the best Galbi (marinated beef ribs) anywhere!

Kangsane Korean Restaurant
nice ambiance, illustrated menu

Kangsane Korean Restaurant is situated right in the middle of Little Korea at Ampang, that interesting commercial square where you can find dozens of Korean restaurants, grocery stores, and even optical shops. This place is to Korean like Brickfields is to Indian. Parking is usually not an issue here.

Kangsane Korean Restaurant
kimchi jjigae (soup), samgyeopsal (pork belly), and Galbi (marinated beef ribs)

Just like most other Korean BBQ restaurants, Kangsane serves various BBQ meat, stews, bulgogi, and of course, all these comes with plenty of Banchan (side dishes) that is the signature of Korean food. The must-order dish here would be the Galbi, I just couldn’t get enough of the succulent and perfectly flavored beef ribs.

I suggest that you always give them a call to make sure that the supply of Galbi is ample before heading there. We had to go for pork galbi on the last visit as the beef version ran out of stock, while it was still very good, the beef ribs is simply irreplaceable.

Kangsane Korean Restaurant
the many banchan (side dishes)

The other commendable dish is the samgyeopsal (pork belly), do start with this dish first if you also order galbi as the pork carries a more subtle taste that might be overpowered by the beef if you reverse the order.

Of course, a good Korean restaurant must also serve good banchan (side dishes), and the good thing about Kangsane is that they always have different banchan every time we go there. From anchovies to tofu, kimchi to some funny looking vegetables, they are always very delicious and accompanies the main dish very well. I also absolutely love their kimchi jjigae (kimchi soup)

Kangsane Korean Restaurant
good food is to be enjoyed with friends: Kim, Kelvin, Pinkpau, ST, Kenneth

Price wise, this place is pretty much in par with similar Korean restaurants. Some BBQ meat dishes, stews, and maybe some dumplings will usually cost around RM 40-50 per person for a table of 4-5. Very worth it though.

Map to Little Korea, Ampang, Kuala Lumpur
Kangsane is situated in the Little Korea at Ampang, KL

Address:
C5 Jalan Ampang Utama 1/1
One Ampang Avenue
Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.155283, 101.751364
Tel: 03-4251 2598

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