"A must order: BBQ Rib-eye platter. "
When I first entered the restaurant it was still early in the evening and majority of the tables were empty which had me a bit worried. Once we ordered though, people started trickling in and before we knew it the restaurant was buzzing with activity. This lifted my hopes for the food to come.
Service here is attentive and you can choose to grill your own food or let them do it for you. They expertly swish and flip the meats around to ensure even cooking and coax out the delicious flavours. You can even pick whether you want the food cooked in the kitchen or tableside, a good option for those who would rather not leave a place smelling like food.
One of the specialties here is the bulgogi that is cooked on a crystal quartz platter. This cooks the meat so that it is tender and juicy but it doesn’t char. It is almost like a slight boil, which traps in the rich bulgogi flavours. This comes with glass noodles and an assortment of veggies and mushrooms. I enjoyed slurping down the noodles glazed with the sauce. The small platter was still large enough to be a complete meal for 2ppl, which means that the large platter would be plenty for a large group.
When you order a meat dish you automatically get a platter of 9 different banchans. If you order other dishes you have the option of ordering banchan on the side in sets of 3, 6, or 9. Out of the various banchan I quite enjoyed the deep-fried shredded seaweed and the sticky sweet fried anchovies. The kimchi here, while good, lacks that strong pungent garlic punch that I enjoy. After all what is Korean food if you don’t leave with garlic breath? More »
"Portions are huge and generous"
This is my Dad’s perennial favourite every time he visits KL. First, the service is impeccable. Never mind that we were served by a mainly Nepali staff, but they are really efficient and helpful. Second, the portions are huge and generous. Even if you order only one dish, you still enjoy the whole array of complimentary free flow banchan dishes. Third, it’s just a 10 minute drive from my pad. Last but not least, it is consistently delicious and we never fail to clean out our plates each and every time.
So let’s get down to the details. This time, I decided to steer away from the usual bulgogi and bibimbap (it’s delicious by the way) and opted for something new. The only familiar dish I ordered was Sundubu Jigae because I had a craving for something hot and spicy. It came piping hot with an egg cracked in the middle, plus soft tofu, meat pieces and clams boiled with the fiery soup. Just the way I like it.
The banchan dishes arrived with speed. I counted 8 dishes in total, my favourite being the kimchi, pickled anchovy, mashed potato and pickled vege with octopus. So good, we topped it up 3 times! We were also served their complimentary soup of the day which was a miso-like soup with beef pieces and Chinese cabbage. It was really good and my mom added some rice to it. Pure genius, it was comfort food at its best. I loved the rice soaking up the flavor of the soup.
Next was 2 items to be grilled on the barbeque (they only open the grill if you order minimum 2 BBQ items) - Ox tongue and beef rib eye. The waiters do the grilling, all we did was watch and patiently wait drool-faced for the grilled goodies to be served. There is also a metal container of garlic slices soaked in oil which is left to cook on the grill. There were condiments like lettuce leaves, sesame oil with salt, gochujang (Korean chilli) paste, garlic and a spring onion-chive salad (pajori) to compliment the meats. Simply add the meat and vege on to the lettuce leaf and wrap it popia-style. I like adding kimchi into the wrap for an extra twist. Yums, the ox tongue has a springy texture… something like ham. The beef is sliced thin so you get it nicely grilled and a fine layer of fat with each slice. Sinful, but really good especially with generous lashings of gochujang chilli paste and cooked garlic. Sometimes, I like just munching on the meat, with some chilli paste dipping. My mom being the most health-conscious amongst us gluttons, requests for lettuce leaf and spring onion-chive salad refills. The Nepali waiters are obliging and comply with warm smiles. More »
"The rice crust is the best part!"
Kimchee, bulgogi, and ginseng chicken it all sounds good to me! However I usually like to order the paper-thin slices of meats that are barbecued on the tabletop grills and served with salty sesame oil and chilli sauce as a dip. Choose between different cuts of fresh meat or opt for the tasty lean beef marinated in bulgogi sauce. There are also chicken, seafood and veggie varieties to choose from but I’m a red meat girl.
The bulgogi here is cooked on a special dome grill where the meat is placed on top with spices and on the bottom there is a bulgogi sauce as well as oyster mushrooms and onions. While the meat is cooking on top its juices drip down into the bulgogi mixture adding flavour to it as the onions and mushrooms caramelize. The meat has a subtle sweetness and is very tender.
The highlight of any Korean meal is all the little side dishes that accompany the meats known as the banchan. What you get differs each time according to what is fresh in the kitchen. You can usually expect to get an array of kimchi, pickled vegetables, fried sticky sweet anchovies, scallion pancakes, mashed potato salad, sautéed beansprouts and more. These bites are filled with notes of sweet, sour, spicy, and creamy giving you a total sensory experience. They are also refillable as long as you are still enjoying your meats so do be sure to ask for more of the ones you enjoy.
"Ginseng chicken, nourishing and comforting"
Korean food has become somewhat of a favourite amongst KLites. Even though this Foodster has been to Korea and had some fine chewy Korean sashimi and went to a restaurant in central Seoul that served over a hundred Pan Chan (that’s those small little dishes of Korean munchies they serve with the meal) there’s a still a lot more to learn about this cuisine. From what I know, Korean food is not ashamed of assaulting your senses from spicy to the nose, bright red broths and pickles to the sharp scent of bulgogi (BBQed meats). They also have mellow soupy dishes perfect for slurping on hot days such as the flavourful ginseng chicken.
But lets get to the food. Bulgogi here is very good. You can cook it yourself on the charcoal stove in the middle of the table. There are nice slivers of meat you can get all nicely marinated to cook on the pit. Also order the ribs which is aged- very tasty and has a lot of flavour. When popped in the mouth, it's chewy yet at the same time tender. The sam gyup sal here is also recommended which are cuts of pork that turns into bacon when you grill it.
With this you will get lettuce leaves, whole garlic and a thick sweetish sauce. After the meat is grilled, put in some garlic and sauce in a lettuce leave, roll it up like a Cuban cigar and munch away. There will be an explosion of flavours, the burnt taste of the meat, the tangy sauce, pungent garlic and the freshness of the leaves. Fabulous!
"Try the ox tongue if you're feeling adventurous"
Overlooking the KLCC park on the 3rd floor of PNB Darby Park, sit next to the glass walls for the great ambience. The restaurant can be a bit busy during dinner as it is popular with Koreans and locals as well. An all Korean meal at Kung Joong starts with a selection of about nine different starter dishes from kim chi, seaweed, potatoes, fried beansprouts to fishball cuts.
One of the winning starters is the Paj Jeon, a kind of Korean styled pancake stuffed with spring onions and seafood. Cut into bite size pieces, it is delicious finger food to accompany one or another of the restaurant dishes. More »